Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800
by Khaled El-Rouayheb
University of Chicago Press. 210 pages, $32.50
SOME MONTHS AGO, a disturbing picture appeared in a number of gay and lesbian publications. It showed two young and hooded men about to be hanged in Iran for the crime of sodomy. It has been reported that, since the Islamist revolution in 1979, several thousand gay men have been executed. In many ways, this grim picture speaks eloquently to the major themes of Khaled El-Rouayheb’s important new book, Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800.