Chapter 11 Muslims against Gays? Faith, Sexuality, Resistance and London’s East End

In: Resistance and the City
Oliver von Knebel Doeberitz
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In January 2013, a YouTube video of an alleged ‘Muslim Patrol’ on the streets of London’s East End stirred a heated debate on urban space and its nature. Studies on the existence and resistance of diasporic communities in the cities of the West have focused overwhelmingly on aspects of discrimination and institutional or outright racism. However, the relationship between these migrant communities and increasingly visible ‘sexual minorities’ in urban Britain as well as media representations of this relationship has not been explored so far. The paper aims to examine the representation of contested urban space in one of the videos by the self-acclaimed ‘Muslim Patrol’ and then focus on one prominent media response to the phenomenon of religious homophobia, a BBC clip featuring gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. Combining insights from postcolonial and from cultural studies, it will pay particular attention to the mediation of ethnic and sexual Otherness, to the role of web 2.0 in staging urban protest and reflect on the ambiguous, multi-faceted nature of the concept of ‘resistance’ in this context.

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Resistance and the City

Negotiating Urban Identities: Race, Class, and Gender

Series:  Spatial Practices, Volume: 28