Public Lecture

Homophobia and islamic extremism

© KWI, Photos: Georg Lukas © KWI, Photos: Georg Lukas © KWI, Photos: Georg Lukas

Essen – 3 February 2015

The rejection of same-sex relationships is a key element of islamic fundamentalist movement. In those environments homophobic statements are openly articulated - also in Germany, as it is the case for supporters of German salafism. But do those extremists just reinforce an attitude common within Muslims? These question was answered by Islam and political scientist Thorsten Gerald Schneiders at the last session within the lecture series 'Homophobia in the global context'. In the course of the lecture, Schneiders examined the historical and contemporary notion of homosexuality in Islam.

Thorsten Gerald Schneiders is editor at German public broadcasting radio station "Deutschlandfunk" as well as Islam and political scientist. He was board member of the "Centre for religious studies" of the University of Münster. His most recent publication is on "Salafism in Germany" (Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld 2014).

Time: 19.00 - 20.30 h
Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (KWI), Gartensaal, Goethestr. 31, 45128 Essen


The lecture series "Homophobia in the global context" was organised in cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) and Andreas Langenohl (University of Gießen).
The lecture series considered homophobia as a phenomenon that becomes increasingly visible in its global dimensions and implications. We live in a contradictory situation: on the one hand, homophobia is today denounced and fought in many democracies as a violation of human rights, on the other hand, we observe an increase in homophobic attitudes and actions in other parts of the world as well as in cultural, religious and ideological movements and institutions. The questions of the lecture series have been: How is the rise of the issue of homophobia (and transphobia, etc.) to explain? What makes this emotion different from other forms of group-related misanthropy? What are the causes and conditions for trends and counter-trends in this field? What are national and cultural differences, how can they be explained and at which points do they interact with global trends? How is homophobia linked with religion, migration and racism in the current debates about Inter- and transculturality?

All dates of the lecture series:
10 November, 19:00 h
Klaus Theweleit: Homophobia - no idea, what that is

24 November, 19:00 h
Rita Schäfer: Homophobie in Uganda and South Africa

15 December, 19:00 h
Peter Rehberg: God hates Fa(n)gs: Homophobia, religious rights and pop culture in the USA

26 January, 19:00 h
Wanja Kilber and Peter Schmidt: Homophobia in Russia

3 February, 19:00 h
Thorsten Schneiders: Homophobia and islamic extremism

All lectures were conducted in German.