WHAM! BAM! ISLAM! tells the story of Naif Al-Mutawa and his venture to create the first team of superheroes from the Muslim world called THE 99. Following the tumultuous journey of THE 99 from concept to reality, from international acclaim to censure by cultural gatekeepers, Al-Mutawa pursues his vision to bring new heroes to Muslim children while re-introducing Islam to the West.
This documentary by Isaac Solotaroff airs on PBS's Independent Lens on October 13th. WHAM! BAM! ISLAM!
You can get a free preview issue of The 99! -- see the Wham! Bam! Islam! film page on Facebook for details.
Naif Al-Mutawa has an undergraduate degree from Tufts University (with a triple major in clinical psychology, English literature and history), and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Long Island University. In addition, he holds a Masters in Organizational Psychology from Teacher’s College, Columbia University and an MBA, also from Columbia University.
Dr. Al-Mutawa has worked with former prisoners of war in Kuwait and the Survivors of Political Torture unit of Bellevue Hospital in New York. Having witnessed the trauma of people who have been tortured because of their religious and political beliefs, he decided to write a children's story that won a UNESCO prize for literature in the service of tolerance.
Here are some other links if you'd like to learn more about Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa and his work:
New Film Captures Struggle to Create First Muslim Superhero Comic (24 September 2011 at Branford Patch blog)
Article by Dr. Al-Musawa at Huffington Post (17 May 2011): The Future Depends on What the Meaning of "Was" Was
The 99: the Islamic superheroes getting into bed with Batman (Carole Cadwalladr, 23 October 2010 in The Observer)