The Fourth Week is Upon Us

Tomorrow we will begin our fourth week at the IFC with two new showtimes: 3 45 and 6:45. Please show up in large numbers this weekend-we need to prove that this film has longevity at the US Box Office, so that more films like this one you love can follow behind our example!
Here are two new emails:
I thoroughly enjoyed watching "A Jihad for Love" this last weekend and have been thinking about it ever since. One of the points I have been coming back to is that it is a portrayal about the diversity of Islam itself. From the outside, I think many of us lump all of Islam into one homogenous entity. I imagine that similarly, many non-Christians view all Christianity as the same, non-Jews Judaism, etc.
In your film, I saw first-hand how different Islam can be from country to country, and thus by extension how different the experiences of gay Muslims can be from one country to another. While I knew Turkey was a secular state, it still amazed me that gay Iranians could find sanctuary in another Muslim country.
Which brings me to the sad and angry emails you have been getting. What they seem to have in common is a sense that there must be a single right way to be a Muslim (which seems to include a 'death to all gays' line item) and that all other paths must be wrong. To me, the fact that Islam is interpreted so differently in so many different places around the world suggests that there are in fact many right ways to be a Muslim and that some of those approaches might involve tolerance towards gays and lesbians.
I don't expect that your film will change the most closed-minded people out there, but I do believe that as more people see it, more will begin to understand the complexity around reconciling an individual's sexuality with their religion and culture. What our all-too-often violent world needs is more understanding, not less.
Wishing you all the best,
L. James

And this rather tongue-in-cheek email from Indian gay rights activist, Ashok Rowk Kavi (who I love but whose Hindutva rhetoric sometimes escapes me!):
Honourable Imam Muhsin Hendricks,
I read your comments to my posting which first appeared on the SAJA list. I am a bit surprised that you insist on calling Allah by the female gender. The word Allah is the male version of Lat, one of the three Holy Virgins of Arabia, Al-Lah being the male term of her name LAT. The three Holy Virgins being Lat, Ozza and Mannat.
The Prophet usurped their temples in Makka six centuries after the Jewish myth figure of Yesuha bin Yusef (Jesus, son of Joseph). So if you wish to use the female gender please use the correct one by saying LAT.
However, the Prophet DID try and revert to the cult of the Holy Virgins of Arabia in what are called the Satanic Verses, mentioning which got the Islamic apostate Salman Rushdie into trouble.
I recommend you read Al-Kindy to know about the damage caused by Islam to the cults of the Three Holy Virgins of Arabia....
I am preparing a bigger version of my retort to you on my blog 'Gileri Uvacha', which means 'The Squirrel Speaks', after the legend of the blessed animal which contributed little pebbles in building the great Bridge Maryada Purshottam Sri Ram built from India to Sri Lanka in 3000 BCE to cross over and rescue his wife Sita from the demon Ravana.
There I will give you the historical context of the hatred for homosexuality that is a cultural indicator of the Semitic tribal cults of the Judaic group of Abrahamic theogonies.
I will not go further in talking to you on this blog as my friend Parvez Sharma calls it the Islamic "Universe" which I deny as there is more to humanity besides Islam -- or Hinduism!.
In the name of the Three Holy Virgins of Arabia, I bless you with the symbol of their mukut (crown) the Crescent and Star, which has been appropriated on the pendant of Islam.
-- Ashadevi Saundatti, devotee of Her Holiness Renuka Devi in South India, where the Dharma of Holy Temple Prostitution is still followed as in pre-Islamic Arabia (Ashok Row Kavi)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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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