Discovery Kids cable channel recently rebranded itself as The Hub, and it appears that re-branding is important in religion as well as in marketing. As part of the channel's re-branding, The Hub wants to air "The 99," a show with 99 superheroes, far more than the Justice League or the X-Men. However, "The 99" is also an attempt to re-brand Islam. The program chronicles the adventures of 99 Sharia-compliant superheroes, each of whom embodies an attribute of Allah. The debut of "The 99" has been pushed back at least until January, supposedly due to unspecified "production issues."
Barack Obama praised the work of the comic's creator, saying, "His superheroes embody the teachings of the tolerance of Islam." Would he have said the same thing about a cartoon that featured characters from another religion? Can the head of a supposedly secular country endorse a
program that seems to proselytize young children? The show has aired in England, where a Times of London columnist wrote that the show's mission was "to instill old-fashioned Islamic values in Christian, Jewish and atheist children." Would those be "old-fashioned values" such
as honor killings and suicide bombings?
On the other hand, American parents seem to see the program for what it is. As one stated, "They're taking advantage of the fact that in every middle-class household, Mom and Dad are working their [rears] off. They know the kids are watching TV or on the Internet. So maybe Sharia becomes OK. It's a game. It gradually becomes more and more in their lives."