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Anonymous San Franciscan Teams Up With Muslim Superhero To Fight Islamophobic Bus Ads

Kamala Kahn, AKA Ms. Marvel, takes a stand for tolerance in San Francisco

image via facebook: street cred - advertising for the people

San Franciscans have been getting a dose of real live super-heroics lately, after an anonymous do-gooder took it upon themselves to do battle against a series of Islamophobic bus ads in the single most awesome way possible: By calling upon the highest profile Muslim superhero in the Marvel comics universe.


Recently riders of the San Francisco bus system have been forced to make their daily commutes to and from work on busses with covered in ads which compare Muslims to Nazis, and call for an end to all US aid to Muslim countries. Purchased by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (a wing of Stop Islamification Of America – an organization listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group) the ads are similar to ones the group has run in both Washington DC and New York.

Knowing San Francisco, and that city’s history of proud progressivism, it’s not surprising, then, that the offensive ads provoked a strong reaction. What is surprising, though, is just how wonderful the response has been. As first noticed by Street Cred – Advertising For The People’s Facebook page, someone has been, *erm* “upgrading” the ads by plastering them over with images of Kamala Khan, known to comic book fans as Ms. Marvel.

The ads now feature Khan urging viewers to “stamp out racism” and reminding them that “free speech isn’t a license to spread hate

Khan, a Pakistani-American teenager with shape-shifting powers, was introduced to the Marvel universe in 2013, and has been praised by fans and critics alike. At the time of her debut, Fatemeh Fakhraie, founder of Muslimah Media Watch, described Khan to Al Jazeera as a “window into the American Muslim experience” adding that she “normalizes this idea of the American experience as Muslim.”

As io9 points out, Khan’s unofficial status as savior of the San Fran bus line has even been noticed by Ms. Marvel writer G. Willow Wilson, who tweeted her seal of approval:

Khan, and whomever “recruited” her in this fight against Islamophobia, are a great reminder that while we may be inundated with big budget heroes at the movies and on our TVs, we shouldn’t forget to be inspired by those among us – super-powered or not – who are taking a stand for what’s right, right here in the real world.