We are thrilled with our piece in the Daily Beast today with Nina Strochlic doing an excellent job framing this film. Its a must-read here. But predictably, the hate (and love) has started.
Here is a sampling of comments culled from several places including the Beast’s Facebook page.
Sojourneron writes: If he can complete the hajj, he believes that Islam has approved him as a gay Muslim.” Not really if he does this pretending to be a straight Muslim man. Getting away with something does not mean it is approved by the ones you fooled.
Fazah writes: What is he trying to prove? That he can slip into Mecca and perform the pilgrimage on the sly? Who cares? So do thousands of adulterers, drug addicts and alcoholics. That doesn’t mean Islam approves of adultery, drug use and alcohol. It’s irrelevant what his sexual persuasion is. Islam unequivocally forbids homosexuality; there is no doubt or debate in that regard. What he does in his personal life is between him and God.
Umabudulla writes: The hajj is an act of worship, not an act of defiance or a chance to make a film about yourself defying the religious principles. In Islam, the intention is very important, and Sharma’s intention is not to submit himself to God.”And anyone spotted with a recording device on the grounds was chased and even beaten by religious police.”He’s talking about a mobile phone? Just about everyone on hajj has a mobile phone; the idea that they’re beaten for that is ridiculous.”If he can complete the hajj, he believes that Islam has approved him as a gay Muslim.” And he’d get a one-way ticket to heaven? “By completing the hajj, a participant is forgiven for their sins.”Where does he get that logic from? If one completes a hajj that is accepted by God, one’s sins are forgiven. Big difference…He’s a sinner looking for forgiveness? Asking for forgiveness is tied to repenting first – admitting that you’re doing something wrong, stopping it and intending not to do it again. That obviously was not his intention. How does the author define ‘devout’ Muslim? Sharma is making a mockery of Islam and of the hajj – not what I would call devout.
Scott writes: Parvez Sharma Is not a Muslim he is playing Islam just like ummabdulla. Both of them are Westernized Muslims they are both irrelevant.
FilmAlicia writes: I’m sure he’s a marked man, but I applaud his courage.
Shahab Mahmud writes: This is absurd and he is an idiot .. it is clearly stated in Quran that homosexuals will burn in hell , I have no respect for that gay man .. he is beyond stupid
Clint Brady writes: Brave guy. Let’s see if a fatwa is ordered for him and they chop off his head. Why on earth is Saudi Arabia an “ally” of the US, anyway? Oil is no excuse.
Hassan Ken Danjuma writes: DB must be trying to get this guy killed.
Rob Williams writes: He’s a dead man, you showed his pic! Smdh
Tery Steelman writes: What a brave man. May you be safe and happy.
Theo Pizza writes: Speaking of gay Muslims, what’s up with ISIS?
Elizabeth O’Shea writes: Go on sharma, admit it! U wanted to be beheaded, ur name bigger than the Mecca hajj and possibly all nations born thereafter…
Anonymous writes: As a Muslim I know one thing . As a gay its his personal choice . He is free what he want to do . but be careful. Because Kaaba in the hand of Wolf so called Muslims . God Accept your journey
Salim Sam Salloom writes: Brave guy
Moe Shawky writes: The Saudi monarchy already has no problem with gays, the world largest gay population resides in KSA but you don’t know that because there are no official numbers, the thing is they have no problem as long as it is under the rug, seriously homosexual relationships are far more common there than anywhere else in the world to the point that tops don’t identify as gay as it’s just sex for a lot of them, not to mention that the tribal leaders know exactly who’s into men only and who’s into both men and women for fixed marriages but then again they can’t change what they believe to be religion and they already know they can’t change people’s sexuality
Todd Clampffer writes: The courage it took for him to undertake this project is commendable. Though I don’t agree with his lifestyle or his particular agenda, the desire to change the status quo of the religion is a whole is an admirable goal. Is it worth his life though? If you believe in something that is at the core of your existence – it is.
Ahmed S. Alzubaidi from Baghdad writes: OMG you are a brave man indeed