Saudi clerics have 99 problems...with cartoons and Muslim superheroes

Published March 25th, 2014 - 08:22 GMT

How do you like your superheroes? Strong? Brave? Muslim?

A group of Saudi Arabia’s top clerics have slammed an Islam-inspired cartoon series as “work the devil”, calling on Muslims to not watch it.

The television adaptation of superhero comic book “The 99” – which was praised by U.S. President Barack Obama – is currently being aired in Saudi Arabia by Dubai-based satellite channel MBC3, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported.

In yet another fatwa from the kingdom, Saudi’s clerics on Monday said that the series is blasphemous because the names – and number – of the superheroes in the series are based on the 99 atributes ascribed to Allah in the Quran, according to AFP.

“The 99 is a work of the devil that should be condemned and forbidden in respect to Allah’s names and attributes,” the clerics, led by the kingdom’s mufti, Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, said, AFP reported.

The original comic strip saw its fair share of controversy too when it was first released in 2006. According to AFP, it ran into opposition from Muslim hardliners in

The comics — produced in both English and Arabic — have been praised not only from Obama but also from Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, who said they portray a message of moderation and cultural dialogue.

It’s clearly not only the emir who likes “The 99” – the comics have been sold globally and have a merchandise range and a Kuwait-based theme park, according to AFP.

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