Of all the absurd claims expressed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his recent address at Columbia University, his assertion that homosexuality does not exist in his country is the most ridiculous....Yes, the academic Left's darling misozionistic Joseph Massad has opinions about gays that are decidedly anti-liberal, so much so that he's written an entire book denying that homosexual Arabs are...gay. They are just another Western imperialistic tool, you see.
Yet while the audience in the Roone Arledge Auditorium and millions of television viewers laughed and booed at the Islamist rube, there was one man--ensconced at Columbia University, no less--who was likely nodding along in agreement. His name is Joseph Massad, Associate Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History, and he legitimizes, with a complex academic posture, the deservedly reviled views on homosexuality espoused by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
According to Massad, a Palestinian Christian and disciple of the late Columbia professor Edward Said, the case for gay rights in the Middle East is an elaborate scheme hatched by activists in the West. Massad posited this thesis in a 2002 article, "Re-Orienting Desire: The Gay International and the Arab World," for the academic journal Public Culture, and he has expanded it into a book, Desiring Arabs, published this year by the University of Chicago Press. In it, he writes that such activists constitute the "Gay International" whose "discourse ... produces homosexuals as well as gays and lesbians, where they do not exist." The "missionary tasks" of this worldwide conspiracy are part of a broader attempt to legitimize American and Israeli global conquest by undermining the very moral basis of Muslim societies, as the "Orientalist impulse ... continues to guide all branches of the human rights community." Massad's intellectual project is a not-so-tacit apology for the oppression of people who identify openly as homosexual. In so doing, he sides with Islamist regimes over Islamic liberals.
...Massad's thesis rests largely on Queer Theory, a voguish academic theory from the 1990s that stipulates that homosexuality is merely a "social construction" and not an inherent state of being. Massad writes that, "The categories gay and lesbian are not universal at all and can only be universalized by the epistemic, ethical, and political violence unleashed on the rest of the world by the very international human rights advocates whose aim is to defend the very people their intervention is creating (emphasis mine)." Thus, not only are gay rights activists unleashing "epistemic... violence" on Arabs and Muslims who have same-sex relations by claiming them to be homosexual, they are responsible for the "political violence" of the regimes that oppress them. As one illustration of his thesis, Massad chooses the "Queen Boat" incident of May 11, 2001, when a horde of truncheon-wielding Egyptian police officers boarded a Nile River cruise known as the Queen Boat, a floating disco for gay men. Fifty-two men were arrested, and many of them were tortured and sexually humiliated in prison....Massad claims that those Arabs who do accept a Western-style homosexual identity "remain a miniscule minority among those men who engage in same-sex relations and who do not identify as 'gay' nor express a need for gay politics." He makes this sweeping assertion--upon which his entire, 418-page book is predicated--without any statistical evidence. Furthermore, he does not consider that the reason why Arab homosexuals may not "express a need for gay politics" might be because they would be killed if they did.
The author of the piece above goes further today:
[The phrase “Muslim fags don’t exist”] is attributed to a neighbor of Azedine Berkane, a Muslim immigrant who, in 2002, stabbed Bertrand Delanoe, the gay mayor of Paris. The neighbor justified the attack on the grounds that because Islam is perfect, impure things --- like gays --- don't exist within it. Therefore, by this logic, it is appropriate to kill those who mock Allah's law.It appears that Massad's "scholarship" is not only suspect when talking about Israel.
The above quote could also be attributed to Joseph Massad, the very learned, very cosmopolitan, very scholarly professor of Arab politics at Columbia University. He was a hero of that campus's "progressive" community, who championed him as a victim of the right-wing Zionist campaign to "silence" criticism of Israel, during the controversies several years ago about the school's department of Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures (MEALAC). As I've explained before, his latest opus -- the book that he hopes will get him tenure -- purports to expose gay rights activists as part of a dreaded, imperialist "Gay International," and, to my knowledge, might just be the most pernicious book ever published by a respectable academic press. The writer and political activist Wayne Besen aptly states that Massad is "mainstreaming murder" with his overwrought, cynical theories. One wonders if the ostensibly "progressive" students who rushed to Massad's defense several years ago when the evil Zionists attacked him will warm up to him now that he's written a volume attacking and justifying the oppression of one of the Left's protected victim classes: gays.
Massad's tenure review is becoming much more interesting....