Ms. Marvel is a comic book focusing on Kamala Khan, a New Jersey born and raised Pakistani Muslim. The Comic books creation involved Sana Amanat, an American born Pakistani Muslim and Gwendolyn Willow Wilson, an American Muslim convert. Both Sana and Gwendolyn were born and raised in New Jersey, the same year, and during the summer. So it seems both women were destined to join forces and create Ms. Marvel.
Ms. Marvel sets out to change the common portrayal of Muslims by exposing a hidden side. A side that isn’t quite often seen in pop culture and media outlets. Such as the typical dark brown Arab male shouting “God is Great!” in a camera while a U.S flag burns in the background, a man or woman strapped with a vest of explosives, a western hating extremist, a Muslim woman with no personality and voice, or a Muslim woman being forced into marriage. Three characters that standout and fight these unflattering character tropes are Kamala, Nakia, and Muneeba (Ammi/Mother).
Kamala is the main character of the comic book series. On a certain Friday night, she sneaks out to go to her first party, eventually leaving prematurely after she’s tricked into consuming alcohol. On her way home, she’s surrounded by a mysterious fog and is given super powers by Ms. Marvel, Iron Man, and Captain America. Kamala breaks the common misconception that all Muslim women wear the Hijab and dress and act like foreigners. She’s an average American High School student who just happens to be Muslim, much like the many American Muslims around us.
Nakia is Kamala’s best friend. Nakia wears the hijab and dresses in designer clothes. Her character fights back at the common claim that Muslim women only wear the Hijab and the Niqab out of force and pressure from their fathers. Nakia’s father actually pressures her to not wear the hijab, however Nakia embraces wearing it, while showing great pride in her religion and heritage. Nakia is a lot more mature than Kamala, fighting back at the subtle racism from fellow high school teens around her.
Muneeba (Ammi), Kamala’s mother, is a strong and an outspoken individual. Her character fights back at the claims that Muslim women are submissive and have no power in the household. She rules over the household like a queen, guiding and enforcing religious, cultural rules and views across her kingdom. Her strength and love promote the true nature of Muslim mothers across the world.
Ms. Marvel gives Muslim Americans character’s they can relate to and understand the struggle of keeping hold of your religious and cultural practices and beliefs as a minority. Although Ms. Marvel isn’t an Islamic credited manuscript, its depiction of the various personalities and appearances of Muslim men and women are on point. It breaks the common and racist bordering tropes of Muslims throughout the entertainment industry. The comic book is a step forward in spreading truth and information about Muslim Americans living in America.
PRR Writer Wala Abushaar