Hyper-affiliation to the Religious In-group Among British Pakistani Muslim Gay Men



This article examines how British Muslim gay men may safeguard membership in the religious group, which can be threatened as a result of self-identifying as gay. Twenty British Pakistani Muslim gay men were interviewed. Data were analyze using an interpretative phenomenological analysis through the heuristic lens of identity process theory. The following themes are discussed: (i) ‘gay identity casting doubt upon one's Muslim-ness’; (ii) ‘Ramadan: a symbolic opportunity to be a “true Muslim”’; and (iii) ‘accepting “Muslim views” and religious authenticity’. Data suggest that threatened Muslim identity can lead to hyper-affiliation to the religious in-group, which is achieved through a multitude of substrategies. Practical implications are discussed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.