Watching Ms. Marvel As A Muslim Woman

This piece contains spoilers for Ms. Marvel. If you’re not caught up, check out our Ms. Marvel Episode 2 Review.

When I first heard about Ms. Marvel being made into a series, I, like many Pakistani Muslim women, was skeptical about how this would pan out for my community. Hollywood has had a history of letting us down, so for all I knew I needed to expect the worst and keep my expectations low. But after watching the first two episodes of the much-anticipated series, through Kamala Khan, I felt like my day-to-day reality (minus the superpowers) was finally being shared accurately and safely with the whole world.

It’s no secret that the industry has been accused of Islamophobia by our Muslim community in the way it represents us. Film and television often miss the mark by showing Muslim characters as violent terrorists, submissive wives or struggling with their religion because it’s portrayed as a hinderence. Growing up and now even in my late twenties I have never come across a TV series or movie that resonated with my language, culture and religion — especially one that is accessible to mainstream audiences.

[Read: What’s Going On With Ms. Marvel’s Bracelet?]

Yes, I accept that in Spider-Man: Far From Home, we saw a glimpse of a Muslim character wearing the Hijab who did in fact feel like one of us — but I also remember Marvel’s Iron Man where Tony Stark is captured by terrorists who are not “explicitly” Muslim but conveniently your stereotypical brown-skinned bearded men. Even the women and children are seen to be helpless and surrounded by violence.

Then we were given Black Panther – a film that made history in its rightly applauded portrayal of African heritage and Black culture, there’s so much to rave about when it comes to how well it was written and the diverse cast. But when it came to the portrayal of Muslims, once again we were given the scene where the Prince saves Nakia from a group of Muslim men in a caravan holding women in headscarves hostage.

Marvel Studios’ Ms. Marvel: Who’s Who in the Cast?

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