Excerpt:

Comic book fans might call it a great origin story: In the aftermath of 9/11, a Muslim man creates a comic book series, "The 99," inspired by the principles of his faith. It builds a global audience and investors contribute millions for it to continue and expand.

In two vastly different cultures, Naif Al-Mutawa's tale hits a few roadblocks — "villains" if you will: Censorship from Saudi Arabia, home to the main Muslim holy sites; in the United States, a struggle to build an audience where free expression has been hampered by a post-9/11 rise in suspicion and scrutiny of all things Islamic.

For Al-Mutawa, it's evidence that tales like his are needed to counter hardline, intolerant ideologies of all stripes.


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