A JIHAD FOR LOVE (Parvez Sharma, U.S./Germany/UK/Australia). 81 minutes. Subtitled. Saturday (May 17), Isabel Bader, 2:15 pm. Rating: NNNN
Faith is a powerful thing. When official Islam rejects them, when their communities throw them out, queer Muslims remain devoted to their religion.
In A Jihad For Love, Parvez Sharma travels to 12 countries – including Turkey, France and South Africa – to track queers struggling with this painful conflict. Many of his subjects have left countries where homosexuality is illegal, only to experience discrimination in their new land.
Like the queers in Trembling Before G-d, the Orthodox Jewish variation on this theme, Jihad’s subjects yearn to reconcile their love of Allah with their sexuality. Some of the spiritual leaders are compassionate, hopeful that these gays will change and absolutely certain that their religion can’t tolerate homosexuality.
By shooting to emphasize cultural difference in his locations, Sharma presses the point that very similar problems can exist in very different countries.
An important primer on queer oppression.