Death Threats and Love

Infact does the whole team including the remarkable human beings in the film need security, now? So there is this email (misspelt again)...

Im going to by to tell it how it is....Parvez Sharma needs to be killed no long thing
not forgeting the whole cast of the movie..make a example of sick people who try to mix there bullshit it the truth

Also this 'priceless' one
a gay muslim movie by 'Halal films'?? 'haram films' more like
Yes, 'gay muslims' do exist even tho its a contradiction in terms.
They can't read from the same Quraan that we do....how can they ignore the verses on homosexuality? the stories of the people of Hadhrat Lut PBUH are mentioned countless times in the Quraan...and still they do not heed... will they need a shower of hailstones/ an earthquake before they understand???

And then there is this email from Karin, someone who actually saw the film TWICE! And yes she is straight, no she is not Muslim and yes she brought her husband-how beautiful is this email and how heartfelt...

Dear Parvez,

As I walked into the dark hallway, a man holding a flashlight asked me “are you here for Jihad?” Without thinking I said yes. An hour and a half later I stepped out of the theater a fighter for Jihad, a Jihad for Love that is.

That same night, when I started to hand out flyers for the movie, I got responses going from “Why do you even care? You are a straight Catholic” to “I don’t know if that flyer creates a good image. I do not have an issue with the guys holding hands but that crescent moon looks so radical.” Those reactions are exactly why your movie, and its message, is important.

In my opinion we live in a society of boxes. Most people only socialize within their religion, their ethnicity, their standards. I feel that this unfamiliarity with other people creates mistrust and hostility and lately Muslims and homosexuals had to take a big burden of it. Gays and lesbians are accused of jeopardizing straight marriages simply by fighting for the right to have their own nuptials. Muslims see their religion deemed as radical and their people as savages who will not stop until the last infidel is beheaded. To my astonishment this anxiety grew to such proportions that a presidential candidate is easily branded a closet terrorist for having Hussein as a middle name and a coffee ad is being pulled because the spokesperson is wearing an ‘Arab looking’ scarf.

My husband (Indian Hindu) and I (Belgian Catholic) learned first hand that different cultures don’t merge without its problems and misunderstandings but we also found that some troubles and joys are the same wherever. It is easy enough to recognize the feelings of pain, sorrow, happiness and the need for belonging as seen in your movie. The pain of a mother who can no longer visit her son, the sorrow for a love lost, the joy of a pleasurable first meeting with your love’s family, the need for a spiritual connection…

I convinced my husband that this was a must see movie. Secretly I was looking forward to hearing his opinion, the opinion of a straight thinking guy. “That was great wasn’t it,” he said when the credits started rolling. Prodded to explain what he thought was so great about it, he held “it was very emotional; it must be so difficult for them.” He also added something that to me clarifies the success of the movie “it is well put together, very smooth and what he did with the penguin was the best part.”

Your movie is indeed “well put together”. This second viewing gave me a chance to take in even more of the wonderful editing, splendid details and subtext. Being that the filming had to be done in secret most of the time, the photography is surprisingly beautiful. I wish you all the best showing ‘A Jihad for Love’ in different cities and countries and hope for many successful Q&A’s.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. As John Lennon said “you can say I am a dreamer but I am not the only one.” As much as I would like to see a world without boxes, for now I’ll settle for seeing bridges between them. Simple things make me happy. Noticing your and Sandi’s name as Producers was one of them.



RC saw the film and made 'Parvez' her middle name!

hi parvez
I went to see your film yesterday (as part of celebrating my 30th birthday) and was just so, so moved. i thought it was beautifully done, and i was struck by all the sheer effort that must've gone into a project like this. many many kudos to you for making something this important. i'm going to make sure everyone i know sees it during its fourth week.
- r parvez c (!)

Finally Imam Muhsin Hendricks has responded to Ashok Row Kavi's 'Hindutva' email as follows:
On the contrary Ashok, Allah is an arabic word made up of "Al", meaning "the" and "ilah", meaning "diety of worship". It is an Islamic first injunction to bring all attention to The Single Original Force which we call "The only diety worthy of worship", simply because HE/SHE is the Origin of all things that became possible. Allah (as redefined through the Quran) has nothing to do with pre-Islamic idolatory which you want to create a connection to. I'm sorry if Islam seems to you as an attack on the gods you wish to worship. I totally respect your choice of worship and I will defend your right to do so. I'm requesting the same.
Imam Muhsin

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