A Balloon for Allah (2011) - full transcript

When the Norwegian-Turkish filmmaker Nefise Özkal Lorentzen was little, she used to send letters to Allah by balloon. Now she wants to send a new balloon to change the role of women in the Muslim culture. By following her grandmother's path as a 'sufi', she embarks on a journey to rediscover the Islam of her mother's mother. The film switches between her actual journey and her dreams. She experiences the diversity of Cairo, Istanbul and Oslo by drinking tea with the Egyptian feminist Nawal El Saadawi, finding hope and inspiration in the life of the 90-year-old author Gamal al-Banna and meeting a young Salafist. On her journey through the labyrinth, it dawns on Nefise that Islam is not the only place to search, but that there are correlations between the three Abrahamic religion and the oppression of women.

SUBTITLE TRACK FROM ITUNES (moviesbyrizzo uploads)

My grandmother told me that I should
always look for the emerald.

Islam was her emerald.

Justice, love and unity.

She told me that the falsified
prophetic statements in Islam, -

- the strict Shariah laws
and macho Imams, -

- had swallowed the light
from the emerald.

Only when all these are removed,
will the emerald start to shine again, -

- and women's suffering will cease.

Grandma was so lucky.

She was free to say
what she meant.

I am not free.

When I criticize Islam
in the Muslim world, -

- I'm considered reform-minded
and progressive.

When I criticize Islam in the West,
my words will be used by -

- anti-immigrant and
anti-Muslim groups.

I am fed up with living
in such a prison.

He won't meet us
if we don't cover our hair.

He wants no perfume or makeup.
He even suggested niqabs.

I will be visiting a young Salafist,
Sheikh Mahmoud Mekki, in Cairo.

His Islam is the exact opposite
of my grandmother's.

Let's try and go inside.

The Salafists view themselves as the
only correct interpreters of the Quran.

For them, all moderate
Muslims are almost heretics.

The reason I agreed to this interview,

- was that it might be beneficial
for people outside the Arab world.

Otherwise I would have insisted on having a
male photographer or director.

How many times have you had
a female photographer film you?


-I'm the first one?

I want to tell you something: my wife,
during our six years of marriage,

- has never once left the
house to go shopping.

I do the shopping. She never goes out, except
once every three or four months, with me.

She's happy? And you're happy?


Oh, it's strawberry?

I will learn Arabic. I will.

-That's good.

If I came here without
wearing a hijab...

Do you think you'd have
treated me differently?

I am the same person.
I have the same smile. So do you.

And we share the same religion.

Even I, a Sheikh, if a woman
comes to me unveiled,

- I will have desire for her.
This is my nature as a man.

If a woman wearing an Islamic dress,

- with her face, hair and body
veiled, walks in front of a man,

- while another woman passes
perfumed, wearing modern clothes,

- revealing parts of her hair and body,

- which one of the two would excite the
man and tempt him into committing rape?

So what if the man has nothing to...

He's not going to rape any of them,
because he's a good human being.

In that sense, I'm unsure
what you're talking about.

You are denying man's natural
instinct to desire women.

You can't understand this from
your female point of view,

- whereas I can understand it
because I am a man.

Gamal Al Banna also lives in Cairo.

He has been a target of Islamic extremists,
because of his progressive ideas.

He is now 90 years old.

He has lived with constant
death threats for several years.

His courage gives me hope.

His perspective helps me in my
quest for the emerald I'm seeking.

The woman issue needs a real revolution -

- within the backward Islamic
thought, which is far away -

- from the texts of the Quran, its spirit and
the spirit of Islam in general.

It is difficult for Europeans, whether
right or left, to understand Islam,

- because they can only judge it
by one of two things:

Either by Muslims and their actions,
or by the ideas of religious scholars.

Those are the Europeans' references.

Muslims' situation is shit, just as
the German convert said:

I thank God that I became a Muslim
before I saw Muslims."

The Islamic scholars' views are in fact against Islam.

As I said before, there
came a time when -

- falsifying Hadiths (the Prophet's sayings),
was considered a necessity -

- and even a virtue. And all the details
(of Shariah) come from the Hadiths,

- as there are no details in the Quran itself.

The Quranic text came down for a
purpose. This purpose is justice.

So if evolution has made this text
unable to achieve justice anymore,

- then we have to change it.

Because the fundament is
the goal of the text, not its letters.

Family mysteries have always
caught my attention.

Gamal's older brother, Hassan Al Banna,
was the founder of the Muslim Brothers, -

- and a leading inspirational force behind
today's Islamic fundamentalism.

How come these brothers have
chosen two so very different Islam?

I wonder if Europeans can understand
the various faces of Islam, at all?

Last night I had a strange dream.

In the dream I sent a balloon to
Allah, and put all my wonder into it.

Suddenly I saw a tent that
looked like the Sufi tent -

- in my grandmother's stories.

Everything was there.

The past, the present and the future.

I had to find an emerald that could
bring a new light to us women.

I was free to go wherever I wanted.

No one asked me if I had a valid
residence permit or a valid passport.

There I saw our origins, Adam and Eve.

Playful, joyful and erotic.

I also wanted to join them.

Time almost stood still.

Eve took an apple, and asked me:

What is your religion?

Why didn't I tell Eve that I'm Muslim?

What kept me silent?

Somehow, I had lost my language.

I am a filmmaker with an accent,
living in-betweenness;

Europe, Asia, Asia, Europe.

I live with images and dreams, which
belong to two different continents, -

- and I tell stories in several broken
hybrid languages.

Don't let them build their houses
on the mountain tops."

Don't let them send their
daughters to the far-away land."

- Women are oppressed!

- Even if you sing: "don't let them
harass mother's precious daughter",

- you don't hesitate to beat your beloved.
They say that's what it says in the Quran.

- Honestly, mom, I don't know which story
I'm going to choose in this film,

- because it's a very complex subject.

Your choice is different from mine,

- the woman wearing hijab has made
another choice, but all of us share the same goal;

A better and more dignified life.

And what do we need to make our lives better?

- I have to find out.
- All of us need to and have the right to be happy.

- Yes.
- Of course, without stepping on anyone's toes.

- There is something I don't understand.

- What's that, Nefise?

- Why didn't you wish for a daughter?

I mean, why did you always wish for a son?
And then I showed up!

- I wanted a boy because I knew how
girls are oppressed in our society.

I thought of the social oppression towards
women, psychologically as well.

And I thought that a daughter would
be exposed to all of that,

- whereas a son would have no problems.

Look at our five fingers.
They are very important.

- I have five pieces of advice for you.
- Okay, tell me.

- #1 is to educate woman,

- and let her stand on her own feet,

- and understand herself better.

#2; let her make her own decision
in marriage. If it fails,

- she should not be humiliated.
- Okay.

- #3; regarding inheritance,

- daughters and sons should
have equal rights.

#4 is women's career and work situation.

Women should have wage equality,
and should not be harassed at work.

You know, the most important thing for me?

The most horrible of all?

- What?
- Domestic violence.

- What kind of life have you had?

- My life?

- Let's talk about it.
- Let's talk about it.

That's private.

My life? Let me tell you...

I was never oppressed by my family.

What have I done? I finished my education.

I went to medical school, to be a doctor.

I decided my marriage freely, and I also
divorced by my own choice.

- And then?
- I remarried and started a new family.

- I was never oppressed!
- Okay, but did you have a happy life?

I think of my dream.

How can I find the emerald that can
alleviate women's sufferings?

I travel from my biological mother
to my literary mother, -

- the Egyptian feminist, psychiatrist
and novelist, Nawal El Saadawi.

To walk with her in the streets
of Cairo, just after her final exile, -

- is an art in and of itself.
Everyone knows who she is.

Several times I had to clarify to the police
why I had a film camera with me.

I said I made a movie about balloons.

It was okay.

Nawal El Saadawi is the queen of the
progressives, and one of the -

- main opponents to the
Islamic extremists.

She was one of the first
who took up the theme -

- of women, sex and oppression
in the Muslim world.

She knows the bitter taste
of prison and exile.

Last year I met her in the literature
festival in Molde.

There, I had the opportunity to read out
a letter I had written to her.

I don't know how to begin. I'm one of
your daughters you haven't met yet.

Your work has influenced me
for many, many years.

The core of my work has never been
based on hate against religiosity, -

- but based on a great will
to change, interpret, -

- create, repair and inherit.

Which way shall I go, Nawal?

Which fights will be my priority?

Do I need to have a religious,
sexual and cultural identity?

What if my identity becomes a hinder?

I'll put all my balloons
all around Cairo.

-And I'll follow it to Turkey...
-And Norway.

I wrote a letter to God
when I was a child.

-I didn't know where to send it.
-Maybe I know.

-You know his fax?
-I read it in your play.

But I can't send a fax.
I have to send an e-mail.

Maybe he doesn't have e-mail.

We need to in fact
go to the root of the problem.

How do you go to the root?

By asking questions.
What do you mean by that?

When a boy in his childhood
learns at school -

- that he's better than his sister, -

- that he shall inherit
the double of her, -

- that she should be veiled,
and not he, and all that, -

- his conscience is killed.

His sense of justice is killed.
So that's the problem.

I want real secularism.

I need a secular law
and value system.

I don't want a family law
based on religion.

It must be secular.

It's religious in Egypt.
It's religious in many countries.

So your daughter and son
will inherit differently?

According to the law, yes.
Unless I change it myself.

And before I die, I divide my money
equally, and that's what I did.

-So you can do that?
-I did it in my lifetime.

Because I'm free. I own my money.

So I told my daughter and my son
they'd both get an equal share.

I've done it in my lifetime.
But if I die, the government -

- will give my daughter
half of what my son gets.

Because when you ask me
whether Islam allows feminism, -

- then I have to know
what you mean by both.

Because everybody has
a definition of feminism.

There are many forms of feminism,
of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

Every country,
every group, interprets -

- religion, feminism and humanism
according to their own interests.

If men are going to have this,
I want to have it too.

I don't want to have this one. I want
to have the same. Feminism is justice.

And what is Islam to you?


Islam is...

I can't say it's justice.

I'm more attached to Muslim culture
than to Christian culture.

Though I live in a Christian country,
have a Christian husband, my kids...

-You're married to a Christian?
-A Norwegian man.

And the thing is...

I'm very attached to Sufism, and
I'm really attached to spirituality.

And I feel like my existence...

I feel like my existence
is related to others.

-I need you to be myself.
-Exactly. That is creativity.

So as I told you, you know,
the existence in the culture -

- where I grew up...
I don't need to say who I am.

Because we have so many
hidden things that we can say.

So many small words
we can use to in a way -

- tell our hidden stories
to each other.

That's why your mother was unhappy.

My mother died young.
She was unhappy.

It's true that women are unhappy -

- regardless whether they live
in Oslo, Turkey or Egypt.

Whether they are poor or rich.
Even rich women are unhappy.

Because it's the patriarchal system,
you know.

So we are all in the same boat.

And we need to show that in films.

And the silence is also very strange.
Many women I know...

In my family.

They are... Let's see...
They have education.

They have economy, money.
And they have good status.

But they have had domestic violence.

When these women, very strong
women, doctors, lawyers, teachers, -

- when they experience violence, -

- they don't talk about it.

Because it's not nice
to be a broken glass.

-You want to be, you know, proper.
-You hide...

And you hide your broken self.

And they don't want me
to talk about it, because...

It's not nice to be a broken glass.

-Yes, exactly.
-It's not.

I love that. I love this expression,
a broken glass.

But I feel I am a witness -

- to much sorrow
and much unhappiness.

And I myself haven't experienced
either domestic violence -

- or violence in society.
I'm the lucky generation.

I feel kind of... I don't know...
guilty that's I'm the one -

- who receives all the time.
The one who receives and receives.

I want to give back.
Through films and everything.

Talking about women's situation
is also a very private thing for me.


But it's difficult because
they don't want to talk about it.

We have lost our true self.

Now, in those moments you were
crying, you were the real one.

You brought your real self out.
But we are afraid, you know?

The first fear in our lives is to
be real, to bring out our real self.

-That's it.

How can we bring it into films?

When I write a novel,
I try to bring my real self.

-What is your real self?
-Despite everything, -

- the one that is full of fears
and tears. Fears and tears.

All my life, I've been
getting rid of my fears.

Tell me about your fears.

What are you afraid of?

-Say it, say it!

If I come from Istanbul and make a
film about how women have suffered...

How my mother has suffered,
my aunts have suffered.

I can make a film. I can be
like a bulldozer, you know?

And I see myself...
Oh my God.

And I see myself in Oslo.

And if I'm saying the same things...

Real things.
Real criticism.

Then... If...

-Then it doesn't work.
-I know.

This split in me makes me cry.

When a man marries a woman,

- he may later discover
that she has flaws.

There are 3 solutions:

The first is to divorce her,

- which will destroy the home
and harm the children;

The second is to stay with her
while hating the situation;

The third is to marry a new wife without
ruining the first marriage,

- and at the same time making it easier to accept his
first wife's flaws by having another one.

And statistics prove that there are up to 7 times as
many women in the world as there are men,

- so if I give only one woman to every man,
I will have condemned millions of women -

- to remain unmarried. Is that
the kind of justice the liberals want?

As a fundamental rule in Islam,
a woman is seen as a precious jewel.

Thus I ask: if you have a jewel,

- will you leave it unprotected
in the street, for anyone to grab,

- or will you keep it in a velvet box, and hide it from
everyone except yourself, the owner of the jewel?

What's on a Muslim woman's mind
when she meets a fireman?


Well then, he must be protected.

What does a Muslim woman feel
when she meets an officer?


He should be covered.

What makes a Muslim woman excited
when she meets a carpenter?

His naked body?


He should be wrapped.

What's on a Muslim woman's mind
when she meets a doctor?


He must be hidden away.

We don't believe in hijab at all,

- but as for niqab, we see it
as a stain of shame.

It is 100% unacceptable, because it
erases a woman's personality,

- and paralyzes her freedom
to work and to truly participate.

Even the glance the Salafists consider a sin,

- let alone intermingling or kissing!

The last fatwa that we
recieved from Saudi Arabia -

- says that anyone who permits
intermingling is a pimp!

Of course, their talk is just nonsense.

Polygamy in the Quran was allowed
in order to limit polygamy,

- because polygamy was
widespread among Arabs.

A man could marry 8 or even 10 women.

Islam wanted to resist that trend,

- so there came a very strange
Quranic verse (4:3).

This verse has one condition at
the beginning and another at the end,

- for polygamy to be permissable.

Muslims have neither understood
the first nor the second condition;

they just kept marrying!

The only part they understood form the verse was
Marry women of your choice, 2, 3, or 4.

A "polytheist", in the Quran, referred to
the Arabs who worshipped idols -

- and were the enemies of Islam.

There was always a war going on against them.

So, what is prohibited in Islam is not that a
Muslim woman marries a Jew or a Christian,

- but that she marries a polytheist.

However, we can no longer say -

- that today's Buddhists, for example,
or the adherents of a Chinese religion -

- are polytheists like the polytheists back in
the time when Islam first came into being.

Maybe in the past, a woman
was not autonomous,

- and was too shy to speak out
when a suitor proposed.

Nowadays, women aren't
shy at all, thanks God!

She has the right to decide
freely about marriage,

- without needing the consent
of any "guardian".

We also believe that divorce should be
validated in the same way as marriage,

- that is through mutual consent.

But that a man monopolizes
the right to instant divorce,

- just by saying "you are divorced!" -

- this should have no value at all.

Even if he keeps saying the words all
day and night, it is pure nonsense!

I can give you an example of the difference
between the Quran and Muslims' conceptions:

If a Muslim hears a rumor about
his wife betraying him,

- he will grab a knife and kill her,
exclaiming "my honor!"

The Quran is totally different.

In the Quran, even if a man saw
with his own eyes -

- his wife in bed with another man,

- he couldn't do anything to her.

Why? Because there are no witnesses.

There are three crimes for which
execution is instituted:

if a man or a woman leaves Islam,

- commits adultery or commits murder.

But can a Muslim woman
marry a Christian man?

The Prophet, praise be upon him, said
whoever changes his religion, kill him!

The case is not as most people think,
that there is an absolute freedom of faith.

So when a Muslim woman
marries a non-Muslim,

- she may be influenced by his religion
and may leave Islam.

And if she leaves her religion,
it would be obligatory for us Muslims -

- (via the Islamic state) to kill her for apostasy.

This issue has harmful consequences
in both respects:

In this life, an apostate should be killed,
and in the next, he/she will burn in Hell.

Let there be no compulsion in religion.

This is written in the Quran.

I don't know how one can interpret this
as a justification for violence and hatred.

I hope that my children, in the future,
through their marriages and their lives,

- will bring new religions, new cultures
and new languages to our family.

It isn't just the fundamentalists,
but also the media -

- which is obsessed with the fall
and misery of Muslim women.

The world is fixated on statistics!

Now it's my turn to be measured.

My sexual oppression level is 52.

My cultural oppression measures 78.

My longing for freedom increases
when I see the progressive Muslims -

who want to create a new democratic Islam
and change women's oppression -

- in this patriarchal culture.

This demonstration is against
the violence and aggression.

The majority of Muslims
need to be aware -

- that silence can give
a wrong impression -

- of supporting those who do
violence in the name of Islam.

I like your balloon to God.
It's like my letter to God.

When I was a child, I was very
furious. So I went to my room -

- and wrote a letter to God.
I told him, "Dear God."

My grandmother told me
that you are justice."

But now I face injustice
in the family, in your name."

Because they preferred my brother,
though I am much better in school."

Because he is a boy. They say
you said so. Did you say that?"

Because if you prefer boys to girls,
you are unjust," -

- "and I am not ready
to believe in you."

I feel that my God is in me.

And God... In Turkish,
we don't have "she" and "he".

So my God is sitting inside me,
but without any gender, genderless.

And God moves in my body, and
this is how I feel it protects me.

You must explain what you
mean by God in your body.

Is it your liver, your spleen?

-Your uterus? What's in your body?
-It's everything.

-It's in your mind.
-My brain. My imagination.

It's the idea, yes.
Imagine the idea of God.

The idea of justice.

The word of God in the Old Testament,
The New Testament, the Quran, -

- the word of God is not clear.

One needs human beings
to clarify the word of God.

My next destination is Turkey.

I will film a seminar where,
for the first time in history, -

- will be trained about women's rights
and violence against women.

This is just amazing!

All the Imams in Turkey
will take this course.

- When did you start giving courses to Imams?
- We have been working on it for two years.

- The issue of violence towards women
is a very touchy subject.

I think what you're doing is very important,

- but there are still groups in Turkey
where men legitimize beating their wives,

- because they see themselves as
masters of the household.

Imams have immense importance
in the shaping of the perception -

- of what is right and what is wrong.

And still, many men think they can
beat women in the name of Allah.

So absurd.

- We Imams have incredible power.

A woman came to me, and thought that
the domestic violence she was suffering,

- was her payment to God,
and was meant to happen.

She said: "it's true, my husband beats me,
but if I'm patient,"

- I will earn my place in heaven.

I don't advise her to contact the
police, but I enlighten her.

She says: "my husband
prays five times a day."

I find him at work and
drink tea with him.

I tell him: "if you beat your wife ever again,
I will publically disgrace you,"

- which is easy in a small community.

- But what if he tells you to stay out of his business?
- Oh, he wouldn't dare!

- Our ways of understanding
Islam might be different.

I don't think I need to use hijab
in order to call myself a Muslim.

- In my understanding, you
don't need to use hijab either.

I cover myself out of personal choice,

- but you are just as free to be a
Muslim and still wear a bathing suit.

- A Salafist sheikh from Egypt, told me that
a Muslim woman in an interfaith marriage,

- can be killed if she leaves Islam.

- It has nothing to do with Islam. It shows
how his ideas are associated with violence.

The writer of the Koran is Allah.

He has spoken once
before, now he is silent.

Who is talking now? We are talking.

Nobody can speak on Allah's behalf.

- Even if a woman won't admit
she's being physically abused,

- you are like doctors,

- who look at her bruises,

- and determine when
and how they occurred.

You have that same ability
to discover such things,

- only you are doctors of the soul.

- Do we have any examples of
Mohammed beating his wives?

Isn't it about time we found a new
translation for the word "beat"?

- Your question is very good.

Why do we create this distance
between us and violence?

Even though we all seem
to agree inside this room,

- our male sub-consciousness
will always be in us.

As an Imam, I don't know if I'm able
to see this issue objectively,

- without the influence of
customs and traditions.

- It's very simple; we raise our
daughters and sons alike.

Now I've gotten reactions from some Imams,

- who think that boys
should be raised as warriors.

I told them that I have two sons, and
I don't want any of them to be warriors.

When the Imams speak about
a new interpretation of the Quran, -

- it triggers my imagination.

In the Quran it says:
if your wife is disobedient, -

- you should first talk to her,
then throw her out of bed, -

- and if she is still not obedient,
you should beat her.

But what is the instruction for women?

What should a Muslim woman do
if her husband isn't obedient?

First of all, she should talk to him.

Then, she should throw
him out of her bed.

No sex for you, darling.

And finally, she should beat him.

Or should we find a new
interpretation of the word "beat"?

Islam is not the only religion
struggling with its views on women.

Islam, Christianity and Judaism
share the same origin: Abraham.

And these 3 religions also have in
common their belief in only one God.

And they all have a history of
the oppression of women.

I wish the women of these 3 religions
would talk together more.

We have scriptures -

- that tell us to shut up
and hide, in a way.

Christianity tells us
that women should be silent.

It's Paul, isn't it?

He's particularly good
at that, isn't he?

The question that remained, was why
this God, neither male nor female, -

- should speak to empower men?

Judaism separates
women and men in prayer.

That can take a variety of forms.

Traditionally, if you go into
older synagogues in Europe, -

- you'll find balconies. The women
were meant to be on balconies.

Behind latticework or some sort of...
partition of some description.

It was thought that men were unable
to pray if they could see women.

I find that line of reasoning -

- oppressive to women's spirituality
and demeaning to men.

Is having female religious leaders
important to prevent violence?

I don't romanticize women. Women
are not necessarily better than men.

Women do some things differently.
Call attention to other perspectives.

That's absolutely a responsibility.
The Muslim reading of the Quran -

- is that there's complete equality
in the religious domain.

But women are inferior in society, -

- which strikes me as a really
incoherent argument. It's like:

So women and men
are equal before God," -

- "but unequal in the eyes of men?"
How did we get there?

If I'm in Pakistan, my awareness,
intelligence and knowledge -

- counts for nothing.

Because the system
is already centered on males.

Even to speak as a Muslim woman, -

- an interpreter of the Quran,
is like, "Who are you?"

Asma Barlas is one of the most important
contemporary female interpreters of Islam.

For hundreds of years, there
have been only men -

- who have told us how the
Quran should be interpreted.

Now is the time to hear how
women read the text.

You know, I first found
you on the Internet.

I was goggling Muslim feminists.

Even though you don't call
yourself a feminist. Why?

Well, I think...

Once you use that label, many other
conversations get shut down.

My country was colonized by Britain.
It was disturbing to see that, even -

- among modern feminists, there's
this notion of rescuing the other.

And for many Western feminists,
Muslim women are the other.

A long time ago, through orientalism,
Muslim women were described as nude.

All the Turkish harems, the theme
of all the famous orientalists.

All those women lolling around, semi-
naked in Turkish baths and hamams.

And they always have this style.

That was the other.
European notions have also changed.

Western feminists love this, because
it's the exact opposite of them.

They associate freedom with nudity.

But historically only slaves
were denied clothing.

It's always, "Muslim women are
helpless, who shall rescue them?"

Feminists? The West?

Anyone can call themselves feminists
now, even Bush and his wife.

They use women to justify war.

I also want to speak directly
to Muslims worldwide.

We respect your faith.

But we condemn the Taliban regime!

If I understand you correctly,
you say no to some of the hadiths.

I say no to all the hadiths which are
contrary to the Quran or undercut it.

We cannot attribute something to
the Prophet that would undermine him.

Which runs contrary to his methods.

It's simple.
Anyone could figure it out.

The parts of the Quran that describe
women's relationship to God, -

- have mostly been stamped out of the
scripture, usually through the law.

Much of it is done through
secondary religious texts.

-And certain changes need to happen.
-So we need to have reform in Islam?

If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't
be reading the Quran as a text -

- with multiple possibilities.

So why do we continue to make bad
choices? Give me one good reason.

They claim it's in the Quran.
Then say it's in the hadiths.

You say, "Why accept hadiths
that contradict the word of God?"

Then they say it's in the Sharia or
the Sunnah. They keep evading you.

Just like you have a particular
understanding and relationship -

- to Islam through your grandma,
I have a relationship to Islam -

- through my understanding
of the scripture.

This is grandmother again.

-My goodness!
-And this is her.

You were pretty serious.

And it was actually she who
taught me how to be a good Muslim.

Sharia is a human interpretation
of provisions in the Quran -

- to make laws out of it. It's not
a law book, but a scripture.

But many people do that.
Many nations do that.

And in many Islamic nations they use
the Quran as Sharia, as a law book.

We should see which verses of
the Quran would be different now.

Taking the same meaning
without the institution is foolish.

So it means that, in that sense,
there are some verses in the Quran...

I don't mean we can freeze them,
but read them as a historical fact.


Imagine that the story
goes like this:

Once upon a time, there were

One of them had a cross,
another a Star of David -

- and the third had a crescent.

They gathered around
an apple tree -

- that had once introduced
the misery in the world.

These 3 religious sisters
wanted new interpretations -

- of the sacred writings.

Women's lives would no longer be
characterized by suffering and violence,

- but by freedom and love.

Such a religion would give space
to women, and also to me.

I had a dream that I sent
a balloon to Allah.

Now I look forward to getting an answer.