Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jihad for Love

Parvez Sharma believes the gay and lesbian Muslims in A Jihad for Love, his new documentary, are an unlikely but compelling group of storytellers.

While discussing the challenges of being gay Muslims, they also are giving audiences a glimpse into the world of Islam.

"I think the greatest stories of empowerment about a religion can be told through their most vulnerable minorities," Sharma said. "And I realize that deeply with gay and lesbian Muslims. ... These are people who are deeply religious and who, in spite of all the condemnations and sometimes interference by the state and by governments, have held on to their faith. And they talk about Islam in such a profound and beautiful way."

Their stories gave Sharma, who came out as a gay man when he was 19 and living in his native India, more strength in his own Muslim identity, he said. (Houston Chronicle article)

I applaud these people for their strength in telling their story under such threat. But I can't help but wonder how they can still embrace a religion that despises them?

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