D.C. Comics Panders to Muslim Audience with New Muslim Superhero

| December 28, 2010 | 2 Comments

D.C. Comics Panders to Muslim Audience with New Muslim Superhero

comics_batman_inc_2In a defeating blow to comic book fans everywhere – who could before open the crisp colored pages of the newest issue and delve into a world far removed from politics and religion – D.C. Comics betrays a loyal audience by injecting a fat dripping dose of political correctness into their list of superheroes.

Meet Nightrunner, 22-year-old Frenchman Bilal Asselah, a new D.C. superhero skilled in Parkour, the art of freerunning and overcoming any obstacle in his path by adapting to the environment using only his body. Recruited by Bruce Wayne to be the “Batman of Paris”, Asselah would be a welcomed new addition to a legendary list of superheroes except that D.C. has decided to brand him with a Muslim identity.

A comic book nerd courtesy of an older brother, as far as I know neither D.C. nor Marvel ever previously assigned a religious label to a character. The Scarlet Witch could have been Pagan. Captain America could have been a devout Buddhist. Bruce Banner could have always been a Jew, but it was just never brought up as part of a plot line – which begs the question, what does religion have to do with being a superhero?

batman_muslim_04We already had to deal with The 99, an independent Muslim set of superheroes named after the 99 names of Allah and creating a link between classic heroes and divine prophecy. I’m sure their creation was well-intentioned way to promote “intercultural intersection”, but the group actually forms subconscious barriers within minds that seek a “separate but equal identity” – judiciously proven to be destructive mindset.

The other interesting fact that must have evaded D.C. writers is that a French audience would have a really hard time relating to Asselah’s identity. Immigrant French Muslims have had newsworthy difficulty assimilating and identifying themselves as French – particularly Algerian Muslims with a history of severa conflicts as recent as late last century

The French themselves don’t have a favorable view of immigrant Muslims and would likely ask why can’t a French citizen (who isn’t in real time compromising their national and cultural identity) be ascribed the role of “saving Paris”. And does Paris need saving? If so, isn’t it a bit incredulous to assign a fictional character whose real life counterpart is part of the problem?

But D.C isn’t alone in painting characters and storylines in a thick coat of P.C. According to Publius Forum, issue 602 Captain America turns Tea Partiers into an enemy of America. While Marvel later apologized, they plan on running with a similar theme again in the new 2011 Captain America movie where the director stated Captain America wouldn’t be a big “flag waver” – which defeats the purpose of Captain America being a captain of what country again? Oh that’s right, America.  Furthermore, there’s Archie Comics that decided to add a gay character in April 2009 and 2007 where movie makers announced their intention to remove all mentions of the U.S. military from G.I. Joe. These issues can be debated either which way, but comic books isn’t the place for them. Comic books are a escapist reality inspiring heroism in our own lives; it isn’t the place for a social agenda and to do so violates the spirit and authenticy of comics.

So what else can be expect in the continuing parade of ridiculous? With the announcement of a new Muslim D.C. superhero, liberal media has painted right-wing bloggers as racist in their disapproval of it. I find that offensive. A conservative and an independent at heart, I hardly call my criticism of Nightrunner as Islamophobic racism – reminding critics that as a Muslim, I also find religious filtering to be a big step in the wrong direction.

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Category: CULTURE

About the Author (Author Profile)

Shireen Qudosi is a Top 10 North American Muslim Reformer. She founded Qudosi Chronicles shortly after 9-11 when she noticed a widespread failure in honest conversations about Islam. Since it’s launch, Qudosi Chronicles has developed a broad and diverse following that has helped spark Muslim reform. Shireen is half Pakistani, half Afghan and a Sufi American Muslim who feels strongly that Islam is fated for an evolutionary leap in consciousness. And that leap is necessary in order for a global world of people to take the next collective step in advancing human dignity and excellence.

Comments (2)

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  1. Stop says:

    This article is laughable. Don’t write about comics if you can’t be bothered to do even the bare minimum of research. Scarlet Witch is Jewish, just like her father, Magneto, her brother, Quicksilver, and her re-incarnated son Wiccan. Steve Rodgers (Captain America, in case you weren’t aware) has always been Christian, just like countless other Marvel characters, including Spiderman, Daredevil, Nightcrawler, Jean Grey, ect.

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