Breaking Silence on Being Gay and Muslim

"The Prophet Muhammad did an enormous number of things so that women could participate in public affairs, including politics. For me, Muhammad was a feminist," says one woman.

She goes on to describe how she would profess her lifestyle while speaking to God on judgment day.

"I have loved women and it was not a sin, because my loving a woman caused no harm. I only loved Allah, my one God, I only loved.'"

Matters of Faith and Sexuality

Sharma says it is the religious commitment of the film's characters that makes the strongest impact.

"Muslims who watched the film actually also are very surprised by the intense religiosity of the people profiled in the film. When you show to a Muslim a person who is as devout, if not more devout than them, then you are presenting a conundrum," Sharma told ABC News.

"You are presenting someone who is living by the Quran, is living by the book, and is still deeply struggling with this idea of their homosexuality."

Given the sensitive topic, Sharma put himself at personal risk by making the film. As he traveled through the Muslim world, he sometimes posed as a tourist or charity worker. He made copies of his raw footage, in case the originals were confiscated by authorities.

Now that "Jihad for Love" is made, it is showing in the West and in countries with significant Muslim populations, like India and Turkey. Sharma has yet to show it anywhere in the Arab world.

"I certainly don't imagine that the film is going to show in a movie theater in the region, but I think in universities, private homes, conferences, and maybe the film festival in Dubai," Sharma told ABC News, adding that he was turned down from last year's film festival for fear of a public backlash.

"There will be a way to show the film, but when you're working with religious orthodoxy it is critical to work with respect and with a lot of patience."

Haifa Jedea contributed to this article.

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