In a recent piece for The Philadelphia Inquirer Naif Al-Mutawa, a clinical psychologist and father of five, wrote about the absence of positive Muslim characters in American entertainment. "Of all the diverse fictional characters who have inspired us," he writes, "Muslim protagonists remain very rare in American entertainment." Faced with a dearth of Muslim heroes in American media, Naif Al-Mutawa decided to create "The 99" to provide his sons with role models. It's a comic book series starring 99 superheroes, who each represent one of the 99 attributes of Allah, and use their powers to battle evil. After two years of looking for an American distributor, Mutawa has been unable to get his program broadcast in the United States.
Naif Al-Mutawa, creator of "The 99" and the subject of a new PBS Frontline documentary called "Wham! Bam! Islam!," discusses why there need to be more positive portrayals of Muslims in entertainment.