‘A Sinner in Mecca’ documents gay Muslim pilgrimage

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ndian-born director Parvez Sharma’s new documentary “A Sinner in Mecca” is a rebuke of Saudi Arabia and its strict Wahhabi form of Islam, but it is also deeply personal — a man trying to reconcile his faith with his sexuality (AFP Photo/)
New York (AFP) – The confession of a Pakistani murderer. Overzealous religious police. An Arab angered after his pregnant wife was molested in the holiest site known to Islam.
A new film made by a gay Muslim pilgrim offers a English-speaking Western audience a warts-and-all view of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in a documentary that has attracted death threats and an online hate campaign.
It is a rebuke of Saudi Arabia and its strict Wahhabi form of Islam, but it is also deeply personal — a man trying to reconcile his faith with his sexuality.
From that perspective which includes footage of his wedding to his American husband in New York, millions of Muslims will likely find “A Sinner in Mecca” provocative if not offensive.
But director and pilgrim, Indian-born New Yorker Parvez Sharma, sees it as a wake-up call for a faith followed by nearly a quarter of humanity which he believes has been hijacked by a violent minority.
“Islam is imploding upon itself right now and there’s a huge crisis,” Sharma told AFP.
Muslim pilgrims gather on Mount Arafat near Mecca as they perform one of the Hajj rituals on October 3, 2014 (AFP Photo/Mohammed al-Shaikh)
“It (a reformation) is happening, but it is happening too slowly and we’re running out of time.”
“The change needs to happen with Wahhabi Islam — that is the root of all the problems,” he said.
Sharma associates with the Sufi branch of Islam common in his homeland India, which unlike Wahhabism embraces music and a more mystical — and less dogmatic — approach to faith.
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Source:: PM Newspaper