This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/4588

Super Hero Comics Go Islamist

October 24, 2010

October 24- Militant Islam Monitor-In an unprecedented move DC comics will publish six crossover issues featuring Muslim superheroes, some in hijab and burqa.The Islamic super heroes are called The 99 after the 99 names of Allah.

According to an article in a UK newspaper:

Even if you deliberately set out to try to dream up the least probable superhero ever, it's unlikely that you'd manage to come up with a character as far-fetched as Batina the Hidden... It's not just that she's a Muslim woman, from a country best known for harbouring al-Qaida operatives Yemen but that she wears an altogether new kind of super-person costume: a burqa.

She, along with her fellow crime-fighters, a vast team of characters from around the world, including Jabbar the Powerful from Saudi Arabia and Hadya the Guide from London, collectively known as "The 99", are the world's first Islam-inspired superheroes. And this week, in what is perhaps the ultimate comic-book accolade, they will join forces with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. DC Comics, the US publishing giant, will publish the first of six special crossover issues in which The 99 will be fighting crime alongside the Justice League of America, the fictional superhero team that includes Superman and Batman.http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/oct/24/99-islamic-heroes-batman-superman

The fact that the issue of religion has never entered into the identities of the American super heroes makes this addition of "Islamic" super heroes extremely troubling and smacks of Islamist propaganda.

The creator, Dr. Naif al-Mutawa, said the characters are "inspired by Islam" and hopes the heroes will focus on "the more positive aspects of the religion of inculcating peaceful, life-giving virtues in children and of presenting a peaceful, tolerant, multicultural version of Islam to the rest of the world."

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THE FORCE OF VIRTUE Who are The 99?

The powers of The 99 come from 99 gemstones, or Noor Stones, created by the Huras Al-Hikma (Guardians of Wisdom). The Noor Stones contain knowledge from the great libraries that were destroyed when Baghdad fell to the forces of Hulagu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, hundreds of years ago. There are 49 male and 50 female characters. Their superhero traits are based on Islamic ideas, but their religion is never made overt and the intention is that they "transcend all language and cultural barriers".

Leading characters

Dr Ramzi Razem, the leader, is a direct descendant of the Huras Al-Hikma, and discovers the first of The 99, Jabbar, after researching and trying to find the stones for many years. His mission is to find all 99 gem-wielders and unite them to change the course of human civilisation.

Jabbar the Powerful becomes one of The 99 after stepping on a landmine, shattering a hidden gem which embeds itself into his skin. His main power is superhuman strength.

Samda the Invulnerable is a small eight-year-old girl who has an impenetrable force field and is one of the five head-scarf wearing females, another being Batina the Hidden. She is due to form an interesting relationship with Wonder Woman in the upcoming series.

Mumita the Destroyer is a runaway with exceptional speed, strength and agility, whose abilities are heightened when Dr Ramzi gives her one of the gemstones. Believing herself to be an orphan, her past may in fact be more mysterious than she realises.

Hadya the Guide is a Pakistani-British 17-year-old from London. Always fascinated by maps, she learns that the diagrams in her head are true depictions of real places in effect, she is a human GPS tracker.

Noora the Light is a rich university student who discovers a gemstone when escaping a kidnapping. Her power is seeing the light of truth in others and helping them to see it in themselves.

Widad the Loving joins The 99 after being torn between its mission and her job as a relief worker in the Philippines. Like many of The 99, her gemstone is an heirloom passed down through generations, and in her particular case it allows her to make people feel happy and therefore susceptible to her arguments.

The enemy

■ Rughal was one of the original members of the Huras Al-Hikma. Presumed dead after attempting to absorb the power of the Noor Stones, he in fact passes through space and time, before resuming human form as a ruthless businessman intent on finding the stones. Maya Dibley

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MIM: A new comic slated for distribution in the Arab and English speaking world features a Muslim super hero in a wheelchair. It is a joint American and Syrian undertaking.

"Comic book fans will soon be getting their first glimpse at an unlikely new superhero a Muslim boy in a wheelchair with superpowers.

The new superhero is the brainchild of a group of disabled young Americans and Syrians who were brought together last month in Damascus by the Open Hands Intiative, a non-profit organization founded by U.S. philanthropist and businessman Jay T. Snyder."

"Snyder says he was inspired by President Barack Obama's effort to reach out to the Muslim world in his January 2009 inaugural address. Last month, Snyder flew 12 disabled Americans to Damascus to meet their Syrian peers, and one of their main goals was to come up with ideas and story lines for the new superhero."http://www.usatoday.com/life/comics/2010-09-26-muslim-superhero_N.htm

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/4588