© 2018

The Making of a Gay Muslim

Religion, Sexuality and Identity in Malaysia and Britain


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Shanon Shah
    Pages 1-17
  3. Shanon Shah
    Pages 19-52
  4. Shanon Shah
    Pages 53-101
  5. Shanon Shah
    Pages 103-141
  6. Shanon Shah
    Pages 143-186
  7. Shanon Shah
    Pages 187-241
  8. Shanon Shah
    Pages 243-298
  9. Shanon Shah
    Pages 299-309
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 311-354

About this book


This book highlights the lived experiences of gay Muslims in Malaysia, where Islam is the majority and official religion, and in Britain, where Muslims form a religious minority. By exploring how they negotiate their religious and sexual identities, Shah challenges the notion that Islam is inherently homophobic and that there is an unbridgeable divide between ‘Islam’ and the ‘West’. Shah also gained access to gay Muslim networks and individuals for his in-depth research in both countries, and the book investigates the different ways that they respond to everyday anti-homosexual or anti-Muslim sentiments. Amid the many challenges they confront, the gay Muslims whom Shah encountered find innovative and meaningful ways to integrate Islam and gay identity into their lives.

The Making of a Gay Muslim will appeal to students and scholars with an interest in contemporary Islam, religion, gender and sexuality.


Minorty religion Majority religion Islam LGBT Homonationalism Postcolonialism Deviance Gay Muslim Sexuality and Islam Gay Expressions of Islam Islam and Homosexuality

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.St John’s VicarageLondonUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Shanon Shah is an academic based in London, UK. He lectures in the sociology and anthropology of religion and researches into contemporary Islam and Christianity in Malaysia and Britain.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Making of a Gay Muslim
  • Book Subtitle Religion, Sexuality and Identity in Malaysia and Britain
  • Authors Shanon Shah
  • Series Title Palgrave Studies in Lived Religion and Societal Challenges
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Studies in Lived Religion and Societal Challenges
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-63129-5
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-87480-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-63130-1
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVI, 354
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Sociology of Religion
    Ethnicity Studies
    Gender and Sexuality
    Self and Identity
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“The key strength of this book is its comparative approach that demonstrates the constructive nature of faith and sexuality through different historical, political, social and demographical contexts, within which gay Muslims make sense of, receive/reject, negotiate, express/suppress their faiths and sexualities. … this book certainly serves as a great reference to interested scholars and gay Muslim individuals in understanding these two seemingly ‘incommensurable’ identities in Europe and Southeast Asia.” (Chua Hang-Kuen, Journal of Malaysian Studies, Vol. 38 (1), 2020)

“The Making of a Gay Muslim, is not just important in terms of expanding our knowledge about the complex interfaces between sexual orientations and religious affiliations. … . Thick description has been applied throughout the book, as the author records in detail the design process of the project and how the data were collected, interpreted and eventually formulated into concrete findings and conclusions. At every stage, the descriptive parts are interlaced with critical analysis and (self-)reflection.” (Carool Kersten, Religion, State & Society, Vol. 47 (1), 2019)

“Shah’s prose is vivid and energetic, and the reader feels drawn to the text and the writer. Stories and observations are interspersed with references to academia, activism, and religious writing, adding weight to the powerful participant views. The writing style is also supported by an honest and transparent approach. … The Making of a Gay Muslim is an excellent and engaging work which deserves to be widely read.” (Alexander Toft, Reading Religion,, September, 2018)