Jihadism Slipped into Comic Books?By Joshua Gelernter


Something very peculiar has gone on in the comic book world over the last two weeks.

Two weeks ago, Marvel Comics—proprietors of Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, the Avengers, and so on—released a comic book titled X-Men Gold #1. It’s a sort of reboot of the X-Men, the mutant superheroes who’ve torn up our movie screens over the last 15 years. X-Men Gold #1 included drawings filled with subtle anti-Christian and anti-Semitic propaganda.

When I first saw a headline to that effect, I assumed it was someone overreacting to something—but then Marvel apologized and recalled the issue.

A few months ago—on December 2 of last year—there were protest marches directed at the governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama. Basuki is a Christian. The protests were over comments he made that the Quranic Surah (“chapter”) 5:51 shouldn’t be taken to mean that “Muslims should not appoint Jews and Christians as their leaders,” which is evidently the idiomatic translation used in Indonesia. The literal translation of the passage is, “O you that have believed, do not take the Jews and Christians as Allies. They are, in fact, allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you—then indeed, he is one of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.”

For allegedly trying to persuade people to ignore the Quaran, Governor Basuki was labeled a blasphemer, and protested by an angry mob hundreds of thousands strong. The December 2 protest became known as the 212 protest, and was duplicated on February 21 of this year; also a “2/12” in some calendars. (Ours, for instance.)

These protests were supported by Indonesian Comic Book artist Ardian Syaf, who illustrated X-Men Gold #1. A drawing in that comic book shows a very-religious Catholic X-Man playing baseball with one of his superhero colleagues, who’s shirt is emblazoned with “QS 5:51.” That is, Quranic Surah 5:51. Another drawing shows a Jewish X-Man, Kitty Pryde, addressing a crowd of onlookers on a city street. As she explains to the crowd that she is the leader of the X-Men, a man in the crowd glares at her; he has the number “51” stamped on his t-shirt —reminding everyone not to accept Jews as leaders. Above him, a storefront is emblazoned with the number 212. Miss Pryde herself stands in front of Jewelry store. Her head partly obscures the last few letters, leaving the word “Jew” floating by her head.

When Marvel found out what was going on, they apologized, and fired Syaf—who is quoted in the Jerusalem post as saying that the Quarnic quote in question promotes “justice” and “love,” and that “when Jews are offended, there is no mercy.”

This whole thing is peculiar for a dozen obvious reasons. Foremost among them is the fact that comic books were literally invented by Jews.

The comic book was the idea of a Jew named Max Gaines, born Max Ginzberg. He suggested to Eastern Color Printing that they supplant Sunday funny pages with a complete funny-page book. No news, just comic strips. Thus was born the first comic book, “Famous Funnies #1.”

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