Author and comic writer G. Willow Wilson’s work is now being taught to students at QF
Islamophobia, racial and gender discrimination, questions of identity, and religious fanaticism – all of these are issues in need of tackling throughout our world.
For award-winning author G. Willow Wilson, the way she addresses them is through her famous comic series, which reflects – and aims to open up thought and discussion on – these themes.
Wilson – whose work is now being taught at Northwestern University in Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university – is the creator of Marvel’s first Muslim superhero Kamala Khan (also known as Ms. Marvel), and a writer for DC Comics’ Wonder Woman series. And in a Geekdom talk in Doha, titled Wearing Hijab in a World of Capes’, she shed light on her writing journey.
“Sometimes, a writer is forced to move beyond a certain way of thinking towards a different perspective and a broader context, visiting a place of reasoning that they may not have been aware of previously,” she told the talk, organized by Doha Film Institute at the Fire Station arts hub.
We live in a time when one generation is different from the next, and when things are changing at a quicker pace and on a daily basis.
“We live in a time when one generation is different from the next, and when things are changing at a quicker pace and on a daily basis.
"It is important for the writer to be aware that they are not only connecting with their own community members, that their point of view is not the only perspective there is, and that their work may be interpreted in various ways. There are different ways of looking at the world, and we have to keep that in mind as we live in an interconnected world."
An American convert to Islam, Wilson is known for creating strong female characters in her books, graphic novels, and comic writing, and said: “Although circumstances may vary from place to place, and from generation to generation, we all live carrying the same feelings and dealing with the same struggles in search of safety in our communities.
People must realize that the different opinions regarding the hijab in some countries does not mean that we are different.
One of the talk’s attendees, Indian-Muslim Sarah Begham, spoke about the impact that the Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel character has had on her, saying: "I feel very proud to have a Muslim woman represented in this powerful way – Willow Wilson has been able to break the stereotypical image surrounding Muslim women.”
Mohamed Al-Kuwari, another attendee said: “What caught my attention was how the writer depicts the daily life of a Muslim female superhero, and shows us that we are all connected regardless of the differences in our cultures or beliefs.
“Wilson helps people in countries that have Muslim minorities learn about Islam in a simple and understandable way."
Sirin Sadie, who attended the talk with her daughter, said: "I wanted my daughter to see an example of a Muslim woman that she can follow. I also wanted her to learn that a Muslim woman can be special and successful and is able to do things that can affect people's lives.”
“People must realize that the different opinions regarding the hijab in some countries does not mean that we are different. Rather, all Muslims are similar whether they wear the hijab or not.”