Beyond Binaries


Mehrdad Alipour (Investegator)


Mehrdad is a scholar of Islamic studies. His research focuses on Islamic law, legal theory, Shi’i studies, and Iranian intellectual history. He is, in particular, interested in the transformation of Islamic legal traditions concerning gender, sex and sexuality diversity in the premodern and modern eras. Before joining Utrecht, Mehrdad was a postdoctoral researcher at the Goethe University of Frankfurt (September 2020-July 2022), participating in a two-year project entitled “Wege zu einer Ethik” which studied classical Islamic thoughts and how they might be employed to tackle modern issues concerning gender and sexuality in Muslim communities. Having graduated from the Seminary of Qom (Iran), in 2017-2021, Mehrdad pursued his doctoral research in Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter (U.K.). His PhD dissertation entitled “Negotiating Homosexuality in Contemporary Shi’i Islam” is an academic exploration of discursive space(s) for debating homosexuality in modern Shi’i Islam based on a legal-hermeneutical analysis of Islamic law.



Asha Ali (Podcast Producer)


I am an MA Student at the Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. I am particularly interested in Gender, Race and Sexuality in Islam and the Islamic world with a specific focus on the experiences of Black Muslim women and gender minority people within the Muslim community and how our Blackness shapes our relationship with the wider Muslim community. My work looks at anti-blackness within the Muslim community and whether or not Black Muslims, specifically Black Muslim women and gender minority individuals are included or feel included in the ummah. I am engaged in this project as the co-producer of some podcasts concerning sex, gender, and sexuality in Islamic legal and ethical arenas.