'Why I based superheroes on Islam'

Bill Mattocks

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8127699.stm
The creator of a bestselling comic designed to show the world the tolerant and peaceful face of Islam has written an open letter to his young sons explaining how the project grew out of 9/11.
In the letter, written for the BBC News website, Kuwaiti psychologist Dr Naif al-Mutawa, says his superheroes - inspired by the Koran and known as THE 99 - were designed to "take back Islam" from militants who had taken it hostage.
 

celtic_crippler

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...but I thought they were all evil? :rolleyes:


What's with the kid with the giant big toe? What the heck is he supposed to do? ...nevermind...I don't think I want to know!
 

CoryKS

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...but I thought they were all evil? :rolleyes:


What's with the kid with the giant big toe? What the heck is he supposed to do? ...nevermind...I don't think I want to know!

Dunno, but I bet he gets picked first for every soccer game.
 
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Bill Mattocks

Bill Mattocks

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...but I thought they were all evil? :rolleyes:


What's with the kid with the giant big toe? What the heck is he supposed to do? ...nevermind...I don't think I want to know!

Let me ask you a question - in all seriousness - and I am not trying to be insulting or make this into a personal attack.

However, I've found a number of your responses both galling and insignificant. I don't want to block you (heck, I've only ever blocked anyone once, and that was for a short time) but in looking over your last 100 posts or so, it seems all you post are snarky, flip, and sarcastic responses that don't actually state an opinion other than 'everything sucks' yet in an inflammatory way that seems to be designed to provoke a response. Are you interested in actual conversation, or do you just want to stand on the sidelines and snipe?

I ask because I've known acquaintances in real life who seem to respond to everything the way you seem to - I find them toxic and do my best to stay away from them. I'm vulnerable to their aggressive sarcasm, negativism, and general bad vibes, so I stay away.
 

CoryKS

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Bill, perhaps you could get the ball rolling by stating an opinion of your own. We've had threads in the past where the OP will post a link to an article and then after 10-12 replies will say, "this isn't what I wanted to talk about".

So, we've got a comic book written by a Muslim which features superheroes who embody the positive aspects of his god, as he understands them. You've posted this in the Study, so maybe you see some controversy in this. Care to elaborate?
 

celtic_crippler

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Let me ask you a question - in all seriousness - and I am not trying to be insulting or make this into a personal attack.

However, I've found a number of your responses both galling and insignificant. I don't want to block you (heck, I've only ever blocked anyone once, and that was for a short time) but in looking over your last 100 posts or so, it seems all you post are snarky, flip, and sarcastic responses that don't actually state an opinion other than 'everything sucks' yet in an inflammatory way that seems to be designed to provoke a response. Are you interested in actual conversation, or do you just want to stand on the sidelines and snipe?

I ask because I've known acquaintances in real life who seem to respond to everything the way you seem to - I find them toxic and do my best to stay away from them. I'm vulnerable to their aggressive sarcasm, negativism, and general bad vibes, so I stay away.

Looks like I touched a nerve? It's my avatar isn't it?

Block away Big Guy. It won't hurt my feelings. :)

I don't care if you appreciate my humor or not, there's plenty others that do find my posts entertaining and even more that feel I'm a very positive person.

Being positive doesn't mean living in a bubble where everything's always hunky-dorey. I do use sarcasm quite a bit, but I also attempt to provoke thought and not just sling around my opinions as fact. Then, sometimes I'm simply "flipant" perhaps because I find a post redundant or obvious and am trying to entice others to find something deeper in it to discuss.

And what is a conversation if one does not provoke a response to the posed statement, question, whatever?

You're entitled to your opinion, but maybe next time you should take it off line? Or you can simply put me on your ignore list and live happily ever after. I won't reciprocate, however. I like your posts. :)
 
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Bill Mattocks

Bill Mattocks

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Bill, perhaps you could get the ball rolling by stating an opinion of your own. We've had threads in the past where the OP will post a link to an article and then after 10-12 replies will say, "this isn't what I wanted to talk about".

I hope I haven't done that.

So, we've got a comic book written by a Muslim which features superheroes who embody the positive aspects of his god, as he understands them. You've posted this in the Study, so maybe you see some controversy in this. Care to elaborate?

Controversy, not really. I saw it as a topic perhaps worthy of discussion on a couple levels.

I do see it as an understanding by moderate Muslims that they are often and mistakenly seen by the world at large through the filter of Islamic terrorism. Christians might react the same way if others saw all Christians through the lens of abortion-clinic bombers.

I also see it as a refutation of those who *do* see Islam as a monolithic (and evil) whole.

I also find it interesting that the author has chosen to take a split message with his characters. On the one hand, they're clearly Muslim (which is the point), yet on the other, they are not shown, he says, worshiping or reading the Koran, etc. When one thinks of the parallels in Christian-oriented comic books of the late 1960's, that element was clearly always present (not talking about the Jack Chick tracts, but the 'Christian' themed comic books).
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Looks like I touched a nerve? It's my avatar isn't it?

You did touch a nerve, I'll admit it. Your snarky posts get my dander up, which I've admitted. Then I respond and I've been sucked into your world of apparent negativity.

Block away Big Guy. It won't hurt my feelings. :)

I don't care if you appreciate my humor or not, there's plenty others that do find my posts entertaining and even more that feel I'm a very positive person.

You think that's humor?

Being positive doesn't mean living in a bubble where everything's always hunky-dorey. I do use sarcasm quite a bit, but I also attempt to provoke thought and not just sling around my opinions as fact. Then, sometimes I'm simply "flipant" perhaps because I find a post redundant or obvious and am trying to entice others to find something deeper in it to discuss.

I really don't see that. I have tried. I even went back through your recent posts in threads I had otherwise ignored - I'm not seeing either humor or discussion-inducing sarcasm there. Just snarky in-your-face one-liners designed to get someone to say something snotty back to you.

And what is a conversation if one does not provoke a response to the posed statement, question, whatever?

Your 'what else is new' comments don't really provoke responses to the topic, but responses to your world-view.

You're entitled to your opinion, but maybe next time you should take it off line? Or you can simply put me on your ignore list and live happily ever after. I won't reciprocate, however. I like your posts. :)

I don't really like back-channel cattiness. It's childish and immature. I get those private messages, whispering this guy is rude, ignore that guy, oh boy can you believe what that jackhole said, and etc. I delete 'em. I'm sorry, I'm too direct for that. I have tried to not make this a personal attack on you. I'm really not understanding what it is you intend with the snappy one-liners. If it's humor as you claim, I'm sorry, I just don't see it.
 

celtic_crippler

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I hope I haven't done that.

Controversy, not really. I saw it as a topic perhaps worthy of discussion on a couple levels.

I do see it as an understanding by moderate Muslims that they are often and mistakenly seen by the world at large through the filter of Islamic terrorism. Christians might react the same way if others saw all Christians through the lens of abortion-clinic bombers.

I also see it as a refutation of those who *do* see Islam as a monolithic (and evil) whole.

I also find it interesting that the author has chosen to take a split message with his characters. On the one hand, they're clearly Muslim (which is the point), yet on the other, they are not shown, he says, worshiping or reading the Koran, etc. When one thinks of the parallels in Christian-oriented comic books of the late 1960's, that element was clearly always present (not talking about the Jack Chick tracts, but the 'Christian' themed comic books).

Do you think it's the entire world or just the Western part?

I've often held that comparing all Muslims to terrorist extremist is the same as comparing all Christians to David Koresh or Jim Jones even. It's ridiculous.

I think it's great that he's taking action to try and change the perception, but I'm afraid it may put him in danger if he does not portray more of their customs in his comics. Remember the Bin Laden comic fiasco? I know it's not the same, but it's similar... there are those that do not tolerate the slightest percieved straying from Islamic fundamental teachings and would probably see him as an infidel.
 

CoryKS

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Controversy, not really. I saw it as a topic perhaps worthy of discussion on a couple levels.

I do see it as an understanding by moderate Muslims that they are often and mistakenly seen by the world at large through the filter of Islamic terrorism. Christians might react the same way if others saw all Christians through the lens of abortion-clinic bombers.

I also see it as a refutation of those who *do* see Islam as a monolithic (and evil) whole.

I also find it interesting that the author has chosen to take a split message with his characters. On the one hand, they're clearly Muslim (which is the point), yet on the other, they are not shown, he says, worshiping or reading the Koran, etc. When one thinks of the parallels in Christian-oriented comic books of the late 1960's, that element was clearly always present (not talking about the Jack Chick tracts, but the 'Christian' themed comic books).

Good points. As far as "showing the world the tolerant and peaceful face of Islam", I think his success will go little further than the interviews he gives and the press that he garners about the comic book. Unless the religious undertones are really subtle, the fan base for the series will obviously be Muslim kids. And if they are subtle enough for general consumption, the message will be lost - not necessarily the message of peace and tolerance, but the connection to Islam. Where the book has potential is in showing Muslim children in certain areas a tolerant and peaceful face of Islam, but that will depend on whether it's translated and circulated in trouble spots (and if parents will allow their kids to read it).

One think I'd be interested to see is who or what he chooses to cast as the villain/antagonist for these stories. That will tell a lot about the direction he is taking with this.
 

celtic_crippler

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One think I'd be interested to see is who or what he chooses to cast as the villain/antagonist for these stories. That will tell a lot about the direction he is taking with this.

Ya know, I hadn't considered that.

That will probably have a larger impact than anything else. To achieve his goal I think they would have to be "neutral" somehow, or even better be extremist...but if he does that he could lose out on winning over some teetering on the edge so to speak...It will be interesting to see.
 

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The guy's trying to do a good thing and it's cool. This story will never have the impact that Green Lantern's stories dealing with drug abuse or race issues, Namor/Aqua Man/Hawkman/Plastic man's issues about environmental issues, or any number of other things handled quite well in comics. You gotta start with good characters and have their values and ideals be part of the story, not values and ideals first then story.
 

CoryKS

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The guy's trying to do a good thing and it's cool. This story will never have the impact that Green Lantern's stories dealing with drug abuse or race issues, Namor/Aqua Man/Hawkman/Plastic man's issues about environmental issues, or any number of other things handled quite well in comics. You gotta start with good characters and have their values and ideals be part of the story, not values and ideals first then story.

Yup, character development is key.
 

girlbug2

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I think it sounds like a great idea. The flaw however is that the audience he most wants to read it--those kids who have the potential to be inspired away from radical islam--are least likely to ever see it. Their parents would no doubt be scandalized that the female superheroes aren't all wearing burkas.
 

Ken Morgan

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I think it sounds like a great idea. The flaw however is that the audience he most wants to read it--those kids who have the potential to be inspired away from radical islam--are least likely to ever see it. Their parents would no doubt be scandalized that the female superheroes aren't all wearing burkas.

But if there was a female Muslim Superhero wearing a burka, Halloween costumes would be so much easier on the parents. Guess who you going out as this year??:)
 

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