Bilal Asselah: French, Muslim, Batman

Meet Bilal Asselah – a 22 year-old French Algerian Muslim, living in Clichy-sous-Bois (Paris suburb), who practices parkour.

In DC Comics’ Batman Annual 2011, Batman goes around the world to recruit ‘Batmen’ to help the fight against crime around the world. In France, he chooses Bilal.

So far, just a few pages in a comic book annual…

… But, a Muslim superhero is clearly not newsworthy in his own right. His very existence surely has to be incendiary/’clash of civilisations’/blah for it to be interesting.

So it was quite handy that an American blogger/writer, Warner Todd Huston, had a major rant on his website, saying it’s “PCism run amuck”, which I think is the American equivalent of “PC gone mad”. I won’t go into the other criticisms as they’re quite stupid, but for a bit of balance, I’d encourage you to take a look (link above). I suspect that people who can’t accept a Muslim Batman probably think that a black/mixed-race man shouldn’t be President of America.

Here are a few examples of the headlines generated:

‘Le Batman Francais’ finds a formidable foe in right-wing America (today’s Independent)

Batman’s French Muslim ally angers US bloggers (France 24/AFP)

Here’s the other side of the argument – where the DC writer explains his decision – which is much harder to find (compared to the articles above) through Google.

At least Muslim Batman fans will be happy 🙂

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