On, Wednesday, May 11th, Jean will be speaking with Naif Al-Mutawa, the creator of “The 99,” the first Islamically themed superhero comic. Al-Mutawa created the comics to provide Muslim children with superheroes that they could identify with. The characters come from all over the world, in order to emphasize the diversity of the worldwide Muslim community. Even though the names of the characters stem from the 99 names of God mentioned in the Qur’an, Sunnah, and Islamic tradition and each character represents some of the core values of Islam, the series is not specifically about Islam as a faith but about broader themes like tolerance.
The comics have become a big hit and have been translated into several languages. Moreover, six theme parks based on the series opened around the Middle East in 2009.
According to Al-Mutawa, the importance of the series comes from the its central message: “Human beings have so much more that unites us than separates us. All cultures should be valued and respected. Tolerance and understanding are more powerful than force and conflict.”
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