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Bragazzi, N.L. Del Puente, G. (2015). On: Hijab and Homosexuality - A Case Report and Review of the Literature. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96(5):1417-1420.

(2015). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 96(5):1417-1420

Letters to the Editor

On: Hijab and Homosexuality - A Case Report and Review of the Literature Language Translation

Nicola Luigi Bragazzi and Giovanni Del Puente

Dear Editor,

Today's society is ever more globalized and multicultural, and doctors and psychoanalysts often find themselves having to deal with patients from other countries. Ever more Muslim clients are accessing counselling, and is becoming crucial, indeed indispensible, for the therapist to understand Islam in order to offer them a valid, practical response that respects their background. This brief communication of ours is intended to provide, by means of a clinical case and a review of the available literature, some notes and observations to help psychoanalysts orient themselves in relation to themes relevant to sexuality and Islam.

Indeed, the relationship between sexuality and Islam represents a fascinating, though slippery and difficult terrain, rich as it is in symbols and peppered with myths which express themselves by way of prohibitions and permissions, creating a complex dialectic between what may be seen (and is legitimate, halal in Arabic) and what by contrast must remain hidden (being prohibited, haram in Arabic). In this way sexuality is experienced as a constant play of cross-reference and mirroring, and the very concealment created by the veil (chador or hijab, or in their complete forms niqab or burqa) is itself a show, putting itself on view because of what it does not allow to be seen or permits only to be glimpsed.

This dialectic, this continual tension between the public and the private (Movahedi and Homayounpour, 2012), between the seen/visible and the unseen/invisible, between internal and external, has been compared by the researcher Marylin Charles to the chora, which the semiologist Julia Kristeva speaks about, an early period of psycho-sexual and linguistic development, a pre-verbal stage in which boundaries and concepts are blurred (Charles, 2008).

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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