Sunday, August 22, 2010

Muslim Superheroes - Islam and Christianity

So here is a thing on CNN about an upcoming Superhero comic series "based on Islamic Archetypes".

Before I discuss the idea of Islamic Superheroes, the author, who is a liberal/friendly Muslim notes the following: "Christianity came about at a time when harsh rulers subjugated their people, making already difficult lives nearly impossible. The people responded to the message of Jesus as they did 600 years later to the message of Mohammad. Both Christianity and Islam offered simple messages to the poor: Live by the rules and your rewards will come later."

First off, note what he does - Christianity is nothing but a preaching of the Law - do good, get good in the long run. This is utterly sad that Christianity would be watered down and summed up this way. But, well, Law is law is law.

Second, note how this is a social issue - throw of the contraints of the oppressors! He proudly defies the angry, West-hating cleric... because Christianity and Islam are both apparently about casting off oppression.

These both sound like the ideas of liberal, Christless "Christianity". You see what this means. A Christianity that ignores Christ is indistinguishable from Islam -- the only difference are quirks of habit, style, or culture.

Christianity is more than this - remember that.

Second - on Islamic Superheroes. . .

This makes perfect sense, and should fit in quite well with American Superhero stories. The "Superhero", the person who is "super", who is above and beyond others because of something is really much more of an Eastern thought. Consider Arabian Nights - chalk full of stories about might and magic - that's an Eastern thing. In the West, our heroes had classically just been men (perhaps sent by God) to do things. Robin Hood - just a man. Arthur - just a king... the magic sword comes in only after the Crusades imported Eastern stories into the West again.

Perhaps these will be interesting character - perhaps not. But the concept itself - the creation of an idealized set of heroes to teach value makes good sense - and the way that works won't be as odd to us in the West as we think.

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