Friday, December 31, 2010

Holy xenophobes! Far-right whities all uptighty about another comic-book hero: A Muslim Batman

-- by Dave

Remember how the white supremacists at Council of Conservative Citizens got their panties in a wad over the plan to have a black man portray a Norse god in the movie version of Thor?

Now we have right-wing nimrods getting into the act, all because DC Comics has created a Muslim version of the Batman:

The argument against Nightrunner, led by conservative blogger Warner Todd Huston, is based on the bigoted belief that a Muslim superhero is by definition an exercise in deceitful political correctness, and that Muslims are natively evil.

Introduced in this month's Detective Comics Annual #12 and Batman Annual #28, Nightrunner is a 22-year-old Algerian Muslim who's lived in Paris his entire life (it seems reasonable to assume he was born in France, but at the very least he was raised there). Born Billai Asseiah, the character is uncommonly adept at the highly YouTubeable gymnastic form known as parkour. That and Asseiah's sense of justice make him an ideal recruit for Bruce Wayne's new Batman, Inc. initiative, whereby he franchises Batmen to cities all over the world.

Huston views French Muslims -- which is to say, immigrants or those descended from immigrants -- as inauthentically French, and, as such, that Batman would choose a Muslim as Paris' champion is gravely offensive to him and his loathsome ilk.

DC Comics has decided that the "French savior," the French Batman is to be a Muslim immigrant. The character's name is Bilal Asselah and he is an Algerian Sunni Muslim and an immigrant... Apparently Batman couldn't find any actual Frenchman to be the "French savior." is pretty condescending to France, too. France is a proud nation. Yet DC Comics has made a foreigner the "French savior." This will not sit well with many Frenchmen, for sure.

What we really hope will not "sit well" with Frenchmen and Frenchwomen is Huston's ugly assertion that French identification is exclusive to non-immigrants (read: white people).

I'm not as sure as Andy Khouri that Huston -- who is one of the regular contributors at the right-wing media critic outfit, NewsBusters -- is a racist per se. What's self-evident, however, is that he is a religious bigot and an ignorant,
hatemongering xenophobe:

Huston doubles down on the disgust and writes that a Muslim hero is patently ludicrous because Muslims are apparently congenitally terrorists. 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. Through it all DC makes a Muslim in France a hero when French Muslims are at the center of some of the worst violence in the country's recent memory.

The true cause of the riots and violence between Frenchmen of European stock and that of immigrant Muslim stock is glossed over as if it doesn't even exist. DC Comics makes the whole problem as simplistic as mere racism as if that is all there is to it ignoring the fact that Islam is the single most important factor in the strife.

Huston refers to the civil unrest France saw in late 2005, when a state of emergency was declared after Muslim youths began rioting in Paris and other cities, burning thousands of cars and several buildings. Huston, Green and other bigots in the conservative media read the tragic situation as an expression of nefarious Islamic purpose, but most commentators and reporters who followed the event described a matter having more to do with social inequality than religion. As is the case in America, where there have also been riots, the economic and social underclass of France is populated largely by minorities and immigrants, and many of those immigrants are Muslims.

You can read all of Huston's attack here. We recommend a shower afterward, though.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

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