Marvel artist Ardian Syaf will face “disciplinary action” after it was revealed over the weekend that he promoted an anti-Christian and anti-Semitic verse from the Koran in one of its books.
Superhero fans know the X-Men as a team of “mutants” that fights against intolerance. The newest issue of “X-Men Gold,” however, included a reference to Indonesian politics and the Koranic chapter and verse QS 5:51. The surreptitious messaging spread on Reddit and entertainment websites on Saturday before the company took action.
“O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies,” one translation of the text reads. “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.”
The Koranic reference was printed on a main character’s clothing in a story where a Jewish woman becomes the team’s leader.
A “212” and another “51” appeared elsewhere in the book, both references to a day of Muslim protests in December over claims that Jakarta’s Christian governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, insulted Islam.
“The mentioned artwork in X-Men Gold #1 was inserted without knowledge behind its reported meanings,” Marvel said in a statement released Saturday. “These implied references do not reflect the views of the writer, editors or anyone else at Marvel and are in direct opposition of the inclusiveness of Marvel Comics and what the X-Men have stood for since their creation. This artwork will be removed from subsequent printings, digital versions, and trade paperbacks and disciplinary action is being taken.”
Marc Guggenheim, the series’ writer, is also Jewish.
G. Willow Wilson, a Muslim author employed at the company, said Mr. Syaf could “kiss his career goodbye” on social media before discussing the text’s translation.
“The Indonesian interpretation is more accurate than the one being pushed by certain other factions, but it’s still bull———. Why? Because it has very little relevance to a democratic, multi-ethnic and multi-religious state,” the author said Saturday on Tumblr. “It was revealed at a time when the fledgling Muslim community was engaged in a de facto trade war (that rapidly escalated into armed conflict) with its non-Muslim neighbors. In such a situation, appointing somebody from the opposing side as your legal representative does indeed seem like a pretty bad idea.”
“While there are some hardline interpretations that hold this edict applies equally to all situations across time and space, Muslim history is swimming in Jewish and Christian (and sometimes Hindu) advisors elevated to positions of intimate counsel in various caliphates, so it’s clear that for much of Islamic history, this verse, much like the Pirate Code, was more of a guideline than an actual rule,” the author added.