Islam-inspired comic superheroes fight for peace - TED Talks via CNN.com
By Naif Al-Mutawa, Special to CNN
August 22, 2010 11:52 a.m. EDT
Editor’s note: TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “Ideas worth spreading,” which it makes available through talks posted on its website. Naif Al-Mutawa, who was trained as a clinical psychologist, created a comic series called “THE 99,” with superheroes based on Islamic archetypes. The series is coming to television in the U.S. and THE 99 heroes will be in a joint comic book this fall with Superman and other Justice League heroes.
(CNN) — Fifteen years ago I walked out of a mosque in silent protest of the imam’s sermon. Outside, the heat of the desert sun could hardly match the fire of the rhetoric being spewed forth inside.
The imam was railing against the foreign enemies of Islam and the sinners within. With every genocidal rant came an “amen” from the congregation. Some regrettably came from the heart. Others came from those on autopilot putting in their “time” at the mosque to fulfill their quota of good deeds. Still others were a tradeoff: penance for their sins, an economy of convenience that was born long before Islam and long sold as the path to heaven of other faiths.
It was not the first time I had heard terrible notions of fear and hate peddled in the name of my religion. But that day was different. That day I felt complicit. I had reached a point of intellectual critical mass where my love for my religion overwhelmed my sitting in silence any longer. As I stood up, I stared at the imam to make sure he knew that at least one person would no longer accept the recipe of his revenge.
The 99 website.
Download a free copy in PDF form of The 99 Origins.