A Jihad for Love, Movie Trailer

In a time when Islam is under a tremendous attack, “A Jihad for Love” is a daring documentary filmed in twelve countries and nine languages. Muslim gay filmmaker Parvez Sharma is a film that was not an option.

“A Jihad for Love.” Sharma’s debut and the world’s first feature documentary to explore the complex global intersections between Islam and homosexuality. Parvez enters the many worlds of Islam by illuminating multiple stories as diverse as Islam itself. The film travels a wide geographic arc presenting us from India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa and France. Parvez makes the film from within the faith, depicting Islam with the same respect. “A Jihad for Love” is produced by Sandi DuBowski (Director / Producer of the award-winning “Trembling Before Gd”) and Parvez Sharma in association with ZDF-Arte, Channel 4, LOGO, SBS-Australia, The Sundance Documentary Fund and The Katahdin Foundation.

In Western media, the concept of ‘jihad’ is often narrowly equated with holy war. But Jihad also has a deeper meaning, its literal Arabic being ‘struggle’ or ‘to strive in the path of God’. In this film we meet several characters engaged in their personal Jihad’s for love. The people in this movie have a lot to teach us about love. Their pursuit of love has brought them into conflicts with their countries, families, and even themselves. Such a quandary of being both homosexual and Muslim.

As a result, the majority of gay and lesbian Muslims must travel a lonely and often dangerous road. The majority of Muslims believe that homosexuality is forbidden by the Qur’an and many scholars quote Hadith (sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) to directly condemn homosexuality. Islam is already the second largest religion in the world. 50 nations have a Muslim majority. In a few of these nations laws interpreted from alleged Qur’anic prohibitions of male homosexuality (lesbianism is allegedly absent from the Qur’an) are enforced by religious, tribal or military authorities to monitor, entrap, imprison, torture and even execute homosexuals. Even for those who migrate to Europe or North America and adopt the “gay” or “queer,” the relative freedoms of the new homelands, the persistent racial profiling and intensified state surveillance after the attacks of 9/11 and train bombings in Madrid and London.

As a result, many gay and lesbian Muslims end up renouncing their religion completely. But the real-life characters of A “Jihad for Love” aren’t willing to abandon a faith they cherish and that sustains them. Instead, they struggle to reconcile. “A Jihad for Love” doesn’t seek Islam, but rather negotiate a new relationship to it. In the so-called, the film’s extraordinary characters attempt to move the hostile, war-torn present, towards a more hopeful future. As one can imagine, it was a difficult decision for the subjects to participate in the film. It took the filmmaker six years to finish this movie and he felt like they had stepped forward to tell their stories that they are Islam’s most unlikely storytellers. All of them feel that this movie is so important for over a billion Muslims. They are willing to take the risk in their quest to lay claim to their profoundly held faith.

A Jihad for Love’s characters takes a great deal of Islam, some observing a rigorously orthodox regimen, others leading highly secular lifestyles while remaining spiritually devout. As the camera attentively captures their stories, the film’s gay and lesbian characters emerge in all their human complexity, giving the viewer an honest rendering of their lives while complicating our assumptions about a monolithic Muslim community. Crucially, this film speaks with a Muslim voice, unlike other documentaries. Jihad as a “struggle” rather than a “war,” the film presents the struggle for love.

Plot Keywords: Muslim, Trial, Gay Islam, Gay, Turkey, Gay Interest, Homophobia, India, LGBT, South Africa, Gay Rights, Iran, Lesbian, Islam, Homosexuality, Paris France, Prison Rape, Religion, Pakistan, Imam, Religious Fundamentalism, Egypt, Imprisonment.

Date: 2008-04-04 23:07:48
Duration: 00:02:12

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