Ms. Marvel: A Racists Worst Nightmare

So apparently there is a Ms. Marvel movie planned in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The recent Kamala Khan version of the superhero written by the truly awesome G Willow Wilson. And yes, the name Khan is both representing South Asia and Muslims. Hooray!!!!!!

Those not familiar, Kamala Khan is a teenage daughter of Pakistani Immigrants living in New Jersey who obtained shape shifting powers. Her hero is Captain Marvel, a blonde, white and totally badass superhero, whose own movie is slated for 2019, before the cryfest that will be Avengers 4. I believe the seed will be planted for Ms Marvel in that movie, so for sure will be some time till Kamala will actually grace the big screen. Like Kamala, I’m a fan of the blonde Ms Marvel.

Of course the expected level of hate already against the movie is already hitting all commentary forums. “We don’t need a movie about a terrorist!”, “First Black Panther, now this, enough of the social justice warrior political correctness”, “That’s it, you’ve lost me as a fan Marvel”, are just a few comments I read in a Trump Presidential world. Yeah, I understand, I empathise with you, not enough movies about white people.

Personally this is just wonderful news. Although the amazing Black Panther recently directly represented those of African ethnicity, it’s subtle messages are relevant to all ethnicities and even religions. However to have a movie with a South Asian Muslim lead is just, well what did Evangeline Lily say in Antman, “It’s about damn time!”.

about damn time

I am actually even more happier we have a female lead and not male. This is more important than you might think. One of the most prejudiced criticisms out there is how women are portrayed in Islam. Notions of inequality, weakness, oppressiveness and harsh treatment. Obviously this couldn’t be further from the truth. Women in Islam are granted rights, just like men are, to life, education, property and opinions and has done so for over 14 centuries. My own Mother is testament to this fact, she has single-handedly built a school, managed property, all the while raising a family and maintaining a loving environment for rebel without a cause offspring such as myself. However as with always the actions of a few undermine all of this and unfortunately that is the view the whole world has on ALL Muslims. I have always found it interesting that this view is only applicable to persons who are not Caucasian. It’s not like when we see a Caucasian murderer we think all Whites are criminals. Have to admire white privilege and its individualism, for the rest of us, we represent our entire ethnicity.

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In any case I’m super excited, reason being because it is Marvel; seeing how they allowed Black Panther with its pretty much all black cast and production team, they will respect this in the way it deserves. I really hope they engage writer G Willow Wilson. As a Muslim herself she is the perfect choice not just because she’s is the current writer. Her work is truly special. I remember first reading Cairo, her first graphic novel. It was like seeing in reality all of the things I wanted to see in a comic with representation. She touched my inner imagination in a way that I thought couldn’t happen without it getting screwed up. I’m positive they will also engage a Muslim director. Marvel most definitely learnt that is needed.

For sure, first and foremost my wish is for an awesome action teenage superhero movie, akin to Spider-Man Homecoming. However I really think, hope, believe, finally we will have a mainstream commercial movie to show what it’s like for us 2nd generation (and onwards) Muslims born and raised in the west. It would be a shame if the main focus was the usual “old fashioned traditional parents not understanding me!” vibe. We’ve seen this stereotype so many times and quite frankly not needed now. If you want to know what this is truly like then I encourage to watch the amazing stand up Homecoming by Hasan Minhaj. That will tell you all you need to know in a hilarious yet emotional way. Basically my life story for sure! What we do need, desperately need in fact, is an underlying subtle message of how it’s like being a Muslim in today’s world, what it’s like facing prejudice on a far too regular basis, how Islam and Muslims need to be viewed in the world. Which is anything but the mad oppressive ISIS supporters with death to the US chants. Similarly taking influence from Black Panther, what other Muslim nations responsibilities are to those Muslims in need.

Maybe I’m being incredibly optimistic and we’re just going to get an average superhero movie with the usual comedic, “Ohhh my Pakistani parents don’t let me go to a party and mix with white boys!”. I really hope not, and if I was asked to choose an overarching theme for this opportunity, it would quite simply be, unity. It is something we desperately need and well overdue. Make it happen Marvel! You have my full faith in you. Peace & Love.

kamala can

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