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18.11.07

MJC Protests and The Nation Feature

The MJC has sent a fax of protest over our Friday featured interview on The Voice of the Cape here in Cape Town.
Meanwhile this radio station has been asking its listeners this on the front page of their website, which gets more than a million hits.
"VOC came in for flack from the MJC and some callers who believed discussing whether or not documentaries like the gay film Jihad for Love helped Muslims deal with homosexuality was creating a platform for something most Muslims would never accept. Do you believe VOC should not be covering controversial issues like homosexuality and the two Eids?"
The results are surprising.
Yesterday we finished our South Africa tour, only for the moment. Yet again, we had a packed audience and a very special guest in our Q&A: Imam Muhsin Hendricks' daughter, who joined him on stage to thunderous applause.
Also, in the US, "The Nation" has this feature on the film.
Please go to The Nation's website to comment.
AND YES, PLEASE GO TO THE VOICE OF THE CAPE TO VOTE IN LARGE NUMBERS.

MEANWHILE WE HAVE TWO MORE COMMENTS:

"this is Cape Town and I anticipated that the MJC would have some rather vitriolic comments about you, Muhsin and the film.Not to worry, we are all so proud of you"
AND THEN THIS:
"Yes u are right! This is Cape Town and the sunni Muslims here wil not and never tolerate this kind of propogation. We are all disgusted that Muslims are openly proud of their sins. Do not try to make us feel guilty for not accepting satanic behaviour. If a gay/homosexual man gives R1000000 in charity,it doesnt justify the fact that he is sinning. If he fasts all his life,and doesnt control his sexual orientation then he is living a lie. So please dont try to impress the gay community by doing this 'brave' act of expressing these sinful ways in the name of Islam. Impress Allah instead! And uphold his Name in the face of false impression. Be the man that you are and fight your inner Satan. Not even satan is gay! Im saying this out of concern.. Allah guide us all to the 'STRAIGHT' path. Aameen!"

FINALLY THIS AMAZING EMAIL FROM SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY SAW THE FILM ; ) LAST NIGHT:

"Good-day Parvez,

I just came out of the packed Cinema in The Waterfront, Cape Town and can truly say I am taken in by the movie even me not being Muslim. I cannot really say I have experienced the same things that these courageous men and women have, and can only fear the outcome within their own country should they have remained there.

I am very concerned vis-à-vis the things revealed to us within the movie, and yes, you are right when you continually confirm that we must and should be lucky to live in a country that brings hope and remains to encourage those who feel threatened currently, despite the many problems we face daily.

I read with discontent the responses on other sites, others opinions and reactions of the documentary, yet them not really aware of the issues facing these man and women. I’m sure we echo the same sentiments as gays(GLBTI), when I say, to be normal is to be who you are truly comfortable with internally, and so the struggle would continue whether you are gay or straight, the battles don’t end because you define yourself as heterosexual? What the Imam’s daughter said tonight is true, whether you are black, white or dyslectic (as she put it), we accept the person in that form as they are (given to us by Gods Love), and so why is it so hard to accept someone who’s gay?

The documentary endeavors to open the can that has expired and been placed in storage. It reveals to us that awareness of the subject will spark debate and will lead to greater understanding and acceptance in the end.

The documentary being 8 weeks old since its debut in Toronto has still got many paths to venture, and by tonight’s response, I’m sure the road will become easier and smoother as it progresses to fulfill its desire for unity and acceptance within the broader Muslim community.

I feel honored to have watched it and can applaud you on a job well done and pray that your mission may be a success as you continue on your journey ahead.

Many thanks for a well informed and great documentary with brilliant answers that followed through the Q&A.

Regards
Thurlo"

3 comments:

Faheem Jackson said...

I have read the VOC radio article about the topic as well as The Nation's article. What i conclude here is that it seems that Homosexuality has become a topic which certain individuals have modified in the Muslim society to something which should be accepted.
I would like to share with you A question by a Gay (non-muslim) person wishing to enter Islam. He posed a question on the Sunni website as follows ... "Answered by Sidi Tarek Ghanem
I am a 35-year-old French man living in Paris. In the last two years I heard a lot of things about Islam, and I believe that my mind started to change and accept that nice religion. Please try to be patient with me, because I’m new to everything about Islam. I liked and believed that idea in Islam which says after all people die, every person will go either to Hell or Paradise.

My issue is that I heard that gay relationship in Islam is unlawful. I’m sorry to say that I’m gay, and the thing which prevents me to become a Muslim is my being gay. I know that gay sex is not the normal thing, and the relationship must be between man & woman.

I respect all Islam’s instructions NOW…

Let us say that I became a Muslim and I am not gay any more because I want to follow Islam’s instructions so I can enter Paradise after death … OK? On the other hand, I’m sure that I will still like gay relationships from my inside … but I will not be gay any more as I said above. It’s like stopping drinking alcohol while you like to drink it. You stop it because it’s unlawful in Islam.

My question is about relationships and instructions in Paradise: Let’s say that I entered Paradise, I know that I can wish for anything there and get it ... right??? Now, can I ask or wish and get something like gay people in Paradise?

Very sorry for that question, but I need to know if I can have a gay relationship in Paradise. I asked you this question because my Muslim friend told me that everything is possible to get in Paradise if you follow Islam’s instructions in this life. Honestly, the most beautiful thing in my life is being gay … honestly, I love it.

And I need to know about the nature of Paradise and the kind of relationships there. Sorry again for my long question, but I’m so serious and interested about Islam. Many thanks.


the Answer brilliantly came.. "Salams
Please forgive us for the delay in answering you and bear with us. I also need to thank you for your interest and trust, which I hope we will meet.

There is a story that that I heard from a friend that could help as a parable. A sheikh in Turkey was asked by a man who wanted to embrace Islam, who said that he truly wanted to become a Muslim but he still believed that he could not do without a sip of wine every now and then. The sheikh’s reply was a smiley nod. The man continued by saying that also a piece of ham would not harm every now and then. The sheikh’s reply did not change. The man said I also fancy drugs every now and then. The sheikh’s graceful and calm reply was “Go ahead and believe in God. As for the rest, is not that what all Muslims fight themselves against?”

The moral of the story is that the sheikh is not giving a green light for the man to go on with these things. Instead, he is saying that the purification of the heart is the essence of what we always struggle for, against our desires and the foul sides of our egos. But to get stuck on something—whether sinful or not, doubtful or otherwise, trivial or significant—in relation to something as essential and immanent as faith in God, is not proper, if not tragically amiss.

There is a hierarchal paradigm in Islam: that Allah—exalted in His majesty—comes first, then Islam, and then Muslims. To put it differently: Demonstrating, calling to, and working for the cause of the oneness of God, Who is One All-Merciful, Transcendent, Immanent, and Omnipotent—in addition to all His other attributes—are more important than religious matters—both esoteric, or even less importantly, exoteric—or even the state of the coreligionists, per se.

So, simply, for you to leave the blessing that God has bestowed upon you, of Him guiding you, opening the eyes of your heart to Himself, for whatever reason; or for you to not be able to give up anything whatsoever; or for you to think that the obligations that come with such a belief and worldview are beyond your capacity—that’s not acceptable. It is self-destructive.

Many people, Muslims and otherwise, are born blind. Others are born clinically mad or mutilated. Others are born fine but meet existential tragedies in their lives. Does any of that mean that the relativity of the world and the existence of imperfections, defects, sin, and incompetence—does that mean that we should not obey God, the Perfect, Absolute, and All-Kind Being? If anything, these traits of the world are there to show that without a God, we as beings spiritual and physical cannot face and dwell in the world to the fullest.

The point here is that we worship God unconditionally and leave it to Him to help us with our human condition, in this case, living our lives as He wants us; and if our lives are not the way we want, it is the state of our faith that determines our happiness. It is not the hardship that is needed, it is the spirit to go through that is. Meaning that the closest people to Allah, prophets and the like, are the ones who were tested the most. Still, their strong spirits and faith are what helped them and what made them what they are. Abraham, Jesus, and Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon them all) are examples.

Your hardship is understandable. It is not be taken against you. To fight a temptation like yours is not easy. May God be on your side and assist you to fight it. If anything, having homosexual tendencies does not mean that you are sinful; yet it does not mean that one who does not have them has a privilege over you. Your situation is not special. Many, many people are tested in different degrees in sexuality and in many other things. Even worse, some people, Muslim or otherwise, might take their homophobia out on you. One should always focus and prioritize and expect to always find hardship and disagreement. This is life, after all.

So that is not a hindrance enough to stop you from pursuing your spiritual and intellectual beliefs.

Then again, once you embrace Islam, always keep asking God’s guidance to help you with your case.

As for the second part of your question, concerning the state of affairs in Paradise, I guess you should be aware of the following. What does “anything” mean? If, in a worldly sense, the most powerful human says “I can do anything,” what are the scope and boundaries of that? Still, this is within human limitations in this world. Humans will be humans in this world and the Hereafter. Meaning, absolutism will always be an attribute of God, in this life and the afterlife.

How do you know, that you will be the same in the afterlife (once you are in Paradise, to which a person with your sincerity should go)? The Qur’an gives many references that in Paradise the human hearts will be “healed” (meaning of all human deficiencies and psychoses). Paradise, designed to be the place for ultimate rejoicing and delight, is the place where all our failings and deficiencies will cease to exist. Still, life, afterlife, or whatever state of being that exists within the realm of divine governance—they all are governed by absolute and unchanging divine principles, that do not change. And whatever God sees as impure, against the primordial nature of the human, or sinful, seems to also continue to have the same position/state in all parallel worlds and stations of existence.

If “anything” is allowed, then maybe someone would want to rape, kill, or even be more powerful than God in Paradise. No, only God is Absolute in His putting the boundaries for the limitations of the world(s) and creatures. The life, limited and relative as it is, or the afterlife, limitless and infinite as it is, both will be the way the Divine planned them to be. There is no evidence otherwise, and this is more logical. Or else, the afterlife would be a place to fulfill some things that were immoral and sinful in the eyes of God in one stage of life, and it seems that He would be inconsistent—praised be He in His perfection. This unequivocally goes against His absoluteness and consistency. God would not be God if He were so. Humans will be different humans (of course, only in relation to the norms of the afterlife and within the realms of the state of being in Paradise). God will all the time be God.

I sincerely pray to meet you in Paradise to see how things will be there.

Thank you, and please keep in touch. "

Anonymous said...

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,


Praise be to Allah, and may His blessings and peace shower upon our Beloved Messenger.


Allah, the Exalted, has stated quite emphatically in the Qur’an that homosexuality is a sin. If homosexuality were something natural and congenital (meaning that you're born with it), then Allah would not have made it a sin and destroyed the people of Lut (peace be upon him) for it.


Today, many homosexuals attempt to justify their behavior by claiming that they were born that way. This is really just a way to give in to their desires without addressing the underlying causes of their behavior. Your co-worker was not born this way. But, somehow in early childhood he was exposed to something that predisposed him toward homosexuality. Although no one is born homosexual, there are environmental factors which can predispose someone to certain types of behaviors.


Even if we concede that there might be a genetic component to homosexuality, in the same way that some alcoholics have genes that predispose them to alcoholism, this doesn't mean that one has to give in to these desires. It is possible that someone might feel that they have a desire to kill someone, steal, set fire to something, or abuse children. Does that mean they should act on these feelings because they can't help it? Certainly not!


Allah does not place on us a burden that we cannot bear. Allah's wisdom is infinite. There are many reasons why He has made homosexuality unlawful. Our Creator has put us on this earth so that we may obey Him. Part of obeying Him is to fight desires that take us away from our or divinely-ordained nature (fitra). Homosexuality is one such desire that subverts the natural sexuality of men and women.


As to men in Pakistan who cross dress, they have no one but themselves to blame for their behavior. Islam makes it quite clear that men are to be men and women are to be women. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, spoke about the sinfulness of imitating members of the opposite sex.



All we have to do is look to the perfect example of our Prophet to know what is appropriate.

And Allah knows best.

Anonymous said...

I would like to advise all gay people who consider themselves Muslim, to consult with the Scholars with the majority viewpoint. There is no bargaining the laws of Allah (Most High), as we (general public) have an obligation to follow those in authority over us(religious appointed scholars). In this argument and highly flammable topic,there are only two references to which we need to consult i.e; Quran and Sunnah. Non-muslims have no say in the Islamic legal rulings here. Can a small group of workers decide to override the working conditions of their company? Example: they take a two hour lunch and half hour tea breaks in their 9 hr shift, if the general rule allows an hour lunch. I think they will be taken to task and even get fired. If they continue transgressing the laws of the business, they will be the cause to blame. So lets not willingly get ourselves 'fired' from Islam. Islam is a pure religion, and should be preserved by its followers. Allah is not in need of us if we dont care about His laws. So any non-muslims empathetic responses to the so called muslim gay issue shouldnt be used against clearly defined laws set by Allah. I say this with much respect to the non-muslims who read this. On the day of resurrection we will be raised amongst the group/nation which we immitate. Who on earth chooses to be amongst the people of Lot?! Thats just absurd!

Followers

This JIHAD IS ON FIRE

September 2007 is when I started (with a finished film, my first) and now some 49 countries and 8 million people later, the whole world is talking. The movement around this work has begun worldwide. We will be screening next year around the world and yes in Muslim countries as well.

For more updates email me at parvezsharmaATgmailDOTcom and post your comments here as well.


Imam Muhsin Hendricks and his website for the Inner Circle

Director/Producer Parvez Sharma

Director/Producer Parvez Sharma
All the Breaking News around 'A Jihad for Love' is at this blog address. You can email Parvez directly at parvezsharmaATgmailDOTcom

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