Marvel fires artist over hidden religious symbols in X-Men comics

Marvel has fired X-Men artist Ardian Syaf after he hid religious references in the latest issue of the comic book. (Photo courtesy: Marvel)
Updated 13 April 2017
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Marvel fires artist over hidden religious symbols in X-Men comics

DUBAI: Marvel has fired X-Men artist Ardian Syaf after he hid Islamic references in the latest issue of the comic book.
The BBC reported Wednesday that the Indonesian artist’s contract had been “terminated immediately” due to religious symbolism hidden in issues two and three of “X-Men: Gold.”
Syaf was the lead artist and was fired because he referenced a verse of the Qur’an and the date of a protest against the Christian Governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is currently running for re-election.
He also drew Jewish character Kitty Pryde in front of a jewelry store with only the first three letters of the word visible.
In a Facebook post, the BBC reported that Syaf claims he used Qur’anic references out of “love” for the religion and added that he said “my career is over now.”
“It’s the consequence what I did, and I take it,” he wrote.
“Please no more mockery, debate, no more hate.”
According to Marvel, issues 4-9 of X-Men: Gold will be drawn by substitute artists until a replacement is found.
“The mentioned artwork in X-Men Gold #1 was inserted without knowledge behind its reported meanings,” said Marvel in an earlier statement.
“These implied references do not reflect the views of the writer, editors or anyone else at Marvel and are in direct opposition of the inclusiveness of Marvel Comics and what the X-Men have stood for since their creation.
“This artwork will be removed from subsequent printings, digital versions, and trade paperbacks and disciplinary action is being taken.”


International Hay Festival set to arrive in the UAE

UAE’s Ministry of Tolerance announced Wednesday that the event will start on Feb. 24. (Supplied)
Updated 18 September 2019

International Hay Festival set to arrive in the UAE

DUBAI: For its first edition in the Arab World, the international Hay Festival will arrive in the UAE on Feb. 24, at Abu Dhabi’s Manarat Al-Saadiyat and other venues across the city, UAE’s Ministry of Tolerance announced Wednesday. 

The four-day event will host workshops, artistic performances, new technology discovery, storytelling and many more art and literature-related activities.

The festival will take place at Abu Dhabi’s Manarat Al-Saadiyat and other venues across the city. (Supplied)

Since 1987, the Hay Festival has launched 125 events globally, attracting more than 4.5 million people to events in 30 locations. 

The festival, originally based in Whales, will bring together writers and thinkers from different cultures and backgrounds to discuss ideas, share knowledge and host conversations. 

The festival aims to spark imagination and curiosity, from children and young literature enthusiasts to seasoned readers.

The Minster of Tolerance Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak Al-Nahyan said: “Hay Festival Abu Dhabi will be an important initiative of our Year of Tolerance, which celebrates the legacy of our nation’s founder, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, whose tolerance enabled the success we enjoy as a country today.”

Minster of Tolerance Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak Al-Nahyan announced the news in a press conference in Abu Dhabi. (Supplied) 

 “(The event) is not only about bringing the festival to Abu Dhabi, but taking Abu Dhabi to the world,” the international director of the Hay Festival, Cristina La Roche, told Arab News.

Cristina La Roche is the international director of the Hay Festival. (Supplied)

The award-winning Syrian poet Adonis is said to be attending the festival and will celebrate his 90th birthday with the participants. “He is one of the world’s greatest poets. He is unquestionably influential not only in Arabic but to poets all around the globe,” Peter Florence, director of Hay Festival, told Arab News.   

Peter Florence is the director of Hay Festival. (Supplied) 

Other award-winning novelists like the Saudi Muhammed Hasan Alwan and the Omani Jokha Alharthi will also attend the event. 

Conversations will take place in multiple languages and all sessions will be live translated into Arabic and English. Tickets to all sessions will be free for those in full time education.