Islam’s Most Unlikely Storytellers

Contrary to popular belief, the word jihad does not translate specifically to “holy war” (just like Muslim does not mean “scary bad guy American-hater”). The Arabic word’s meaning also encompasses individual, spiritual, and moral struggles.

Parvez Sharma, director of A Jihad for Love, is no stranger to struggle; he is both homosexual and Muslim, a big no-no in Islam. His film documents the experiences of gays and lesbians around the world who strive to accept, understand, and love within the religion that condemns them. Despite the intolerance they suffer, and the sometimes violent consequences from extremists, they strive to keep their faith strong and continue their jihad, all while opening a much-needed dialogue about diversity. Catch A Jihad for Love when it screens this week (beginning on June 27) at Sunrise Cinemas Gateway (1820 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets range from $6 to $8.50. Visit
June 27-July 3, 2008

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Heather Burdick