Marvel Comics Muslim superhero fights racist bus ads in San Francisco

Group behind campaign says they won’t let racism go unchallenged


Web Desk January 27, 2015
PHOTO: MARVEL

Kamala Khan, Marvel Comics’ first Muslim character, has found a real-life enemy to fight.

Images of the comic book character, who first made an appearance in the Captain Marvel comic series in 2013, were plastered over anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish advertisements on buses in San Francisco recently.

While the bigoted ads are not new, this novel way of countering the narrative has created a stir in the online community with the writer of the Ms Marvel comic series also tweeting about it.

https://twitter.com/GWillowWilson/status/559548463373774848

Bay Area Art Queers Unleashing Power (BAAQUP), a blog that appears to represent the group behind the initiative, describes the group as “a loose collective of arts activists with a long history of liberating public spaces and creating images to challenge the control of our lives by corporations, government and the assumptions promoted by mass media.”

BAAQUP also posted pictures of their campaign in a blog post titled “Saying No To Hatred – With Superheroes!” on January 26. Meanwhile, another group, Street Cred, posted the same pictures on their Facebook page.

“BAAQUP and Street Cred commend Marvel for taking a different road than Charlie Hebdo, using the power of comics for good,” the January 26 blog post said.



PHOTO: BAAQUP

“Kamala won’t let racism go unchallenged in our town, and neither will we!” the blog post added, referring to the Ms Marvel character.

The post also mentions one Pam Geller, founder of American Freedom Defense Initiative, the organization behind the original racist ads. “The day after the attack at Charlie Hebdo and the murders at the kosher grocery store in Paris, one of us texted another – ‘Get ready, Pam Geller’s going to come to town.’”

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