There is a new and particularly insidious form of cultural jihad that is targeting our children: comic books featuring Islamic superheroes. A Muslim named Naif Al-Mutawa has created “The 99,” a comic book and TV series featuring a gang of Muslim superheroes – one of whom wears a burqa.
It’s no surprise that the mainstream media love it. PBS is running a documentary feature on al-Mutawa this week, and CNN, the Crescent News Network, finds the comic books thrilling. Barack Obama, CNN’s Dan Merica reported last week, “called the comic books, which debuted in 2006, ‘the most innovative response’ to America’s expanding dialogue with the Muslim world, which Obama has encouraged.” But poor al-Mutawa, said Merica, although he had hoped that “The 99” would “become a symbol of toleration,” instead found that “a vocal minority” opposed the comics, raising “surprising questions about American tolerance of Islam.”
“A symbol of toleration”? Really?
In reality, a Shariah board approved “The 99,” and Shariah in all its mainstream and traditional forms calls for the subjugation of non-Muslims and the denial of basic rights to them under the rule of Islamic law. I don’t consider that an acceptable level of “toleration.” “The 99,” is mainstreaming the institutionalized oppression of women under Shariah, as exemplified by the burqa-wearing superhero. One would think that the male superheroes would have superpowers strong enough to be able to control themselves without the women having to don cloth coffins. â€¨But portraying the Islamic oppression of women in a positive light doesn’t bother al-Mutawa at all. Instead, he was “worried about the comics being banned in Saudi Arabia – which wound up happening, briefly – and he expected to be challenged by conservatives in Islam, since Al-Mutawa wanted to buck the trend of Islamic culture being directly tied to the Quran.”
But when the projected TV series was picked up by The Discovery Channel’s “The Hub” but then not immediately scheduled, al-Mutawa and CNN blamed me and others who protested the series, not the Saudis. “All of a sudden we couldn’t get an air date, and I was asked to be patient and we have been. But it has been a year, and the actual push-back died down. … We were waiting for a fatwa from a cleric in Saudi Arabia,” said Isaac Solotaroff, director of the PBS documentary on al-Mutawa, “when it ended up being the U.S. market that has been resistant to ‘The 99.'”
Oh yes, Saudi Arabia is so much freer and more open-minded than the United States.
Speaking about me and other critics of “The 99,” al-Mutawa said: “There is nothing different from them and the extremists in my country [Kuwait]. They are just as bad. They are just intellectual terrorists. How cliché is it that characters created to promote tolerance are getting shot down by extremists.” He complained that “a very small group of people who scream very loud have a disproportionate share of the public discourse when it comes to culture.” In effect, he is saying: Vee vill lie to you, and you vill like it!
Al-Mutawa’s complaints are all just ridiculous victimhood rhetoric. He is the one mainstreaming oppression and discrimination. I work for equality of rights for all people. So which one of us is the “intellectual terrorist”?
It would be one thing if Islam and jihad were covered and taught in an intellectually honest fashion in schools, TV and media. But no. All criticism of and candor about Islamic misogyny, oppression of non-Muslims, the bloody violent history of Islam, etc., is banned (in accordance with the blasphemy laws under the Shariah). Schoolbooks and news reports are scrubbed. So garbage like this is nothing more than dawah, Islamic proselytizing.
It would be another thing if these Islamic superheroes were fighting to combat Islamic supremacism, mad mullahs or monster mullahcracies that slaughter their people, honor kill their wives and children, or ethnically cleanse their non-Muslim minorities. Yes, that would be an Islamic superhero: “The Counter-Jihadists.” Don’t hold your breath, kids. Instead, real reformers and superheroes in Islam, such as Ibn Warraq, Nonie Darwish and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, are demonized and marginalized by Islamic supremacists and Muslim leaders.
Who will al-Mutawa’s next superhero series be propagandizing? The Handzar Muslim soldiers?