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So I watched this film called “A Jihad for Love” by Parvez Sharma.

I caught the second showing in Zico house. My first impression was that it was a little too long and way too Muslim.
I got this text from ajihadforlove.com:
“Produced by Sandi DuBowski (Trembling Before G-d) and Sharma, A Jihad for Love was filmed in 12 countries and 9 languages and comes from the heart of Islam. Looking beyond a hostile and war-torn present, it reclaims the Islamic concept of a greater Jihad, whose true meaning is akin to ‘an inner struggle’ or ‘to strive in the path of God’ – allowing its remarkable subjects to move beyond the narrow concept of Jihad as holy war.”
What was extremely interesting about the film was that it highlighted the lives of gay muslims in all the different Islam countries. It was interesting to see the lives, traditions and beliefs of these different muslim societies like India, Egypt, Turkey, France… it was filmed in 9 countries after all. So one Bonus point for Parvez.
Another bonus point for Parvez, in my opinion, is the way he used the word “Jihad”. By placing it in the title next to the word “love” it gives us a different perspective than Al Qaeda’s definition of Jihad.
What we saw in this film was how different individuals, who are practicing Muslims, deal with certain emotions towards the same sex.
We saw a Sunni Sheikh’s opinion and a Shiite Sheikh opinion. Apparently in the Sunni belief is that the punishment for homosexuality is death. In the Shiite belief there is some debate to whether the person should be killed or not. The Shiite sheikh told the gay muslim “keep asking for forgiveness and if that doesn’t work, see a psychologist”. Its interesting that a sheikh would suggest psychology, its a little hypocritical and a lot progressive.
What was interesting to me was seeing how these people can believe in Islam and still have homosexual emotions. A lot of homosexuals end up leaving their faith because they feel that there is no room for them in it. These individuals however believe that homosexuality is not wrong in Islam. It was said in the film that when the Quran refers to about Sodom and Gomorra they were referring to the act of rape and destruction that is “haram” rather than same sex relations.
We saw one lesbian couple that was looking up the punishment for being lesbians and they found that since there is no penetration the punishment is only to be rebuked. Then one of them said maybe if she is punished then she would feel better. A lot of these practicing muslims feel guilty most of the time because their faith tells them that the emotions they have towards the same sex is wrong and against nature.
What Pavez was trying to do was to show us a different perspective on Islam, instead of hearing Osama Bin Laden talk about Islam we are hearing it from homosexuals.
It’s a great way to get people talking.
The film actually got my mom to admit that even though she thinks homosexuality is unnatural, she does think that it is “out of their hands” or “mish bi 2eedon” and they should not be prosecuted for that.
I personally have absolutely nothing against homosexuals, i think it would be cool if we could stop calling them homosexuals, and placing them in a separate category. There is no love for males or love for females, but love for people, any person…

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