Mar 4 2009
CHANNEL 4 has come under fire from Islamic leaders over a television documentary showing how gay and lesbian Muslims suffer under their laws.
March 3, 2009
Its director has already had death threats because homosexuality is strictly forbidden by The Koran. Now station chiefs are bracing themselves for a backlash. Its digital channel More 4 will show A Jihad For Love tonight.
It lifts the lid on the battle gay and lesbian Muslims face as they struggle with their faith and their sexuality. The documentary not only shows gay Muslims daring to kiss, holding hands and talking about getting married, it also provides harrowing reports on the suffering they have faced under Islamic law.
And it reveals the death threats and punishments handed out to gays in countries including Egypt and Iran.
Indian film maker Parvez Sharma – who spent six years making the programme – revealed: “I have had death threats on my blog after making this film. Some countries have even banned it. “I’ve been called an apostate because Muslims think I have insulted Islam but I think it will open up a debate.”
Islamic leaders in the UK have attacked the documentary, saying it will offend, anger and shock. An Imam from Europe’s largest mosque The Baitul Futuh based in Surrey condemned the film last night, saying: “These people should not be confessing their sins to the television cameras.
Last night a Channel 4 spokesman defended the documentary. She said: “This is a sensitively made documentary that has played to critical acclaim at film festivals internationally and is a legitimate area for a documentary film-maker to explore.”
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