Marvel sacks artist after fans find Quranic references, anti-Semitic, and anti-Christian messages in comic panels.After reports of anti-Semitic and anti-Christian references in an X-Men comic, Marvel fired the artist responsible.
Marvel announced that it had fired Ardian Syaf, the artis who sketched the characters for X-Men: Gold #2 and #3. Marvel initially issued an apology saying the references were inserted unknowingly and do not reflect the opinions of either Marvel or its writers. The comic book company also added that all subsequent prints and copies will be stopped and removed from circulation.
The artist inserted two Quranic verses into two different panels in the comic book. On one, he sketched “5:51” onto the t-shirt of Colossus. In another panel, he added “212” in a sign board. Verse 5:51 prohibits Muslims from becoming allies with Christians and Jews. It further says those who become their allies are as good as one of them and that Allah disapproves of such Muslims.
The reference was most obviously to the current Jakartan governor, who is a Christian. The governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, said the Quran does not say anything against electing non-Muslim leaders. Because of his comments, the Jakartan government booked him for blasphemy. Right now, he has issued an official apology and is seeking for re-elections. The number 212 too is in reference to Purnama, because anti-Purnama protests were held on the second of December.
In the same panel where he has put the number 212, he drew the character of X-men leader, Kitty Pryde, a Jew, against a backdrop with the word “jewelry” on a signboard. The character covers all the letters except the first three, leaving only “jew” in view.
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Ardian insists he was not trying to spread anti-Semitic or anti-Christian messages. Instead, he claims that he chose those Quranic verses only out of love for his god. He posted a farewell message on his social media account, announcing the end of his career. However, it’s being assumed he has very fundamentalist opinions, as was evidenced by a picture he posted on his social media account of him meeting the leader of the Islamic Defenders Front, a hardline Islamist group.