Jeff Karoub and Matt Moore of the Associated Press are reporting that Naif Al-Mutawa is seeking a U.S. audience for his Muslim comic book series, The 99. The series is named for the 99 qualities the Quran attributes to God: strength, courage, wisdom and mercy among them. Al-Mutawa created the comic book series in the aftermath of 9/11. He has built a global audience, and investors have contributed millions for The 99 to continue and expand.
Al-Mutawa's journey hasn't been all roses. The comic strip has been censored in Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. has been a tough audience to penetrate because of post-9/11 suspicion of Muslims and Islam. To Al-Mutawa, the struggle is evidence that tales like his are needed to counter hardline, intolerant ideologies of all types.
Karoub and Moore report, "That's one of the things that was most disappointing to me in the beginning," Al-Mutawa said on a recent visit to Detroit. "You have two birthplaces: You have the birthplace of Islam, which initially rejected it (and) the birthplace of democracy and tolerance, this country, that I'm now facing resistance in — the two natural places for this product."
Al-Mutawa, a U.S.-educated psychologist from Kuwait, has grown the brand throughout the Middle East. The 99 grew out of his childhood love of Batman, Superman and their superhero brethren, along with a desire to provide role models for his five young sons.
Kudos to Al-Mutawa for seeing a need and creating it himself in order to help his sons and humanity. A comic book series is a creative vehicle for promoting tolerance. Al-Mutawa's two-tiered approach to business — faith and creativity — will continue to pay dividends to society and him.
Read more at Yahoo News.
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