Queer Muslim Asylum

Queer Muslim Asylum is a European Union funded project under the 2020 Horizon programme. Queer, trans, gay, and intersex asylum seekers belong to the least visible and most vulnerable group within Germany’s asylum system. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees does not separately register queer asylum cases and many queer/gay Muslim asylum seekers remain silent because of fear of homo- and transphobia.

Based on interviews with gay/queer Muslim asylum seekers, NGO representatives, lawyers, and judges and case analysis, this study examines how access to asylum can be influenced by Westernized ideas about sexuality as well as anti-Muslim feeling. The findings will be used to support the development of policies and politics that are based on a better understanding of the many different experiences of Muslim LGBTQI+ asylum seekers. The study will also challenge social attitudes about “the Muslim” and “the refugee” through the launch of a community-based podcast series.


Dr Mengia Tschalaer is a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at the University of Bristol. As a law and society scholar she focuses on the relationship between politics of knowledge production and human rights, sexualities, and religion. Her work is geared towards rendering visible those voices located at the margins that remain silenced – often very deliberately so – in conversations about justice and ideals about the truth. Her current work on LGBTQI+ asylum in Germany draws on her expertise on gender, human rights and Islam in India. She is the author of “Muslim Women’s Quest for Justice: Gender, Law, and Activism in India” (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and of various articles and chapters on socio-legal resistance, gender, and Islam.

Project-Related Publications:

Tschalaer, M. Between Queer Liberalisms and Muslim Masculinities. LGBTQI+ Muslim Asylum Assessment in Germany. Ethnic and Racial Studies. (Under Review)

Tschalaer, M.  Hypersexuality and Femininities in Black Lesbian Asylum Cases in Germany. (In Preparation for Sexuality)

Project Website: https://www.queerasylum.org

This project is associated with the MMB Challenge on Resistance, transformation, justice