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The 99’s Fatwa

the 99Comics have had an interesting role in the Arab and Muslim world, often being used to express frustration with overtly restrictive governments, helping with revolution, or attempting to present a better spotlight on the Islamic faith and its Muslim worshipers. The Daily Beast has reported that Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-Sheikh issued a fatwa – a legal opinion or advice from the Islamic faith – against the comic book and TV show The 99. The series featured characters who identify with the 99 names of Allah and have been the focus of controversy here in the United States.

Created by Naif al-Mutawa the comic was created to present a positive portrayal of Muslims, and provide Muslim children positive role models. The fatwa issued calls the comics:

…evil work that needs to be shunned…

That’d be the exact opposite of what the point of the comic is. The comic has been praised by the United States, which has highlighted it numerous times.

Naif al-Mutawa vented his frustration talking to The Daily Beast:

We put Saudi super heroes on global television. We are saying, ‘We are the good guys, not the bad guys,’ and these people are saying, ‘No, you are wrong, we actually are the bad guys. Stop spreading lies, Naif!’

With the rise of positive Muslim characters like Marvel’s excellent new Ms. Marvel, it’ll be interesting to see if more fatwas are declared.

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