Marvel’s New Pakistani Superhero

Lets face it– the presence of Asians in American media is not as prominent as we’d like. In fact, this number gets even smaller when we look at specific categories like the comicbook world. Luckily, this seems to be slowly, but surely changing.

We had put together a list of Asians in Comics to celebrate the Asian creators and characters who are making strides in the comicbook world and it looks like we have another big addition to make on this list.

Recently, Marvel Comics has revealed their reimagined version of the character, Ms. Marvel. Much to our delight, this hero’s alter ego is not a white, male millionaire. The new Ms. Marvel is 16-year-old Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American Muslim teenager.

Comics writer G. Willow Wilson says that Kahn “struggles to reconcile being an American teenager with the conservative customs of her Pakistani Muslim family. Like a lot of children of immigrants, she feels torn between two worlds: the family she loves, but which drives her crazy, and her peers, who don’t really understand what her home life is like.”

Creators say they will stray away from the “token minority” character and instead deal with some very deep personal struggles.

Of course, creators recognize the risks that accompany Khan’s character. Will others be against her ethnic background and religious beliefs? Will Pakistani or Muslim individuals feel a misrepresentation with this character?

The comic’s editor Sana Amanat admits, “I do expect some negativity, not only from people who are anti-Muslim, but people who are Muslim and might want the character portrayed in a particular light.”

But creators have decided to be brave and go through with the character. In fact, they claim they will address the various labels that society places on Kahn and show how such labels affect her sense of self.

Kahn is the first Muslim character to headline a book at Marvel. Ms. Marvel will launch in February 2014 and we simply cannot wait.

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One Direction’s Zayn Malik May Have A Muslim Wedding

Last month, hearts were heard breaking worldwide when popular One Direction member, Zayn Malik, proposed to his longtime girlfriend Perrie Edwards.

Although it has only been about a month since the engagement, the 20-year-old Pakistani Brit heartthrob and his bride-to-be have apparently already begun to plan their wedding.

Rumors have been spreading left and right. Some insist that the pair have decided on a summer wedding. It is also said that Malik plans to spend more than £1 million, and the wedding will be held in either Luttrellstown Castle in Dublin or in Skibo Castle in Scotland.

Heat reports that Edwards has been in discussion with Chinese American designer, Vera Wang, for her wedding dress.

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To add to the excitement, the couple are looking to incorporate both religions (Christian and Muslim) into their wedding.

“Zayn’s mom Patricia converted to Islam when she married Yaser [Zayn's dad], so Perrie’s been asking about what this involves. She’s hoping to talk over her plans with a priest and a Muslim officiant,” a source told Look. “She loves the idea of coming down the aisle to traditional Muslim music. Flowers blessed with rosewater play a big part in Islamic weddings and Perrie thinks she could work this into their day, too.”

 

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DISCRIMINATION ALERT: Muslim Teen Fired From Abercrombie & Fitch for Religious Head Scarf

Abercrombie & Fitch has done it yet again.

Employee Hani Khan, 18, was fired from her job at the popular retail store after refusing to remove her hijab while working. The hijab is a head scarf worn by Muslim women to show modesty, but to Abercrombie & Fitch, the hijab simply does not fit their look.

After four months of working with the company, Khan was approached about her head scarf. Naturally she felt uncomfortable having to explain the cultural background behind the tradition. When she refused to take it off, she was terminated from her job. Abercrombie & Fitch offered to re-hire her 11 days later, but with a catch — she could only return if she no longer wore her hijab. Khan turned down the offer.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit on Khan’s behalf in 2011. Although the company claims that it does not discriminate based on religion, Abercrombie & Fitch commented that they believed the hijab would negatively affect sales.

Of course, the company was not able to provide any proof of a decline in sales while Khan wore the head scarf while working.

It is important to note that this is not the first time Abercrombie & Fitch has been publicly scorned for discrimination. The company received quite the amount of backlash when chief executive Mark Jeffries openly commented that Abercrombie and Fitch is made for the “cool kids” and plus-sized women were not part of that group.

Many believe that the company’s reputation has been tarnished since those statements and unfortunately, Abercrombie & Fitch seems to continue digging its own grave.