Is it the time for ‘A Jihad for love’?

Looking at the current world affairs, one would notice that homosexuality is gaining moral ground each day. It happens at the same time where Islam is losing moral ground due to some fanatic extremists who took over custody of the religion and flattened the beautiful sides of Jihad to demonstrate a state of terror.

This post isn’t meant to compare between a sexual orientation and a religion. The only common ground between the two, are the headlines that they are making in the media around the globe. There is no denial that there is a mass interest in both identities.

It comes to no surprise the emergence of films like ‘Jihad for Love’. ‘Jehad for Love’ is a documentary films that highlights the lives of several people around the world who identifies themselves to be Muslims and homosexuals at the same time. Despite the contradiction that arises when someone hears both words as Islam forbade homosexuality, and homosexual acts defies Islamic rules, those people in the film refuses to let go any of their identities. How would they when religion can be as strong as a definition of their own life, and when homosexuality is part of their inner body nature rather than an immoral tendency?

The films takes us to South Africa where a Muslim Imam who happened to be married and have children come to realize his homosexuality. I know that the mere existence of such a man, or even mentioning him, would be perceived as an offence to many Muslim people. He, himself, seems to realize that, but he wasn’t ready to quite his mission as a servant of Allah, and he wasn’t ready as well to betray his own nature. He decided to be as honest as a real human can be, he studied his scriptures and found a common ground between his religion and sexual orientation, he found his inner peace and decided to take it to public. He came out to the Muslim South African community. He was faced with rage and death threats, but he decided to fight. He believed in his moral cause not just because it suits his homosexual nature, but because he believed that this is what is good for his religion: His belief in the sexual tolerance of Islam and its necessity for the religion itself. He knew his Jihad, and went after it.

In the same sense, the film takes us to Iran and the flee of a homosexual Muslim guy from prosecution by the government to Turkey and how he seek asylum to Canada because his life was threatened. It then highlights the life of two lesbian Muslim women living in Turkey and shows their religious side and their love for each other. It takes us as well to France and highlights the life of Mazen the Egyptian Muslim guy who has been prosecuted for the Queen boat incident in Egypt and now is living in France for his people and country failed him.

The beauty of the film lies in the human essence of those people. The taken scenes of them praying in mosks and refusing to abandon their religion is very human. It shows us the real strength of Islam. Because, despite the global assault on it, a 1500 years old religion must be deep enough to come up over the bruises caused by its enemies and its distorted loyalists.

Islam needs more people to ‘jihad’ (fight) for love. The title of the film is beautiful, not in the essence of just same sex love, but in the essence of what Islam needs at this point of time. Those homosexuals, and despite of their people failing them, are coming out to the world and declaring the beautiful face of Islam. This is a true ‘Jihad’, and it is beautiful.


  1. Fantastic.. i interviewed pervez the producer during the pride festival in stockholm this summer… he had a very nice debate about hate crime, on the other side it was a swedish church priest who is also openly gay.. the result.. they suggested new ideas against hate crime to the EU, through the finnish justice minister…like it or not… the hbt group has massive lobbying powers… just not in the muslim world yet..


  2. Here’s what i don’t get…since Islam clearly forbids homosexuality, how do muslims fighting in favor of homosexuality, or specifically THEIR homosexuality, considered “jihad” in Islam? In other words, we are arguing that the fight to change or mold the religion to suit one’s needs is a noble pursuit.Something doesn’t sound right about that.


  3. rami, too bad 😦Nas, actually a religion like Islam is so big and so deep and so dynamic. The base is the Quran and the Hadith, but then you have people who interpret the versus and Sheikhs who study, examine, think and issue their percption. If something doesn’t sound right, maybe we haven’t got it right. And maybe new religious scientist would have a better perception than older ones. Maybe one would clear a misconception? or correct a common error, or discover a neglected hidden meaning. It doesnt mean that this is a mold of change of the religion. It can well indeed be a correction.As for usign the Jihad word. When you fight to clear something about your religion that you believe is right and serve the religion, then yes, it is a kind of Jihad, no?


  4. No offense, but my atheism is kicking in. This movie shows an apologetic point of view trying to fix what is essentially flawed.Sure, religions are created by humans and should be modified re-interpreted and mauled to the human needs. Since, I am an atheist, I understand that religions exist to serve our human needs, and hence we should fix those religions when the times change.But my major objection is that we are fixing what is essentially flawed. Instead of realizing that those religions are false, we find new excuses and new interpretations and claim that the new interpretations are compatible with the texts, or older interpretations. And its going to be an endless cycle, because those religions will never be good for all time, and all places.Islam and Christianity, both condemn homosexuality, and attempts to deny that are merely cases of denial of what is clearly stated in the scriptures.


  5. i dont want to get into a long debate about homosexuality but suffice to say…granted..there are things in islam that are shades of grey and have been argued over and debated over for decades, let alone centuries. but there are things that are pretty clear-cut as light and day, as stated in the quran and the ahadeeth of the prophet pbuh that have been verified and interpreted the exact same way by pretty much every scholar since the dawn of islam. and if it isn’t clear in the quran then the ahadeeth back it up. the prophet pbuh himself said that Allah curses anyone who practices what the people of Lut practiced (and judging by the story related in the quran and bible, he’s not talking about sewing). and he repeated it three times just so people could get it. and there are countless other clear-cut statements. so i, personally, dont see homosexuality as an unresolved issue in islam, which is plagued by ambiguity.


  6. DM, that is an atheist point of view that I respect, and do share somehow.But it is different for those people who are dying to find a middle ground between their religion and sexuality. If it gives them peace, then I salute them for it. Nas, it seems hard to avoid going into a debate about homosexuality while trying to make a point here.Some Christian religious scholars have re-interpreted Lut’s people story to be an act of violence and rape, rather than an act of homosexuality as we know it today. See, even in that verse, Allah prohibited what Lut’s people did. And while you say it is not sewing, some scholars would just prove it wasnt homosexuality either.I personally think that Islam ought to re-address homosexuality under the light of new scientific discoveries and social evolvements.


  7. Disclaimer: I am an atheist, so you might consider my views tainted 🙂The issue is that a certain group of people claim ownership to a specific religion. The a7adith have been vetted by people to figure out what is authentic and what has been made up. Only 10% of the claimed a7adith survived. And somehow, they are now taken as a fact.Given that a hundred years have passed between the a7adith, I would take them with a grain of salt. (This is my personal opinion). Now taking the Quran/Bible or whatever ancient book that is considered holy. They are subject to interpretation as the observer mentioned. Unless I have studied it personally and made my own conclusions about it, I would take all interpretations with a grain of salt.So I guess religion will be with us for a long time, since there is enough vagueness in there to be molded to different times and situations.


  8. “Given that a hundred years have passed between the a7adith, I would take them with a grain of salt. “I meant to say that they were vetted after a century or so from the passing away of the Prophet


  9. nicely written.I’m happy to see some Muslims accept homosexuality. And I’m happy to see the religion reshape itself to fit this age, because I believe we require change for prosperity.But, this is from my atheist point of view. It is very clear that both Islam and Christianity condemn homosexuality, and changing the religion to suit our need questions the need for that religion in the first place. I find your argument of maybe he was referring to rape and violence rather than homosexuality is fairly weak. Islam did come 1500 years ago, and at that time homosexuality was definitely not accepted. Since I believe religions are created by humans, I doubt people at that time were concerned with gay rights.


  10. a different perspective, sure, people at that time werent concerend with gay rights, that is most probably because the definition of gay as a sexual orientation hasn’t been defined yet. But same sex practices wasn’t an un-common behaviour back then through the different era of the Islamic history. Check out Abu Nawas poems and you can tell.


  11. yeah I agree same sex practices were not un-common. But, I doubt that the Prophet Mohammad (or Jesus) supported them. He was definitely ahead of his time, but not to that extent. It would be too much to expect from a philosopher of his time anyway.


  12. a different perspective, I doubt they were against it either. They both we tolerante men, and it hasnt been an issue at their time I guess. In the bible, Jesus never mentions it!


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