Superheroes, Inspired by Islam
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 6:00 PM (EDT)
Widad the Loving, Bari the Healer, Mumita the Destroyer and friends, all working together to fight evil -- the virtues of Islam are embodied in the characters of the thrilling new comicThe 99. Naif Al-Mutawa, a clinical psychologist by training, created the characters with a team of artists and writers to showcase traditional, tolerant and enlightened Muslim values in the guise of good old-fashioned superheroes, ordinary mortals who acquire special powers and crisscross the globe on missions.
Soon, the 99 heroes will be saving the world alongside all-American heroes Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman in a crossover comic with the Justice League. The 99 comic is the corner stone of an expanding family (moving toward videogames and theme parks) that will bring these characters into the mainstream; an animated cartoon series has been announced for fall 2010 on US cable channel The Hub. And US President Barack Obama recently commended The 99 for capturing the imagination of young people through their message of tolerance.
Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa is Founder and CEO of Teshkeel Media Group, for whom he created The 99, the first group of comic superheroes born of an Islamic archetype. The 99 has received positive attention from the world’s media and has been commended by, among others, President Barack Obama. Al-Mutawa has a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Long Island University, a Master’s in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, and an MBA, also from Columbia. He earned his undergraduate degree from Tufts University.
Mutawa will tell the story of the birth of The 99, the success of the world's newest superheroes, and the future he hopes they will usher in.
NOCMES is a project dedicated to bringing voices and scholars from the Muslim world and the Middle East to Northeastern Ohio with the explicit goal of fostering dialogue and a greater understanding of the local and global Muslim community.
Dr. Pete W. Moore, Department of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University
Dr. Zeinab Abul-Magd, Department of History, Oberlin College
Dr. Joshua Stacher, Department of Political Science, Kent State University
Dr. Neda A Zawahri, Department of Political Science, Cleveland State University