Antisemitic and Islamist references within a popular comic book were recently discovered hidden in an X-Men comic book. Marvel comics claimed to be taking “disciplinary action” on at least one of the artists who had inserted the antisemitic and Islamist references into the X-Men comic book.
Indonesian artist Ardian Syaf says he included in X-Men Gold #1 hidden references to the election of the governor of Indonesia’s capital Jakarta. The vote has been one of Indonesia’s most polarising elections, and is about much more than about choosing the city’s leader.
There was a bitter contestant between the Chinese Christian incumbent named Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and the rivals who were Muslims. The Muslims rivals won the favour of the “hard-line Islamists.”
This was reported by Time as an increasing split between the choice for pluralism and fundamentalist Islam within the “world’s most populous Muslim nation, where many religious conservatives say a non-Muslim should not hold high office.”
It can be seen within the book that one of the characters has a Quranic verse reference on his t-shirt that, from fundamentalist interpretations of Islam, can be read as recommending the prohibition of “Muslims from electing a Christian or Jewish leader.”
“In another scene, the Jewish character Kitty Pryde is also drawn together with a sign reading ‘Jewellery,’ her head next to the part of the sign that reads ‘Jew.’” Time said.
Marvel Comics made a public statement stating that the insertion was without its prior knowledge and that the references “do not reflect the views of the writer, editors or anyone else and in direct opposition of the inclusiveness of Marvel comics and with the X-men have stood force and the creation.”
The artwork that included the antisemitic and Islamist references will be omitted in digital versions in addition to digital and trade paperback versions.
Social media has criticised Ayaf based on taking part in the demonstration in December. “‘Choosing a non-[Muslim] as a leader is forbidden’ he said, as reported by the Jakarta Post. “’That’s what the [Quaranic verse] says.’”
A fellow Indonesian artist named Anindito stated the work done to the X-Men comic book by Ayaf was “very disrespectful and unprofessional.”