Marvel’s Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel, has been spreading positivity and stomping out intolerance in San Francisco. Municipal (Muni) buses there have been running controversial and cruel anti-Islam ads paid for by blogger Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative. The group is labeled as a hate group by the United Kingdom and for good reason. These ads basically equate Islam with Nazism. They feature a picture of Adolf Hitler and Haj Amin al-Husseini, a 20th Century Palestinian Muslim leader, with the words “Islamic Jew-Hatred: It’s In The Quran.” They bizarrely include a line about stopping the hate, but by that, they mean cut off aid to Islamic countries to stop those countries’ hatred of Jewish beliefs.
The ads rolled out earlier this month, and they’re not going anywhere. A Muni spokesperson stated, “Neither the city nor Muni endorse the content of these negative ads. However, the First Amendment protects freedom of speech, including speech that is considered offensive.” Cue Ms. Marvel.
One intrepid individual is defacing the ads with images of Kamala Khan and messages of positivity such as “Stamp out racism” and “Free speech isn’t a license to spread hate.” The artist is using the “Stop the Hate” line present on the ad against it. Brilliant. Going with Kamala Khan is all too fitting since she’s the first Muslim character to headline a comic book. Islam is part of Kamala’s identity, and I think the hero would approve of this usage.