The Stream

What does Ms. Marvel mean to the Muslim community?

On Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at 19:30 GMT:
“It’s not really the brown girls from Jersey City who save the world.” Or is it? That’s the question Marvel Studios intends to answer with the debut of its latest superhero, Ms. Marvel, which aired on Disney’s streaming service this month.

The television show follows the adventures of Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), a Pakistani-American teenager who develops incredible powers and finds herself pursued by supernatural bad guys, all while grappling with familial and religious obligations.

Ms. Marvel has gotten a starry reception from critics and viewers who see themselves reflected in Khan and her unapologetically immigrant and Muslim family. But it does have its critics, with some Muslims saying Khan’s lack of hijab and male best friend Bruno (Matt Lintz) do not represent Islam in an accurate light, or that the characters pander to a Western audience.

Many however laud Marvel’s portrayal of an “ordinary Muslim”, which comes at a time when Hollywood continues to largely depict Muslim characters as targets or perpetrators of violence. Speaking to NPR, Vellani said: “I really do think this is going to kind of inspire more Muslims and South Asians to tell their story because this is one singular representation of the Muslim experience. And so I don’t think we can represent all two billion Muslims and South Asians, but it’s a start.”

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll talk to guests involved in the show about the challenges and joys of making Ms. Marvel, and what the show means to the Muslim community.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Travina Springer
Actress, “Tayesha”, Ms. Marvel

Rish Shah, @rishshah
Actor, “Kamran”, Ms. Marvel

Azhar Usman, @azharcomedy