X-Factor Gets It’s Own Algerian Muslim
As if taunting right wing over-reactors, writer Peter David highlighted character Monet is a Muslim of Algerian descent. In Marvel‘s X-Factor, New York City Mayor J. Jonah Jameson and members of X-Factor including Monet, Guido and Siryn deal with protesters who resemble last year’s “Ground Zero” protests.
David dares the venomous internet hate to be turned his way, by depicting the crowd as all white. Their statements include these gems:
America for Americans.
We need to protect our borders.
We don’t need more Muslim terrorists getting in here.
Yeah! They’re as bad as mutants!
That’s just some of the quotes in one panel alone. Didn’t Marvel learn their lesson with depicting the Tea Party and white people? To those hate tinged statements, mutant Monet responds with a bold declaration:
Oh, really? I’m a Muslim and a mutant…
And in a simple few pages the allegory of mutant plight shifted to speak for current tensions with Muslims here in America. The “X” line of comics has traditionally been a great narrative of civil right and racial issues in the United States.
From it’s earliest days, it could easily be pigeonholed into being nothing more but a comic book version of the civil rights struggles that were being fought when the X-men first debuted in 1963. With factions representing Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr it was easy to see there was more to this comic book series. In the 80’s the focus turned to gay rights, with some mutants revealing they were gay and in one story line AIDS was discussed as a plague ravaged that community.
But today, David has shifted the focus to modern hate, that of Muslims. He lays it right out there with these two statements by protesters:
All mutants want to take over the world.
And Muslims, too. It’s right in your sacred texts. You guys are at war with Christianity. And your mosques are really secret terrorist training camps.
Monet doesn’t respond with the best rebutal, that comes from white Mayor J. Jonah Jameson (the same guy who used to torture Spider-Man and run the Daily Bugle):
Funny thing: I keep hearing that from the far ends of the both sides: ‘We want our country back.’ Where’d it go? If neither side has it, then who took it? Guess what? I did.
Me and my big white ancestors. We came rolling in and took it from the people who were here in the first place. And right after we did that, we kidnapped people from Africa to help us build it. And now we’re all worried that karma’s coming back to bite us on the keister. So we got to fight back because otherwise a hundred years from now, we might be the ones living in reservations and dying a small pox.
We can do that. Keep everyone we’re afraid of out. Send intruders back where they came from, or maybe put ‘em in camps like World War II, ’cause we’re afraid they’re terrorists. Or maybe… And it’s a crazy idea, I know… Maybe we can stop treating everybody like they’re the damned enemy.
And there we have it, Peter David has a clear message for the white haters who have raged before. As Andrew Belonsky at Death and Taxes points out:
Writer Peter David’s message starts to become clear: bigotry, real or imagined, toward Muslims or mutants, goes against the American grain, and treating “different” people like the enemy does the nation no favors.
It was an Algerian Muslim who launched the last round of protests from the right when one was made a Batman over at DC Comics. Peter David seems to continue to dare society with this latest plot twist. His writing has been very gay friendly, which has lead to honors from GLAAD for his portayal.
But, the question remains, will the right throw a hissy-fit like they did over Batman/Nightrunner? If they do, they defeat their original claims their issue was with an unrealistic portrayal of Algerians and French. But, likely this great series will fly under the radar of the hatemongers.
No matter what, David pushes the envelope, and has drawn a line in the sand. He’s daring the right to respond, and we’ll see if they take up his clear challenge.