‘Is she on a jihad mission?’

// 25 May 2008

Captain Britain coverThe above question was asked by a Newsarama reporter interviewing Paul Cornell – a writer for Marvel comic books – about a new British Asian character in the superhero title Captain Britain and MI:13. See a screen-capture of the full exchange here.

Although it is unbelievable that the clearly racist, Islamophobic question was asked in the first place, even worse, it was published on the Newsarama website. It’s not like they didn’t know it was offensive – because Cornell called them up on it (specifically saying “You *what*?! I typed something much ruder in answer to that originally. What the hell?”). But publish they did, causing many users of the Newsarama forum and comics blogosphere to call them up on it, yet again.

The response? Apologise? Oh no – Newsarama went for the cover-up, deleting the paragraph in question from the interview they ran online, the forum posts discussing it, and redacting it from the print version.

More at Funnybook Babylon and Digital Femme Online.

Comments From You

Seph // Posted 26 May 2008 at 1:09 am

I can’t actually think of words to describe how stupid that reporter’s comment is.

and someone’s bound to say it, so as a pre-emptive reply to anyone who starts banging on about “how is this relvant to a feminist site” etc. I have an idea for you- go read the posts you find relevant/important to you and ignore the ones that aren’t, that’s how the rest of us manage :)

Charlie // Posted 26 May 2008 at 7:34 am

An update, since this has missed a lot of the development:

Newsarama have actually apologised – both in the article in question, and in a lengthy interview with the site’s head by one of the most prominent feminist comics bloggers, Ragnell http://blog.newsarama.com/2008/05/13/just-past-the-horizon-late-edition/#more-8154, and Paul Cornell has commented on his blog http://paulcornell.blogspot.com/2008/05/in-praise-of-wives-paramedics-and-ford.html (near the bottom)

(and er, print version?)

Anne Onne // Posted 26 May 2008 at 5:18 pm

Seph, exactly! It’s not like homophobia, racism and sexism aren’t linked, and you can easily argue that any topic involving gender issues, or women in any way, shape or form is a feminist issue.

And to be honest, would it be fair for a feminist site to only publish posts on things that are explicitly linked to ‘feminism’, and miss out on the wider context? To me it would be the same as admitting that one type of equality is more important than another, if we ignored everything other than articles on feminism…

And yes, this is awful. What kind of a question is that? Way to reduce Muslims to a minority, and show your own ignorance. That is deeply insulting.

Jess McCabe // Posted 26 May 2008 at 7:13 pm

At any rate, I think it’s pretty clear cut that portrayal of a British Asian woman, in a format which clutters itself almost exclusively with white male characters, is of interest to feminism. Perhaps I should also have noted that in the post? One of those cases with quite clear intersectionality, I thought.

Kifayah // Posted 28 May 2008 at 2:05 pm

I love you guys. I can’t stop laughing. It’s nice to hear yours come out of other peoples’ mouth. Kudos

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