Moral Low Ground


Batman’s French Muslim Partner Infuriates Islamophobic US Bloggers

(Image: DC Comics)

Legendary comic book superhero Batman has found a new enemy to battle: right-wing bloggers, mostly angry white men with hatred in their hearts. But how could such an all-American hero like Batman run afoul of what ought to be his core constituency?

The Caped Crusader has launched Batman Incorporated, wherein he employs local superheroes in cities around the world to fight crime and thwart evil villains. In Paris, Batman selects a young man named Bilal Asselah, a Frenchman of Algerian origin, to be his representative. Bilal lives in the rough suburbs of Paris, where images of violent Muslim youths burning cars and rioting made worldwide headlines a few years ago. He and his best friend, although innocent, get caught up in that madness and end up getting beaten by police. The friend doesn’t take it lying down; he burns down a police station and ends up getting shot and killed by police.

But rather than go down the same road, Bilal heeds the advice of his devout Muslim mother and rejects the hatred that rages through the Parisian suburbs. He learns parkour, the acrobatic urban sport filled with running and spectacular leaps featured in the opening scene of the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale. Bilal gets so good at parkour that when violence threatens his neighborhood, he dons a mask and tights and voil√†, Bilal is now Nightrunner, who eventually becomes Batman’s right-hand-man in France.

Well, right-wing bloggers in the United States are fuming at Batman’s selection of a Muslim superhero. “Apparently Batman couldn’t find any actual Frenchmen to be the ‘French savior,'” Warner Todd Huston blogged on his site Publius Forum. Huston’s ignorance of France is immediately evident; as many as 10% of “actual Frenchmen” are Muslims. But Huston doesn’t stop there.

“In this age when Muslim youths are terrorizing the entire country, heck in this age of international Muslim terrorism assaulting the whole world, Batman’s readers will be confused by what is really going on in the world,” he asserts.

First, Muslim youths are not terrorizing all of France. They’re not even terrorizing part of France. And the youths that are terrorizing France aren’t doing it out of any religious zeal, they’re doing it because of economic injustice, or maybe even because some of them are just plain gangsters, deadbeats and street delinquents– just like we’ve got here in America.

Second, if readers of comic books are “confused” by an Islamic hero and not by men who can fly through the sky, shoot lightning bolts from the palms of their hands or deflect bullets with their capes– all of which various comic book characters are perfectly capable of doing, then we’ve got far bigger problems as a society than a French-Muslim comic book character.

Another reactionary blog, appropriately called Angry White Dude, a site which called Islam a “religion of murder”, posted this racist rant: “Nightrunner the Muslim sidekick will have strange new powers to bury women to their waists and bash their heads in with large rocks.” Angry White Dude’s post also included the borderline racist photo you see to the left of this paragraph.

How would Angry White Dude’s enlightened readers feel if a blog called Angry Brown Muslim said a white superhero would have strange new powers to stalk young girls and rape, strangle and eat them? Most serial killers, after all, are middle-aged angry white dudes, aren’t they? Muslims who would “bury women to their waists and bash their heads in with large rocks” are about as rare as angry white dudes who would sadistically rape and murder young girls. But Angry White Dude doesn’t get it. He probably never will.

Not to be outdone, right-wing comic book author Bosch Fawstin has declared that “Batman falls for ‘Islam means peace'” and that “DC Comics has submitted to Islam.” His answer? The Infidel, featuring Pigman, who vows to “never submit.” “If you’re as sick and tired of this IslamiCrap as I am, be on the lookout for my upcoming graphic novel, The Infidel, which features Pigman, an ex-Muslim superhero who is the jihadist’s worst nightmare,” Faswtin writes. Downright disgusting.

Interestingly, despite all the furor of frothing, Islam-hating right-wing bloggers here in the United States, very few people in France seem to care. France’s reaction, especially when compared to the shameful and ignorant ranting of the reactionary right here, speaks volumes about American racism and Islamophobia.

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  1. Angry White DudeJanuary 7, 2011 at 7:37 amReply

    Oh, Angry White Dude gets it. I get that you’re a politically correct idiot! Do you deny that Muslims behead, stone, flog, whip, explode, hang those who don’t agree with them? Or honor kill their women for the grave sin of walking to the store without three generations of male family members?

    I refuse to play your pc games and your only defense is to call me a racist. You criticize me for stereotyping and then immediately start stereotyping serial killers. Maybe there are more white, middle-aged serial killers…but there is no denying who is trying to blow up airplanes!

    The problem with PC libtards like yourself….you’re just not that bright.


    • TylerJuly 31, 2011 at 12:15 pmReply

      When you attack people for their minority, thats racist. I’m also a rightist, but attacking people for 6% of their population is terrible. What about all the christian terrorists, like the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda? Islam has its extremists as does every religion, bigot.

  2. Moral Low GroundJanuary 7, 2011 at 10:44 amReplyAuthor

    First of all, Moral Low Ground is about as PC as a sealburger stand at a PETA convention. Among our posts in the last few weeks: how the National Organization of Women needs to stop bitching about how “degrading” Hooters is to females and how outrageous it is to remove the word “nigger”– which appears over 200 times– in ‘Huck Finn’ just to make certain folks feel more comfortable.

    Second, yes, I’ll agree that Muslims do all those nasty things you mentioned. Some Muslims. I’ll probably piss some of them off by admitting that, but it is the truth. Muslims seem to have a little problem admitting the more violent parts of their sacred texts. Not that the Old Testament isn’t equally violent (including stoning of women), but we’re talking about Muslims here. Point out the parts of the Koran, those “convert-or-die” or “beat your wife” parts and it’s always “yes, but,” or “you’ve got it all wrong” or my favorite, “you can’t understand it unless you speak Arabic.”

    Having said that, let me ask you, where was your anger when those same Muslims were on Uncle Sam’s payroll, fighting the Soviet invaders in Afghanistan with US funding, training and weaponry? Are you not fuming that US Stinger missiles given to the Islamists when they were “freedom fighters” are now being used to kill US troops now that those erstwhile allies are “terrorists?” What about in Bosnia, where the US facilitated the transport of hardened jihadist veterans from the Afghan war to fight in the Balkan wars, where terror groups like the Kosovo Liberation Army enjoyed full US support even as they committed unspeakable atrocities? Or today when the US is backing Islamic terrorists that just happen to be opposed to the current regime in Tehran? Didn’t a prominent group of American conservatives including such luminaries as Michael Mukasey, Rudi Giuliani and Tom Ridge just return from a meeting with the Mujahedeen Khalq, a US-listed terror group, in Paris? Where is your indignation about all of this?

    Also, while the vile atrocities you accuse Muslims of may be true (committed by some radical elements), I would ask you to remember that Islam is only 1,400 years old. Where was Christianity in the year 1400? Ever heard of the Spanish Inquisition?

    Dude, the world does not have an Muslim problem. The world has a religion problem, period. And more importantly, the world has a HUMAN problem. Yes, the Israelis who perpetrate daily crimes against humanity (if you consider the Palestinian people to be humans) are committing crimes in the name of their Jewish religion (don’t hear you slamming Judaism), but first and foremost they’re committing crimes as members of one group of human beings who covet the land and resources of another group of human beings.

    There is much for Angry White Dudes to be angry about in today’s world. It just seems that either out of ignorant, misguided rage– the kind of rage that can only come from being a member Master Race of the Universe but a member that’s not getting your lion’s share of the kill– the angry white men who’ve gotten left behind by the angry white men who run the show are taking out their fury on the wrong folks. The Tea Party is a perfect example of this. Instead of ridiculously trying to paint President Obama as a Muslim Kenyan, why don’t you guys attack him for being a prisoner of a corporatist system that destroys the livelihoods of too many angry white (and every other color of) men? Why don’t you demand that he stop the evil “War on Terror” that is creating legions of future jihadists? No, you’d rather focus on a birth certificate. Meanwhile, the next attack on America is being planned.

    I choose to examine the root causes of Islamic terror and anti-Americanism. I’ve traveled to dozens of countries and seen first hand the destruction caused by American imperialism and European colonialism. If that makes me a “PC libtard” who’s “not that bright,” I’m guilty on all counts.

  3. StevenJanuary 13, 2011 at 7:22 pmReply

    I think the author would have made a lot more money selling this comic in English in the US. Maybe it will be translated. Of course, that will only work if the censors don’t get to it first.

  4. Melvin SpittleJanuary 23, 2011 at 4:34 pmReply

    @Moral Low Ground-We had no problem with Muslims until certain elements attacked us. We have every right to strike back AND to acknowledge the elephant on the table that others refuse to for fear of being branded a racist, Islamaphobe, bigot, etc.. When you start to label people, it is an attempt to shut down the debate via ad hominem attacks. I gather by your use of the terms and phrases “American imperialism”,” European colonialism”, and your anti-corporate stance that you may be of the socialist bent. The difference between Islam and Christianity is that the New Testament is void of the calls for violence as opposed to the Quaran which is filled mostly with violence. Have you read the Quaran? I have read it. I have a copy of it. The reason why? I wanted to know the source of this Islamic rage. Now I know. What do you know of recorded Mideastern history regarding who lived where and when? I am trying to understand how you can think that the Israelis have stolen land that has belonged to them. Most of the land that is currently occupied by any nation was taken by force of war. The Israelis are willing to live side by side with Palestinians, Arabs, etc.. It is this false history of the Palestinian people that is what drives this whole issue. The Palestinians are the pawns of the rest of the Middle East with the common objective of the destruction of Israel and the death of all Jews:

    Be careful about your appeasement of the Muslims at the expense of turning a blind eye to their atrocities. They are like a mosquito that keeps biting you until you swat it. Winston Churchill once said, “An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile hoping it will eat him last.”

    Read the Quaran. It will present serious conflicts for Muslim-Americans that claim to be good Muslims as the practices that are called for are against the law here in the United States. I would be extremely happy to debate you on this and prove my argument. I will prove that strict adherence to Islam is incompatible with US laws and has already c0me into conflict, causing many American deaths at the hands of Muslim-Americans. Maj Nidal Hassan is an example. As an American, no matter your race, you have a right and a responsibility to protect our country and way of life. Christianity is not at odds with our laws as our country was founded primarily on Christian principles. There is historic documented evidence to back this up. Please refer to the Federalist Papers. Depending on where you went to college you may have the neo-revisionist belief of our country’s history. That is another subject though I would again be extremely happy to debate you on this as well.

    • Moral Low GroundJanuary 26, 2011 at 11:41 amReplyAuthor

      Yes, I have read much of the Koran… and I totally agree with you that parts of it are shockingly violent, as are parts of Jewish and Christian holy texts. The thing to remember whenever discussing the violence of Islam is that the religion is “only” about 1400 years old. If you look back at what Christians were up to when their religion was 1400 years old, you’ll see some of the most horrific violence in the history of mankind. One example: the Spanish Inquisition. I’m not saying that the relatively young age of Islam excuses its more violent aspects, but I think one must consider everything in its proper context.
      As for your assertion about Israelis being willing to live side by side with Arabs, this is simply untrue. Before Israel existed, the land was overwhelmingly Arab. Jews made up less than 10% of the population. Through a concerted campaign of legal land purchases and, later, brutal expulsion tactics (including the massacre of entire Arab villages), and the enabling of the British empire, Israel was born. It was and remains a terrorist state. The early Israelis used terrorism to get rid of not only the Arabs (750,000 were forcibly expelled from their homes) but the British as well. The Irgun and similar Israeli terrorist organizations bombed hotels and carried out other crimes of terror to achieve their goal– a Jewish state. The Palestinians only resorted to “terrorism” when all other methods failed. Imagine for a moment you are expelled from your ancient homeland, treated like an animal and subjected to every imaginable humiliation. Imagine as well that your enemy has overwhelming military superiority. How would YOU fight back?

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