Friday May 29, 2015

Sinner in Mecca chronicles gay filmmaker's audacious act

"I don't think Islam is going to be reformed by people from the outside," says filmmaker Parvez Sharma, who says the religion must be taken back from its "Saudi masters".

"I don't think Islam is going to be reformed by people from the outside," says filmmaker Parvez Sharma, who says the religion must be taken back from its "Saudi masters". (Parvez Sharma/Haram Films)

Listen 23:41

Filming at the holy sites in Mecca is strictly forbidden. Sodomy is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. And Parvez Sharma — a gay, Muslim filmmaker from the U.S. — has been publicly labelled an infidel. 

Those three facts alone make Sharma's new documentary, A Sinner in Mecca, a high-risk rarity. He joins Friday guest host Gill Deacon to explain why he was compelled to document his journey to the Hajj, why he insists the film is not anti-Islam, and why he felt the need to "come out" as a Muslim. 

WEB EXTRA | Watch the trailer for A Sinner in Mecca, which will screen at the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival in Toronto tomorrow.