When not out fighting fiendish villains, teaming up (adorably) with Wolverine, or being late to class – Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel has found an entirely new spotlight by having her image used on top of anti-Islamic bus ads in San Francisco. These ads, found on Muni busses, were purchased earlier this month by right-wing extremist American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and an anonymous graffiti artist has stepped in to address the hatred with some heroics. The ads make parallels between Islam with Nazism, utilizing a photo of Adolf Hitler and Haj Amin al-Husseini, an anti-Zionism Muslim leader, and demand end to aiding Islamic countries.
This is especially poetic as Kamala is a Pakistani-American teenager and Muslim superhero, I might add. Her deeds were posted by Street Cred and have spread far and wide, befitting any hero’s work. While many may cry foul that the unknown artist’s actions are oppressing free speech, in actuality, this is a fantastic representation of public discourse in action and a poignant means of engaging such an issue in light of how many of the reactions to the attack on Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris ended up: scattered, veering, and hasty.
What’s just as impressive is the level-headed response Ms. Marvel writer G. Willow Wilson had to offer on the subject: