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Interview: Eman Abdelhadi, Labor Organizer And Queer Muslim

In the aftermath of the attack in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub, Eman Abdelhadi, a queer Muslim, saw this as an opportunity to challenge the erasure of LGBT Muslims.

Abdelhadi told the Associated Press that she was afraid of “Islam and queerness being pitted against each other in a sort of battle” and that it made it “impossible” for her “to exist.”

For the second profile in Shadowproof’s “Islam In America” series, Abdelhadi is featured. She is a doctoral candidate in sociology at New York University, who writes about gender in American Islam. Her writing includes her perspective on life as a queer Muslim. She is also a labor organizer.

“For me the term ‘queer’ is both expressive of who I am and also expressive of my politics and the world I want to live in,” Abdelhadi shares. “The way I cope with being Muslim and queer is by building queer Muslim spaces and engaging them. There have been so many moments, where I felt like my queerness was invisible in a mainstream Muslim Space. And there have been equally or more moments, where I felt my Muslim-ness had to be invisible in gay spaces.”

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Roqayah Chamseddine

Roqayah Chamseddine

Roqayah Chamseddine is a Lebanese-American writer, published poet, and journalist, whose work can be found at