The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has banned The 99, an internationally popular comic series featuring Islamic superheroes.
Now, the bee in the bonnet (or ‘Ghutrah’ in the case of the Saudis) is the fact that each one of the characters personifies one of the 99 qualities that the Koran attributes to Allah.
The television series, based on the comic books, has aired in more than 20 countries for over a year. Scheduled to be launched in Saudi Arabia this year on MBC3, it was banned by the Kingdom’s religious authorities, according to whom, the 99 attributes of Allah should not be personified.
Not only that, the writer of the series Dr Naif Al Mutawa , has been accused of not being a Muslim.
But the opposition is not only in Saudi Arabia. A Kuwaiti lawyer filed a lawsuit against the animated show for children, claiming that its plot was a blatant representation of God’s attributes.
“The series is an infringement of the attributes of the Almighty Creator,” he maintains. “I call for the arrest of everyone connected with the series and for putting them on trial. I also call for banning the broadcast or rebroadcast of all episodes.”
It’s all rather silly if you think about it.
What better way of teaching the younger generation to be more open to learning than through fun and media compared to typical text and religious literature? After all, the series promotes the attributes of goodness, kindness, helpfulness and, compassion.
In Islam, Allah, the God and creator of the universe, has 99 attributes ranging from The Magnificent and The Generous to The Trustee and The Protecting Friend.
By watching this series, children will have superheroes as role models and learn the value of religion apart from good deeds and values in a format they understand and accept.