Entertainment TED Talks

Naif Al-Mutawa and his 99 superheroes fight on

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At TEDGlobal 2010 Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa introduced us to THE 99, a comic book and animated series featuring a team of 99 young superheroes inspired by the 99 attributes of Allah. These young characters are the world’s first superheroes based on Islamic culture. Earlier this year at TEDGlobal Al-Mutawa discussed the criticisms he received for his creation, both at home and abroad, and the continuing backlash he faces from those accusing him of “radicalizing” young people.

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 22, 2011, THE 99 will have its worldwide online premiere on PBS’ Independent Lens livestream channel, followed by a discussion with Al-Mutawa. Last week Independent Lens premiered a documentary called Wham! Bam! Islam! about the making of and motivations behind the controversial series. Filmmaker Isaac Solotaroff followed Al-Mutawa and his collaborators as they struggled to get — and keep — their show on the air. The film can be purchased and downloaded on iTunes.

Through Wham! Bam! Islam! and continued exposure Al-Mutawa hopes that THE 99 will be able to fulfill its original goal of promoting the positive aspects of his religion to children of all origins and all faiths.

The PBS livestream of THE 99 will be available tomorrow in cities around the world. Note the time in your city >>

9 a.m. Los Angeles
12 p.m. New York
5 p.m. London
7 p.m. Kuwait City, Istanbul, Dublin
8 p.m. Dubai
11 p.m. Jakarta
12 a.m. Sydney, Hong Kong