Saudi Arabia/UAE/GCC: Not Quite the Taliban

not quite the taliban


I watched a documentary today called “Not Quite the Taliban.”  I think the title is misleading in regards to what the documentary is about but I did find myself immersed in this 1 hour and nine minute long documentary.

The documentary is produced by Fadi Hindash, a Jordanian national who was born and raised in Dubai.  His documentary addresses the paradoxes of Arab Muslims who either live in moderate Arab countries or have adapted some Western ways.  He questions the dichotomy between the cultures and customs of East and West.  He challenges why some Arab Muslims will take on or accept parts of Western culture and not others.  fadi hindash

Towards the end of the documentary, Hindash reveals that he is gay and talks about the implications this has on him, his family and life.  He talks about meeting with a traditional Saudi man who is in his 40’s, has more than one wife yet hired Hindash for sex.  Hindash, who admitted he felt nervous about the encounter, asked the Saudi for a drink, and was refused because that was against the religion.  This is one of the many examples the documentary reveals about the contradictions between culture and religion.

Since his completion of “Not Quite the Taliban” Hindash has made his home in the Netherlands and continues to work on other productions.  This link leads to an interview Hindash provided to Satellite Voices.

“Not Quite the Taliban” poses an interesting and different perspective on the ability to mix culture and religion with the impact of Western influence.  However, one personal observation is that while the film addresses the topic of homosexuality (among others), I do not agree that homosexuality is an influence of Western culture.  What do YOU think?


13 Responses

  1. No homosexuality is not an influence of western culture. It has been around long before the concept of western culture and history has shown that it was well practiced in many muslim country back in the day of antiquity. Sheesh.

  2. Sounds interesting!

  3. Of course homosexuality isn’t influenced by the West, homosexuality is just there, always has been and always will be.

    The only difference is that there is a much larger percentage of people who have homosexual relationships in Saudi arabia, but that is because of segregation which makes it easier to be gay than straight.

  4. The Greeks and Romans practiced homosexuality long before it was ever ‘westernized’ as people like to believe it started in the West. Therefore, who ever has homosexual tendencies are maybe a product of the genetics filtered down through the Romans and Greeks. After all, most people are born homosexual just like they are born as a combination of male and female or born into the wrong body. It is our DNA that makes us who we are. I did a research paper on Saudi Arabia and Islam and no where is it mentioned in the Koran against homosexuality. The hookah bars make excellent pick up places and many westerners are known to go to these middle eastern countries in order to engage in homosexual sex. Why wouldn’t many of the men in Muslim countries be gay as they are pushed into only spending time with other men? This in turn would make a man desire another man who is is constantly around. I am sure there are many women who are homosexual as well, even though they may be married. They just don’t let is be known.

  5. Homosexuality is not a western influence. Actually, GCC countries have the highest levels of homosexual activities in the Arabic world. There is a difference between the Arabic version of homosexuality as compared to the Westerner one. In general Arabs prefer younger more feminine looking boys. In many instances this is a pedophilia problem as younger boys (pre-puberty) are preferred by older men.

    Homosexuality has been around through the period after Islam not just modern days. As an example Abu Nuwas the great poet of the 8th century was openly bi-sexual and wrote many poems on his love for males. Here is a sample:

    I die of love for him, perfect in every way,
    Lost in the strains of wafting music.
    My eyes are fixed upon his delightful body
    And I do not wonder at his beauty.
    His waist is a sapling, his face a moon,
    And loveliness rolls off his rosy cheek
    I die of love for you, but keep this secret:
    The tie that binds us is an unbreakable rope.
    How much time did your creation take, O angel?
    So what! All I want is to sing your praises.

  6. Agree with all of the above comments!

  7. So has anyone actually watched the documentary yet?

  8. My take on marriage and homosexuality is this: For a long time in history, marriage was seen as a way to link families together and to perpetuate the family name. Before modern technological advances, it would not have been as easy for a woman to get pregnant unless she had sex with a man. Now, it is possible for women to get pregnant by other means and independence is more highly valued than interdependence. Also, in some cultures, while the man and woman would be together at night, during the day they would be apart; the women socializing with other women and the men socializing with other men. Now that marriage is less about childbirth and money and more about love and having a quality relationship, there will be more instances of men marrying men, women marrying women, and also divorce. I expect more divorce because it is not easy for two people who married young to continue to value the same things in life as they experience more of life. I expect more homosexual relationships to develop as people find that someone of the same sex understands them better than a person of the opposite sex (if that is the case). Also, homosexual couples have a myriad of ways they can have children (adoption, surrogacy, IV fertilization, etc.). It’s not to say that homosexuality didn’t exist before; just that people are more honest about it today.

  9. Now, that is my theory and it is not currently supported by any in-depth research. (In other words, I have other priorities where my time is concerned; this is just my hypothesis.)

  10. @AB,
    No, I haven’t. If I do, I’ll comment again. Sorry; I’m not one for videos. Just FYI: I believe the documentary is free to live stream for Amazon prime members.

  11. If the video were free I would watch it.

  12. Strange one is correct – if you are a member of Amazon Prime, it is free. That is how I obtained and watched it.

    On Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 2:50 PM, American Bedu

  13. Yes, sorry, I wasn’t interested enough to pay to watch it at this point. But thanks for making us aware of it.

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