A Jihad for Love


(Parvez Sharma, 2007, English)

Fourteen centuries after the revelation of the holy Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Islam today is the world’s second largest and fastest growing religion. Muslim gay filmmaker Parvez Sharma travels the many worlds of this dynamic faith discovering the stories of its most unlikely storytellers: lesbian and gay Muslims. Filmed over 5 1/2 years, in 12 countries and 9 languages, “A Jihad for Love” comes from the heart of Islam. Looking beyond a hostile and war-torn present, this film seeks to reclaim the Islamic concept of a greater Jihad, which can mean ‘an inner struggle’ or ‘to strive in the path of God’. In doing so the film and its remarkable subjects move beyond the narrow concept of ‘Jihad’ as holy war.

Director’s Bio

Sharma was born and raised in India. He has been educated in India, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Parvez studied English Literature at Presidency College of the University of Calcutta. He received his master’s degrees in Mass Communication (Film and Television) from Jamia Millia Islamia University, Broadcast Journalism from the University of Wales, Cardiff, and Video from American University’s School of Communication. He currently lives in New York. Sharma identifies as gay and as Muslim. A journalist, Sharma has worked with numerous media, including radio, print, and broadcast. He has worked with award-winning filmmakers and on programming for BBC World Television (India), the Discovery Channel (United States), and the World Bank (United States).

Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008, 4:30 PM