A Sinner in Mecca review – Islam, homosexuality and the hope of tolerance

Source: The Guardian

Parvez Sharma is a proud gay Muslim whose first film, A Jihad For Love, was the first ever made about Islam and homosexuality. It made him the subject of death threats throughout the Arab world.

Nevertheless, the power of his faith and his curiosity as a journalist propelled him to take the Hajj pilgrimage of to Saudi Arabia – a journey that also became a film – even though he knew if he was identified at the border his punishment would almost certainly be a beheading.

“Immense faith had brought me here,” he writes. “I was obeying my highest calling as a Muslim.”

Somehow, the name on his Indian passport did not set off any alarm bells. The result is the first book about the Hajj from a gay perspective, written by a man with a deep knowledge of Islamic history. This pilgrimage is the centerpiece of his book, and he recounts it with courage and fierce emotion.

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