Hijab: Unveiling Queer Muslim Lives is the first known collection of South African Muslim stories relating to Islam and sexual diversity. This anthology shares reallife stories of people that have struggled, or may still be struggling, to reconcile their spirituality and their sexuality. These are stories that illustrate the oneness of being and reflect on how some interpretations of the scriptures may alienate others. Although the collection focuses predominantly on Muslim stories, it is universal in its approach in dealing with spirituality rather than religion.
The stories are all biographies, or autobiographies, and the writing process was a therapeutic one for the authors of these powerful stories. Hopefully they will provide strength and courage to others in similar situations, not so much through a deeper understanding of those who share their stories in this collection, but rather through a process of identification with the circumstances related by these courageous story-tellers.
For many years I’ve heard stories of young gay Muslims in Cape Town and abroad who’ve taken their own lives because they felt helpless in the face of societal beliefs that dictate they simply could not be Muslim and gay at the same time. These sad stories made it clear to me that action is needed – and if this anthology saves even one life, then every person who contributed to this book should hold their heads high. – Sieraaj Ahmed (Journalist)
This anthology goes a long way to providing the much-needed platform for a minority grouping that for too long has been denied a right to be heard. It explores, in a very real manner, the challenges faced by ordinary folk trying assiduously to be accepted by a society that is often brutal and cruel. – Rafiek Mammon, Editor and Playwright