The Ardian Syaf Fiasco
Marvel has been spewing out controversial headlines lately since the reveal of Captain America is a part of Hydra. This week, it got worse when one of the flagship title; X-Men Gold was spotted to contain subtle reference to Indonesia controversial issue; Ahok. While subtle reference are normal (homage, allegory are all that), what makes this one so controversial ? Hit the jump to find out my thought.
Marvel hasn't finish dealing with their VP of Sales and Marketing comment on diversity and genders are what affecting their sales, last week one of the reader pointed out that X-Men Gold #1 contained references on the Ahok political issue in Indonesia. I'm not gonna recap on what the reference are as you can find it easily online. Several other Muslim comic book artist and writer has also give their thought in particular Ms. Marvel writer G. Willow Wilson who was completely pissed off.
What I am focusing is where it gone wrong ? Comic book readers are well aware on subtle reference, allegory, or homage to issue in the real world. Constantine references on the geopolitic of US several times and X-Men has been always the allegory of the minority in particular the LGBT community. It is actually pretty simple, the references are being put in the wrong place.
X-Men Gold is a book with a lead cast of a Jewish person (Kitty Pryde) and most of its supporting cast are definitely not Muslim. When you decided to put a subtle reference to a Quranic verse that very much explicitly referring to Christianity and Jews in such book, it was definitely a big mistake. If the reference is being put in a Ms. Marvel comic book, it MIGHT be acceptable as Kamala Khan is a Muslim and the book deals with her facing the challenge of being a superhero and Muslim itself.
The act done by Ardian Syaf can be easily considered as disrespectful to Jews and Christianity as it simply trying to say that "Yeah, this people save the world, but you can't trust them as the savior or leader,". Muslim should not tolerate to insult on Islam, but that doesn't mean you should be disrespect to them.As mentioned in Quran; Your faith is your faith, My faith is my faith.
Secondly Ardian Syaf should have think first on what that could mean to the writer of the book. Marc Guggenheim hasn't release any comment on this, but it has indirectly gives the wrong impression of the reader to him where he might have no idea it was in the book. This is again back to my point of respect. It is an entirely different story when you're working in a Muslim majority country, but you are working under a company where Muslim is definitely a minority and for that, self control is really important.
So if you can't put this reference inside an X-Men comic book which has been the representation of minority since its conception, where it should be put ?Like I've said earlier, a book like Ms. Marvel or Captain America where religion and politics are being touched is more suitable. However it also has plot appropriate and simply thrown in for no reason.
A much better place is actually in a creator-owned book. Vertigo and Images are more lenient in their content and allow a more heavy themed story. That being said, a more channel like Tapastic (the one I'm posting my comic now) is probably a much better channel.
Over the course of this week, Marvel had to do some damage control and Ardian Syaf has been penalized for the action. What we learn from this incident is that Muslim must always defend the religion of Islam, but there's a place and time for that and X-Men book is definitely not it.
So what do you think of this Ardian Syaf fiasco ? Do you agree with my thought ? Sound off your thought in the comment section. Chronicle will be delayed to tomorrow, so to stay up to date, be sure to follow and like Comikrew Studio right her or on Facebook. Don't forget to subscribe to my comic on Tapastic and finally follow and hit me up on Twitter.