Tag Archives: Quran

BURAAQ: Two Brothers, A Superhero, And the Truth About Islam

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Kamil and Adil Imtiaz.

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to connect with Adil Imtiaz, one half of the two sibling team responsible for the comic book BURAAQ, which stars a Muslim superhero. While he was the illustrator starting out he shared, and continues to share, creative responsibilities with his brother Kamil, and was more than happy to talk to me a little bit more about how this project came to be and why.

Ms. Marvel, as you may have guessed, came up in conversation, and I ended up learning a few things about Islam that I didn’t originally know.
Throughout our talk it was clear that this character and all he presents is a passion for Adil, and that he believes it can, and has done, good things for Muslim youth.

After thanking him for finding the time to speak with me about his work we got right down to questions and answers, the latter of which he was very ready to provide.

Evan: Now I can’t wait to get into talking about BURAAQ, but before we get there would you like to say a few words about yourself?

Adil: Adil Imtiaz is my name. I’m an IT professional, just so you know. And I came here from Pakistan back in 1990; me and my  brother and my family. So we’re here with our families and that’s pretty much it as far as my background is concerned.

Evan: Would you say that your interest in comic books began at a very young age?

Adil: Absolutely. Even in Pakistan as kids, my brother and I used to have a stack of comic books by our bedside. Every night we used to read Marvel, DC, superhero stories. We were, and still are, fascinated with sci-fi and superhero stories and characters.

And movies, of course. Hollywood as you can see is all about superhero films. And we used to draw comics and superhero characters as kids. I got sidetracked when I had to focus on higher education, pursuing a career. I had to put it on the back burner so to speak.

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Evan: In the PDF I was given to review you and your brother’s mission was very clearly stated, and I’m just going to reiterate it for all my readers:

  • To provide a clean, fun (halal) and positive entertainment media alternative for our Muslim youth.
  • Reconnect our Muslim youth to Islam and make them feel proud to be a Muslim.
  • Enable interfaith dialogue and increase positive Islamic awareness.
  • Our principles are based on the Quran, Islamic values, and the teaching of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

How long this been in the works? It seems particularly relevant now given recent events in North Carolina [with what I’m going to call a hate crime]-

Adil: Well, no, actually. This is something, the idea was born back in 2009 actually. Especially after 9/11 things changed in the US. And in the media, traditionally, Arabs and Muslims have been portrayed in a negative light in Hollywood, but after 9/11 things really picked up steam; a bunch of crazy people around the world who claim to be Muslims and other agencies at play, not to get into politics…

Sammy Sheik as Mustafa in American Sniper.

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Ms. Marvel, #6: A Comic Book Review

msmarvel6Not only is this the first full issue of no holds barred genuine superhero-ing as we all expect it, it’s also the first team-up the all-new Ms. Marvel has ever had and the first installment sans series regular artist Adrian Alphona. And man, is it good.

That’s not to deride the man’s work, and really I promise to stop bringing this up, but Jake Wyatt can draw himself some superhero goings-on. He’s on board for #6 and #7 before heading back to work on his creator-owned Necropolis. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

In short, this issue is all about Kamala Khan embracing her crimefighting
identity in full as well as rubbing shoulders with the world’s most famous fictional Canadian [sorry, Dudley Do-Right]. On closer inspection, though, there are so many facets of her character that allows hers to be a unique story unlike anyone else’s. Continue reading

Ms. Marvel, #3: A Comic Book Review

msmarvel3This is the second cover in a row to show Kamala Khan decked out in her superhero getup, and it’s nothing like the silhouette that was #2. This is Ms. Marvel bold and heroic, an image fully supporting my assertion that this issue we’d see her don her crimefighting costume.

Why do you make a liar out of me, G. Willow Wilson et al.?

So no, we do not in fact get to see Kamala don the beautiful McKelvie-designed outfit, but we do get yet another rock solid issue. At this point I honestly don’t see this falling flat on its face any time soon [much like the little boy running on the 15th comic page]. It’s storytelling that’s in absolutely no rush, and it’s hard to complain when the view is so gorgeous. Continue reading

Ms. Marvel, #2: A Comic Book Review

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Kamala Khan ain’t your average superheroine, and this is an idea that G. Willow Wilson et al. continue to push in the second ever installment of the brand new Ms. Marvel.

Yes, she’s a teenager with problems and responsibilities à la Peter Parker, but one of the many places where she and the New Yorker differ is how much her faith and culture influence her heroic narrative. The webslinger’s path is marred by loss as well as the modern day adage from his dying uncle that “With great power comes great responsibility.” While this is a lesson Kamala will certainly have to learn for herself, the words that spur her on to heroic feats are rooted in a certain religious text.

When she’s faced with the opportunity to save someone she’s reminded by a passage her father likes to quote from the Quran, Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:32- Continue reading