A Jihad for Love Opens in New York
As a follow up to Ed’s interview with Arsham Parsi in our last blog entry, we’re providing a link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10KrVTuH_so) to a Democracy Now! interview with the film maker Parvez Sharma who made A Jihad for Love. This film is important for so many reasons. It explores many key issues of our time including Islamophobia, homophobia, religious orthodoxy, immigration and asylum, human rights violations, and the intersections of faith and sexuality.
In the interview Parsi gives you a glimpse into what it’s like to be gay in the Muslim world. He talks about the reaction the film has been getting around the world and shows a clip of Imam Muhsin Hendricks, the first openly gay imam from Cape Town, South Africa. The film premiered in New York at the IFC Center this week and will be a part of the San Francisco International Gay Film Festival at the end of June.
Gambian President Threatens Gays and Lesbians with Execution
Paula Ettelbrick, Executive Director of The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) condemned statements by President Yahyeh Jammeh ordering homosexuals out of the country, threatening hotel owners who rented rooms to gay and lesbian people, and threatening summary executions. In a strongly worded letter to the West African leader, Ettelbrick also called for the repeal of Gambia's antiquated sodomy law, inherited from its days as a British colony.
Jammeh, a former army lieutenant overthrew the democratically elected government of the Gambia in 1994. Since then, according to IGLHRC, there have been many well-documented examples of human rights violations in Gambia perpetrated against journalists, human rights defenders and members of the political opposition. These have included arbitrary arrests and detentions, expulsions and extra-judicial executions. In 2007 President Jammeh announced that he had developed a "miracle cure" for HIV/AIDS.
To learn more about this issue and read Ettelbrick’s letter, visit the IGLHRC website at www.iglhrc.org. We urge you to write a protest letter of your own, posted to the addresses below.
President Yayeh Jammeh
Private Mail Bag
Banjul, The Gambia
Barry L. Wells, Ambassador, Republic of The Gambia
American Embassy, Banjul, The Gambia
Fax: (220) 439-2475