From Orientalism to Homonationalism: Queer Politics, Islamophobia and Europeanization in Kosovo

In: Southeastern Europe
Author: Piro Rexhepi1
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This paper investigates the convergence of European Union enlargement strategies and queer politics in the production of Islamophobia in Kosovo. Through a reading of recent homophobic attacks in Kosovo, it examines how the incorporation of lgbti politics into the eu enlargement assemblages generate a representational praxis of queer communities in Kosovo under threat by Muslim extremists. This paper proposes that the Europeanization of lgbti rights depoliticizes queer communities and singles them out for protection as victims of Islamic fundamentalism by creating binary and exclusionary Queer/Islam divisions that prevent the emergence of intersectional solidarities and subjectivities such as queer and Muslim. In this context, European financed ‘coming out’ projects gain a new meaning in Kosovo, one where the promotion of visibility for certain queer subjects works simultaneously to expose Muslim ‘extremists’. Queer acceptance in Islamophobic times, then, becomes the ultimate test of who can and cannot become European citizen.

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