A multi-national civil rights organization, also known as the American Islamic Congress, was inspired by a comic book. An old comic book was written about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to celebrate his life, ideas, and achievements. The American Islamic Congress had the comic translated into Arabic so that people in the Middle East could read it. The director of the American Islamic Congress for the North African division, Dalia Ziada, was in charge of translating the comic from English to Arabic. They handed out the comic to over 2,000 people throughout the Middle East.
The comic book written about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came out during the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s. The comic, titled “The Montgomery Story,” describes the events that took place during the Montgomery bus boycott. Another well known activist, Rosa Parks, also participated in the bus boycott. The Montgomery bus Boycott had an everlasting impact on our society. It was one of the major steps in ending segregation, and was the sole reason for ending public transit segregation policies. Not only is the bus boycott written about in our history books, but it was also made into a comic book.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. promoted and practiced non-violent resistance. This is the hope for the Middle East by the American Islamic Congress. Translating and republishing “The Montgomery Story,” is an action of non-violent resistance. They are showing violent groups and people that knowledge of a different way of life is possible and the freedom to express their appreciation for the Civil Rights movement. Teaching a new way of life goes against what many leaders in the Middle East would approve of.
The American Islamic Congress is also a civil rights movement group. Their Civil Rights movements are taking place in the Middle East. The group has a lot of young individuals promoting passion, moderation, religious tolerance, women’s rights, freedom to express, and conserving different cultures. Using comic books is one way they are promoting their movement. The Montgomery Story in many ways parallels what the Middle East is going through with terrorism. They are hoping that people who read the comic book will learn from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s thoughts and ideas about equality.
Comics are making their mark in our history. They are promoting literacy, change, tolerance, and good conquering over evil. Perhaps in the near future we will be reading comics about the peace in the Middle East as a direct result of the 2,000 Arabic copies of “The Montgomery Story,” being distributed.
Conan Saunders is Chief Technology Officer for mycomicshop.com, one of the largest retailers of comic books in the world. Mycomicshop is the online presence of Lone Star Comics, a leading retailer of comic books with seven stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For more information please visit: www.mycomicshop.com .