I watched the documentary A Jihad For Love (IMDB.com) with Tammam & Dan on Monday at the Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. Jihad profiles gay and lesbian Muslims in South Africa, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, India, and other Muslim communities.
It was interesting seeing the parallels between these Muslims' struggle and the struggle many conservative Christians. One scene, in which an imam told a gay Muslim man that homosexuality is a sin and to hope for change, could have easily been replicated in a conservative church.
Jihad reminded me of last year's For The Bible Tells Me So which portrayed the struggles of gay and lesbian conservative Christians. However, Jihad offered more of real time snapshot of the day in the life of gays and lesbians in these repressive countries.
The imprisonments, lashings, death threats and police beatings that these men and women face certainly put gays' political/religious struggle in the West in context. However, there were some optimistic moments as well: the birthday of an early (Hindu?) prophet who was known for having a young male lover is celebrated annually somewhere in Asia (India?); a gay wedding discreetly celebrated in Iran; a lesbian couple living relatively open in Turkey; a South African Muslim group showing openness to a more accurate interpretation of Sodom & Gomorrah. And one of the funniest moments came from gay man's young son who tells his father that homosexuals should be stoned -- especially if they don't buy him a KFC sandwich.