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.