Benjamin Dubrulle (Maison Française d'Oxford), gives a seminar for the MEC Women's Rights Research Seminars. Chaired by Dr Soraya Tremayne (School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford) on 18th November 2020.
‘God Does not Discriminate’: Inclusive Mosques Politics in France and the United Kingdom
In the last ten years, mosques welcoming believers regardless of their gender and sexuality have been established in France and the United Kingdom. Known as ‘inclusive mosques’, these spaces are managed by both heterosexual and queer women who aim at practicing Islam outside of patriarchal constraints. Based on recent ethnographic data, this seminar will explore the different forms of pastoral care provided by Muslim women in these spaces for their community.
Islamic feminism is a major component of pastoral care in the British context. Through various events -monthly feminist discussion groups, Jumma, conferences- queer Muslim women in the United Kingdom produce and share religious knowledge relevant to their experiences and struggles. Taking into account their specific vulnerability enables them to design relevant emancipatory practices. In France, a new inclusive mosque reclaims the French tradition of laïcité. Staying away from identity politics enables these women to focus on the universal values of justice in Islam.
Despite material and spiritual obstacles that will be examined, these women seek to fight existing discriminations within local communities through radical inclusivity. Their theological work based on the Quran aims at promoting gender justice and recognition of sexual diversity. Ultimately, these projects seek to protect the local community against both queer-phobia and islamophobia, and unify the oumma.
Benjamin Dubrulle is currently a PhD candidate in sociology at the EHESS (School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences) in Paris, under the supervision of Dr. Céline Béraud. He is also a member of the CéSor (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences of Religion) at the CNRS and is currently in residency at the Maison Française d’Oxford. Benjamin Dubrulle is a member of the Jewish-Muslim Research Network.
His research is situated at the intersection of social sciences of religion, gender studies and queer studies. It focuses on initiatives designed by Muslim communities to promote gender equality and sexual diversity within an Islamic framework. Dubrulle has a particular interest in democracy and secularism, and the way politics impact lived experiences of Muslim minorities on the ground.