Mrs. Marvel is finally here and getting a picture perfect view of Muslims

Terrorists, taxi drivers, oppressed, oppressed – these are just some of the stereotypes of Muslims we are used to seeing on mainstream film and TV.

So being treated to a better, more authentic representation is not only refreshing, but potentially influential in shaping people’s attitudes toward the Islamic faith.

Ms. Marvel, the new installment of the Marvel movie universe, now streaming on Disney+, is one such show that manages to get this right.

Focusing on Pakistani-American teen Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), the story takes us on a journey as this Marvel fangirl finds her own strengths and navigates this amazing new responsibility alongside schoolwork, family and cultural obligations.

Written by British-Pakistani writer Bisha K. Ali, who shares the same heritage, if not nationality, as her protagonist, Ms. Marvel describes Islam as a complementary part of Kamala’s life, as opposed to something to be overcome.

This is a welcome change – Islam is all too often associated with violence, illiberalism and backwardness, not helped by how Muslims are portrayed in the media.

When political scientists recently reviewed more than 250,000 articles, they found that Muslims in the UK, US, Canada and Australia have overwhelmingly negative media images.

And while this study looked at the news channels’ coverage of Muslims, separate research shows that the same is happening in film and TV—at least when these stories portray Muslims.

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