On the whole, though, Arab portrayals of homosexuality as a foreign phenomenon can be attributed more plausibly to a reversal of old-fashioned Western orientalism. Western orientalism, as analysed by Edward Said in his influential book, highlights the ‘otherness’ of oriental culture in order (Said argued) to control it more effectively. Reverse orientalism - a comparatively new development in the Arab world - taps into the same themes but also highlights the ‘otherness’ of the West in order to resist modernisation and reform. Homosexuality is one aspect of Western ‘otherness’ that can be readily exploited to whip up popular sentiment.
Unspeakable Love: Gay & Lesbian Life in the Middle East by Brian Whitaker
One of many interesting arguments by Whitaker, a former journalist for The Guardian. His is one of the only books I’ve read about LGBT folks in the Middle East that is neither exploitative nor exoticized.