Thursday, March 17, 2011

An early 2000s example of comic book Islamo-pandering

As someone who considers comic books a worthy art form in and of themselves, that's why I feel it important to find examples within that medium of how politically correct mindsets end up ruining it with pandering to the ummah, even if they don't get genuine thanks. In this post, I'm going to cite an early example of Islamo-pandering, if that's the best way to describe this case, that took place in a Marvel comic - New X-Men #133, first written in 2002 by Grant Morrison, who's a leftist Briton, though Mark Millar and Warren Ellis are probably worse. Here's a page on Adherents about Sooraya Qadir, the regular name of the women codenamed "Dust", though she's not a superhero per se. It tells that:
When she was a child, Sooraya Qadir (later known as "Dust") was kidnapped from her family in Afghanistan and sold into slavery. Later she was rescued by Wolverine and brought to Xavier's Institute where she began studying how to better use her mutant powers. Dust had not seen her family for many years, and had been unsuccessful in her attempts to locate them.
But when she does locate her mother (and this is probably one of the not too many times she's been seen without the burqa/niqab), the following conversation in New X-Men: Hellions #2 suggests something is very wrong:
Sooraya's mother: I see you still wear it.

Dust (Sooraya Qadir): Pardon?

Sooraya's mother: Your burqa. Do you wear it in America?

Dust (Sooraya Qadir): I never wore it because of the Taliban, Mother. I like the modesty and protection it affords me from the eyes of men.

Sooraya's mother: It is good that you are in a country where you have that choice, Sooraya. Here, things are better. But not all the time. And not everwhere.
Which "choice" is that, to wear or not? This is just one of the clues to how a PC direction is taken by the writers in charge, making it sound as though Islam has nothing to do with her enslavement by the Taliban, and the woman continues to enslave herself to the hazards of osteoporosis even in the US; I guess Charles Xavier doesn't even try to talk her into abandoning the burqa out of "cultural sensitivity". On the same page, I also found former EIC Joe Quesada quoted saying:
"We're very multicultural and international,"
International is one thing, but multi-culti has since become a very tasteless word.

In researching this, I also found a currently inactive Islamist blog that wrote about this whole abusurdity 3 years ago, and if the following is accurate, I'm not sure they put the western protagonist mentioned in the following in a very positive light:
In issue # 2, Dust meets her roommate, Surge, who wears a tight tank top and pink shorts that are seemingly slipping down her waist. Provocative lyrics play from her boom box: “Yeah I drive naked through the park, and run the stop sign in the dark…” Surge is immediately hostile towards Dust because of the way she dresses. “So you don’t like my music, huh?” she says. Dust responds shyly and explains she doesn’t understand American music. Surge replies, “Yeah whatever, and speaking of things we don’t understand, is that outfit you’re wearing actually a burqa?” Dust tries to explain, but Surge interrupts and says wearing a burqa is shameful to women and makes them “subservient to men.” Dust replies politely, “no, the burqa is about modesty. There are boys and men on campus, and it is not right for me to show off by exposing myself or flesh to them.” Surge snaps back, “Are you saying I show too much flesh?” Again, Dust politely tries to explain, “No I do not judge the way you dress, I only ask that you do the same for me.” Surge walks to the door and says, “You do judge me… I don’t need to be lectured by someone who’s setting women back fifty years just by walking around like that.” Surge leaves the room and slams the door, leaving Dust dejected and discouraged.

No matter what your stance is on the burqa or the headscarf (hijaab), it is clear that this scene puts Dust on the defensive. In a place where mutants are supposed to feel accepted, Dust is misjudged because of her dress choices. In later issues, particularly New X-Men: Hellions # 2, we learn, from a conversation with her mother, that Dust is not forced to wear the burqa and she enjoys the protection it gives her from men. For Dust, the burqa is a choice, and that must be respected and defended.
But it's not a choice, by and large, in a male-dominated religion with Koranic verses like Sura 2:223, that tell the man, "Your women are your fields, so go into your fields whichever way you like", and even 2:228, which says, "Wives have the same rights as the husbands have on them in accordance with the generally known principles. Of course, men are a degree above them in status" which is otherwise claiming that men are superior to women.

As the above book description strongly signals, the girl named Surge is basically the baddie in the whole argument with her Islamic roommate, who's depicted far politer than the westerner, and the dialogue between Sooraya and her mother only distorts the deeper issues further. I suspect jihadist teachings aren't even acknowledged clearly in that propaganda.

Yet it does not impress the Islamist writer, who said:
However, I believe Dust’s reasoning for wearing the burqa is somewhat inaccurate and stereotypical. This may be due to the writers’ apparent misunderstanding of Muslim women and Islam in general. What’s annoying and arguably inaccurate is how Dust speaks about “protecting herself from men,” which not only make men out to be lustful and perverted, but it also sexualizes herself and makes her an object of desire. The beautiful teachings of modesty for both genders in Islam tend to be mistaken for the stereotypical notion of “protecting women from men.” These beliefs keep her side-lined, while the rest of the young Mutants develop crushes on one another and participate in extra-curricular activities. I’m not suggesting that Dust should start dating, but she should at least have some hobbies, otherwise she’s just a one-dimensional character! We either see Dust in the background or we catch a brief scene of her telling a fellow male mutant that she must decline taking a flight with him. It seems like she can’t do anything because her religion is so “restrictive.”
But it is restrictive, as those verses I presented for example only begin to indicate. Sure, the "characterization" is actually goofy and obscures how some Muslim women do it because of the Muslim male's bidding. But the Islamist who wrote that (I think it also appeared at a site called Altmuslimah at the time too) is stooping to denial to suggest it's literally not restrictive, even if there are some Muslim women who don't wear burqas and chadors. Of course, there is the possibility that moral equivalence played into this whole mess, and you couldn't possibly expect the writers to actually be honest and say that some Muslim women wear it because Muslim men require them to, yet even then, that doesn't stop them from being violent and oppressive.

Oddly enough, it does suggest that the writers really did insult western men, yet at the same time obfuscates how some of the most vicious Muslim men are perverted, including the Taliban themselves. And since when was it wrong for western men to love her? Only because monsters like Muhammed said so. And unfortunately, Islam can be so restrictive, that it would rule out allowing her to participate even in a simple card game.

At the end of that post, the writer says another:
recently shared some really interesting points on how western publishers have an obsession with depicting Muslim women with face veils, which has become iconic of all Muslim women, “especially when the veils sets off their kohl-enhanced eyes.” She also made the mentioning of Orientalism by Edward Said.

This is the rest of her comment: “Dust is following the same script… (t)he Orient is exoticized and feminized, the better to make it an alluring prize to be dominated by conquering white male imperialists. In actual fact, the percentage of Muslim women in the world who veil their faces is tiny. It’s practiced mainly in the Persian Gulf countries and hardly at all elsewhere. Muslim feminist Asra Nomani wrote about this trend, with the iconic veiled woman used to represent Muslim women who are in fact not veiled at all — and she even got one of the white male publishers to admit that they display the veiled image for its allure of mysteriousness. This is sexism and racism fused into one. See her article ‘Why Do Western Publishers Have a Veil Fetish?’
The answer is yes, they do, but my theory is that they do it out of cultural sensitivity to the dominant males, what else? Either way, it is disgusting and degrading to the female sex. But to deny that quite a few male Muslims will use the burqa/niqab/chador as one of many ways to be oppressive to women is dishonest, and makes the apologists for the RoP just as bad as the comics writers themselves.

And there we have a little history of how Marvel forced quite a bit of propaganda upon us, even if on the surface, it sounds like an awkward depiction. But then, as mentioned before, you probably couldn't expect them to be more honest about the deeper details involved. If anything, they really do have contempt for their own creation by making her self-oppressive.


flying comments world thoughts said...


Damien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Damien said...

Avi Green,

I remember Stan Lee openly saying something along the lines of it being inappropriate to have super heroes attack Osama bin Ladin, so he's definitely pretty PC. He doesn't even feel comfortable having one of our make believe heroes attack a real life bad guy.

Anonymous said...

stan lee sucks islamic dick