This story came out, and was widely reported, last week:
Marvel artist Ardian Syaf will face “disciplinary action” after it was revealed over the weekend that he promoted an anti-Christian and anti-Semitic verse from the Koran in one of its books.
Superhero fans know the X-Men as a team of “mutants” that fights against intolerance. The newest issue of “X-Men Gold,” however, included a reference to Indonesian politics and the Koranic chapter and verse QS 5:51. The surreptitious messaging spread on Reddit and entertainment websites on Saturday before the company took action.
“O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies,” one translation of the text reads. “They are, in fact, allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you — then indeed, he is one of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.”
The Koranic reference was printed on a main character’s clothing in a story where a Jewish woman becomes the team’s leader.
A “212” and another “51” appeared elsewhere in the book, both references to a day of Muslim protests in December over claims that Jakarta’s Christian governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, insulted Islam.
“The mentioned artwork in X-Men Gold #1 was inserted without knowledge behind its reported meanings,” Marvel said in a statement released Saturday. “These implied references do not reflect the views of the writer, editors or anyone else at Marvel and are in direct opposition of the inclusiveness of Marvel Comics and what the X-Men have stood for since their creation. This artwork will be removed from subsequent printings, digital versions, and trade paperbacks and disciplinary action is being taken.”
The reaction from the artist:
In an interview with local Jakarta newspaper Jawa Pos published today and translated by Coconuts, Ardian stated that he had tried to explain his side to Marvel. “But Marvel is owned by Disney. When Jews are offended, there is no mercy.”
There is an irony here from a Muslim artist who doesn’t like Jews.
Back in the 1940s, the first Muslim comic book hero was created. He was called Kismet, Man of Fate. An Algerian, Kismet eschewed alcohol, used phrases like “By the beard of Allah!” and fought Nazis in Nazi-occupied France, although he would try not to kill anyone.
Kismet was supposedly created by “Omar Tahan,” but that was a fiction. In fact he was conceived, written and drawn by Jews. And considering that comics in that time period were routinely blatantly racist, Kismet – despite the stereotypical catchphrases – was someone who was clearly a good guy.
The comic book house that created Kismet, Bomber Comics, was owned by two Jews, including a woman, Ruth Roche, who probably wrote the Kismet stories.
So we have Jews who created a very respectful (if short-lived) Muslim comic book hero 75 years ago when racism and bigotry was widespread, and today we have a Muslim artist who inserted anti-Jewish messages in the modern form of the same medium.
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