Saturday, August 22, 2009
7033: Super Muslim Friends.
From The New York Daily News…
Muslim superheroes ‘The 99’ include burka-clad woman; hit show coming to British TV
By Nicole Lyn Pesce
Daily News Staff Writer
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s … a burka?
The first Muslim superheroes—already a big hit in the Arab world—are bursting onto the international stage with a new British television series, reports the U.K. Telegraph.
Called “The 99” after Allah’s 99 attributes, the cartoon superheroes include a burka-clad woman named Batina the Hidden and a Saudi Arabian muscle-man named Jabbar the Powerful.
Forbes recently listed the Muslim super friends as one of the top 20 trends taking the world by storm.
“The 99” will hit the airwaves courtesy of Endemol, the production company behind the wildly successful “Big Brother,” with a mission to impart Islamic values in children across all faiths.
The characters’ creator Dr. Naif al-Mutawa, a clinical psychologist from Kuwait, was inspired to develop positive Muslim role models to counter the negative messages of jihadists.
“It hit me that the stories I was hearing were from men who grew up believing that their leader, Saddam, was a hero, a role model—only to one day be tortured by him,” he told the London Times. “I decided the Arab world needed better role models.”
Al-Mutawa created the characters “based on attributes such as generosity and mercy,” and expects them to have a universal appeal. “Those are not things that Islam has a monopoly on.”
Don’t worry about memorizing almost a hundred different characters, however. Although named “The 99,” there will never be a full cast, because it is forbidden to depict all of Allah’s attributes.