Marvel’s New Muslim Superhero and Cultural Acceptance

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Image Credit: AP

Image Credit: AP

Marvel has rolled out a new comic series starring Muslim female superhero, Kamala Khan. This Pakistani American teenager discovers her superpowers as she also fights the negative stereotypes associated with the issues of her day and age.

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There is no doubt that this is an attempt to break the glass ceiling that many Muslim women face in several countries around the world. As Islam itself is highly sensitive towards the different cultures in different regions, my guess is this comic book will appeal more towards the western audience and not the Middle East nor Asian Muslim audiences. This is because the western culture is more used to the notion of the superhero. Marketing this to the Middle East would be a gargantuan task in itself where non-traditional forms of Islamic practice are not the norm. Asian Muslims, while more receptive to this idea than those of some of their Middle Eastern counterparts, would find this idea odd because much of the role models and heroes associated with Islam are that of scholars and people of knowledge; real people whom they look up too, such as Muslim women scholars, and there might then be a perception that there is no need for the super hero above.

Also trivial here is that this superhero above is not wearing the Muslim hijab or head-dressing.

The key tenets of Islam are the same. The practises and viewpoints though differ in different regions, and hence the acceptance of some products in some regions but not in other regions. What do you think of Kamala Khan? Share your thoughts in the comments.

See also:  Book Review: Marketing to the Middle Class Muslim

About Author

I have +10 years of unique industry and academic marketing experience in various sectors of the Islamic Business ecosystem, including integrated marketing communications of Zakat (Islamic alms-giving), product and brand management of Wakaf (Islamic endowments), and marketing and feasibility studies in Islamic Education. My Masters thesis studied factors affecting halal-food purchasing by non-Muslims in Singapore. I’ve also spoken at seminars and conferences including the Global Islamic Marketing Conference. I’ve published several works as academic journal paper, books, newspaper commentaries and website articles. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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