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DC Comics Mainstreaming 'Islamophobia'
DC Comics has introduced a new Muslim superhero: a Lebanese American from Dearborn, Michigan, named Simon Baz. However, material released about the character so far portrays him more as a victim than a hero. And that seems to be the point.
Central to Simon Baz's story is that for years now, he has been a victim of "Islamophobia." According to the Religion News Service, "a young Baz and his family, the mother in an Islamic headscarf, watch in horror as the terrorist attacks of 9/11 unfold on their television. The next panels show men wiping 'Go home' and other graffiti from the wall of an 'Islamic Center of America,' bullies ripping a headscarf off Baz's sister Sira, and Baz going through a security check."
After getting caught stealing a van, "the husky, olive-skinned Baz soon finds himself being interrogated by two dark-suited agents in a sequence of panels that hits on Islamophobia, illegal detentions, torture, and the war on terror." During this interrogation Baz is "wearing an orange jumpsuit that evokes those worn by inmates at Guantanamo Bay." Baz assures the interrogators that he is "a car thief, not a terrorist," but his interrogators apparently wave this away, with one of them derisively calling him "Muhammad" as he "tries to strap him to a torture table."
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