Love Jihadi, Parvez Sharma Blogs Here

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Parvez Sharma also blogs at The Huffington Post,

Parvez writes for The Guardian

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Such an amazing discussion in the cinema last night- an Imam (ours), two Rabbis and two Christian priests and yes the show was a sell out! People were remarkably engaged and moved. Clearly this film is touching people in ways I had not even imagined possible.
Here is another email

Salaam Alaikum, Parvez!

I was gladly surprised to hear from you, the producer and Imam Muhsin and Mazin. Several friends who joined me were equally glad to hear the many questions and the panel responses.

Thank you again for bringing this film to the wider world screen.

I did give you my card to forward to Mazin. My question for him was close to being answered at the very end of the Q& A. But if you would indulge me, I might state my concerns more clearly, which Mazin could answer if possible.

Before the Queenboat event in Egypt, was there a sense for those who frequented the club of a greater personal freedom, or was there an impending sense of danger which the frequenters accommodated?

I believe that during Q & A, a passing mention of Wahabism was obscured by the fuller discussion of Sufism. I began thinking of the various responses to Sufism which I encountered whenever I mentioned my recent reversion to Islam. There was never a discussion as much as a dismissal of its validity. I never proffered the fact of my gayness, since my faith was young and in need of nurturing. I sensed the greater cultural differences which exist among the spectrum of Muslims throughout the world.

Mazin seemed to confirm the "in your face" nature of answering "I'm gay," especially to his mother. The response to deny his gayness was a Muslim response borne of one's respect for the imaan of his mother. Her blessing was given out of love. And what he said during Q&A was that because his mother is his mother, she was knowing of his life and wanting him to live it honest to himself. I admired his maturity at once.

I'm aware of your film because I subscribe to Muslim Gay Men, and seek to understand how people reconcile the identity of being gay with the reality of Islam. I, unlike those in the film, am one who gay-identified before accepting Islam. Needless to say, I get very little advice from my fellow brothers and sisters, since largely, they are from the Middle East, where individuating identity is anathema to the collective philosophy of the region. I believe, like all Muslims, that it is the responsibility of each brother and sister to study and learn from this life, as your movie purposefully demonstrates,

When you covered Turkey, I was homesick for my friends in Istanbul, who lovingly embrace me whole, straight as they are, and Muslim born. I was happy to see images from throughout Turkey, including Konya, Ankara and Istanbul. I was fortunate to visit eastern Turkey, last year, where the Muslim culture is pretty much undilluted.
Thank God for my faith. Thank God for persons who challenge cultural proscriptions. InshAllah, this jihad resolves peacefully for those who dare to be honest, for the sake of the ummah, and in God's name.

Any thoughts from you or Mazin, Imam Muhsin, or any other from the film is appreciated



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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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