Sunday, August 23, 2009

Superheroes of Sharia

A Muslim superhero group, published for years as a cartoon strip, is going international in the form of Saturday morning animation. (Watch out for IEDs, Power Rangers.) The group of heroes, who adhere to Sharia Law (that is, sodomy equals execution, adultery equals execution, dissent equals execution, and men can divorce their subhuman wives via text-message....and then execute them) are called The 99, because Allah apparently has/had 99 attributes, so each hero is gifted with a corresponding power.

My favorite description of one of the heroes is Dar The Afflicter, an American who became a paraplegic after a drunk driving accident, and now has the ability to affect nerve endings with his mind and inflict indescribable pain. 'Cause that's what real heroes do! Torture.

The others are half-normal, half-not. You've got your powerhouses, and fliers, and talented engineers. But then you've got a girl whose mind is a GPS and can track enemies, a super-hearer who can listen in on your phone conversations, and one who can "see the light of truth in others and allow them or force them to see it in themselves." Not freaky at all.

The creator, Dr. Naif al-Mutawi, was inspired by visiting with Muslim victims of torture under Saddam Hussein recovering in a New York hospital. He was turned off by the current children trends of sticker books with phrases like 'Let me die a martyr' or that TV bunny they have that encourages kids to kill Jews and go to paradise. Sounds noble enough, but passing Saudi censors due to financial support makes me slightly doubtful.

Dr. al-Mutawa decries the international appeal of the group by saying: “It is based on attributes such as generosity and mercy. These are not things that Islam has a monopoly over.” No, nor even the slightest historical example of.

The show is coming to British television soon, produced by Endemol, a Dutch company that produced and promoted Big Brother, with the mission 'to instill old-fashioned Islamic values in Christian, Jewish, and atheist children.' Just goes to show that when someone says they're working to counter some kind of agitprop effects (in this case jihadist) it just means they're doing their own agitprop campaign (in this case actually jihadist).

As I recall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men, and Science Court were never attempting to instill anything in me, except the desire to sit through the commercials. The attempt to impact and form a child's mind is a heinous, deplorable, creepy-ass endeavour, and should be forcefully opposed. Unfortunately, it most likely won't be.

Talks with DC and Marvel are apparently underway to feature The 99 in crossovers, echoing the new Obama illustration of civilizations as allies (he's so original.) I can imagine exactly what Batman would have to say to them, but it would never happen. I'm most interested in how Pigman would react. There's a fight scene I'd love to read. (Marvel has a national Chinese superteam already, with one man who can call on the strength of the entire population...strength in numbers, typical.)

The 99 is just a name, however, as it is forbidden to actually depict all of Allah's attributes. Or else you might be executed. Or, if you're lucky, Dar the Afflicter will give you a little taste of searing agony. Avengers Assemble.

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