This talk details the constitutive relationship of homosexuality and Islam in contemporary South Korea as national security threats, rooted in liberal promises of multiculturalism and socio-political realities of ethnic nationalism. Dr. Gitzen will demonstrate how the emergence of Islamophobia in South Korea—situated within increased attention to so-called “Islamic terrorism,” the 2016 passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act, and the April 2016 National Assembly elections—is rooted in homophobia. Both Islamophobia and homophobia, and indeed, security itself, is an opportunistic discourse. This talk will show that in the wake of this increased Islamophobia, queer activists were at the forefront critiquing the increased racism and xenophobia and calling for renewed attention to the passage of an Anti-Discrimination Law.
This event is cosponsored by the East Asian Studies Center and the Islamic Studies Program.