Sunday, April 9, 2017

US: Marvel pulls comic artwork over hidden Koranic hate messages by Islamic artist.

(NY) Marvel comics have had to remove artwork of one of its Comic books X-Men Gold #1After it was revealed that its Indonesian artist Ardian Syaf inserted several hidden references to passages of the Koran and to Muslim protests against the Christian governor of Jakarta.

In the first Syaf inserted the numbers "5:51" on a top that Russian mutant Colossus is wearing while hitting a ball with a bat.

5.51 references a Koranic passage which reads: "O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. 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."

In the second the artist labelled a building “212" above new X-Men leader Kitty Pryde’s head (Her character is one of the most prominent Jewish heroes in Marvel Comic’s roster.) Also her hair blocks out part of the Jewellery sign in which to read 'Jew' . Also included is a man wearing a tee shirt with the nbr 51 (see above) with hos fists clenched. 

The number 212 is often used as a reference to the Muslim protest against the Christian governor of Jakarta on 2 December 2016, which the artist admitted on his Facebook page to draw inspiration from. Tjahaja, who was elected in 2014, is Jakarta’s first non-Muslim governor in 50 years (he’s Christian) and the first ethnic Chinese person to hold the position. He’s been relatively popular for his stance against corruption, including among the nation’s moderate Muslim population. However, some conservative Islamists, largely led by the Islamic Defenders Front (also known as FPI), have argued that the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation should not have a leader who isn’t Muslim. They tried to block Tjahaja from becoming governor on the basis of his faith, and they've been accused of committing vigilante acts against religious minorities since the group’s founding in 1999.

Marvel comics have released the following press statement:
“The mentioned artwork in X-Men Gold #1 was inserted without knowledge behind its reported meanings. 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.”