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.
Blogger Jehanzeb Dar’s critique of the depiction of Muslim women in comic books provides an insightful continuation to broader discussions of depictions of these women in other venues, such as the showcase of portraits of Muslim women I wrote about in November here on Inside Islam. His two-part essay entitled “Female, Muslim, and Mutant” has been featured on prominent Muslim and non-Muslim blogs alike. You can find his commentary on Racialicious and Muslimah Media Watch. The series also received the Best Post or Series Award in The 2007 Brass Crescent Awards last month.