Recent events — the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris, the arrest of a 13-year-old Muslim for bringing a clock to school, the ongoing wars in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and the resulting refugee crises — prompt us to consider how Western biases and perceptions of the MENA region affect conflict, shape foreign policy, and operate in individual client work (legal, activist, etc.).
The United States and Europe have recently intensified their complicity in oppressing the MENA region; we bear frequent witness to the corresponding prejudice against Muslims and diasporic MENA individuals. Queer activists must therefore pay close attention to the heteronormative, patriarchal language and imagery used by the West to frame its “Other”. Imperialism, racism, exotification and eroticization affect all interactions of Western human rights activists, NGOs, and lawyers with MENA people. Join us as we explore these issues from a queer and human rights perspective.
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