“Islam is not the same everywhere”. It is ‘Allah loves equality’, Allah ‘loves everyone’. So much so that “in Pakistan there are associations for trans, gays and lesbians, there are activists who work openly and freely”. And also in Pakistan in 2017 a law was approved that recognizes the full rights of transgender people and condemns acts of violence and discrimination against them with sanctions. ” A law that does not yet exist in Italy and which demonstrates how many steps forward have been made in Pakistan ”. Speaking with Adnkronos about Islam and homophobia, the day after Pope Francis’ letter to the Jesuit priest who defends LGBTQ rights in which he writes “ God loves everyone, God is the father of all ”, is Pakistani director Wajahat Abbas Kazmi . His docu-film “Allah loves equality”, shot together with the association Il Grande Colibrì of which he is co-founder and with the patronage of Amnesty International. Arriving in Italy when he was 15, Kazmi explains that “ in Pakistan there is a very open and very strong LGBTQ community, no one expects it ” because ” there is a preconception with respect to Islamic countries, thinking that they are all the same ” . Of course, he admits, ” those who are homosexual can be sentenced, from three to ten years in prison, but the positive aspect is that this homophobic law is never applied because it is a legacy of British colonialism that we have not been able to abolish. Unlike India. But there is no hurry because no one is condemned ”. ” In Pakistan there is tolerance because we come from the Hindu reality which is very different from that of Saudi Arabia or other countries that are more conservative and fundamentalist ”, explains Kazmi, who tells of ” gay imams ” and states that ” the majority of the population in Pakistan is bisexual. Because it is difficult to have sexual relations with a woman before marriage and therefore it is easier to have them with people of the same sex. ” But ” then you get married and become heterosexual. And homophobic too, ” he declares with a bitter smile. He, who at 18 had been betrothed to a cousin before declaring his homosexuality to his family, has encountered difficulties in this field, with his family. Because arranged marriages are for parents. There are different interests, those of goods ”, but also of immigrants. ” When you agree to marry a cousin or cousin, you help them to come to Italy, for example through family reunification. So it is an aid to families, ” he explains. ” A parent may accept that their child is gay, their daughter is a lesbian, but then wonders how to explain it to the community. There is the fear of one’s community, which can also lead a father, a brother to kill to defend the image of the family ”, he continues. Even if ” homosexuality is part of our culture, we have experienced the third sex, the transgender reality, the reality of the Mughal empire where homosexuality was accepted ”.
Welcome! Log into your account
Recover your password
A password will be e-mailed to you.