"Queer Times, Queer Assemblages", written by Jasbir Q. Puar, discusses how "queer times require even queerer modalities of thought, analysis, creativity, and expression in order to elaborate on nationalist, patriotic, and terrorist formations and their intertwined forms of racialized perverse sexualities and gender dysphorias". Furthermore, he states that the reasoning behind his above stated position is as follows:
"One, I examine discourse of queerness where problematic conceptualizations of queer corporealities, especially via Muslim sexualities, are reproduced in the service of discourses of U.S. exceptionalisms. Two, I rearticulare a terrorist body, in this case the suicide bomber, as a queer assemblage that resists queerness - as - sexual - identity (or anti-identity) ....Finally, I argue that a focus on queerness as assemblage enables attention to ontology in tandem with epistemology, affect in conjunction with representational economies, within which bodies, such as the turbaned Sikh terrotist, interpenetrute, swirl together, and transmit affects to each other".
While I do agree with the majority of this article, I do take issue with one point: the discussion surrounding the commentary to the Abu Ghraib "sexual torture scandal". The author of the article begins talking about why he views it to be so problematic:
"Even more troubling was the reason given for the particular efficacy of the torture: the taboo, outlawed, banned, disavowed status of homosexuality in Iraq and the Middle East, complemented by an aversion to nudity, male-onmale contact, and sexual modesty with the rarely seen opposite sex. It is exactly this unsophisticated notion of Arab/Muslim/Islamic (does it really matter which one?) cultural differences that military intelligence capitalized on to create what they believed to be a culturally 'effective' matrix of torture techniques".
But then after stating that he finds it to be very problematic that the military intelligence believed such sexual practices to be a "culturally effective matrix of torture techniquues" he goe son to state the following:
"Faisal Alam, founder and director of the international Muslim lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and questioning organization states, that 'sexual humiliation is perhaps the worst form of torture for any Mulsim...Islam places a high emphasis on modesty and sexual privacy. Iraq, much like the rest of the Arab world, places great importance on notions of masculinity. Forcing men to masturbate in front of each other and to mock same-sex acts or homosexual sex, is perverse and sadistic, in the eyes of many Msulsims".
By his own admission, this, what appears to be a very credible source to me on middle eastern norms and cultural beliefs surrounding sexuality, agrees that what the military intelligence believed to be an effective torture technique, indeed was. It is very possible that I am reading this section of the text wrong, but it appears to me that these two points greatly contradict one another. I am of course against the fact that our military used torture techniques, as I am sure most, if not all, of you are as well, but when I hear a quote from the founder and director of the international Muslim lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and questioning organization state that the torture techniques used, were indeed very effective in terms of their culture, I am going to believe them. Do I disagree with the fact that they used torture: yes, but I do not see how their approach was ineffective.