A comic series depicting superheroes based on characteristics of Allah is reportedly on its way to British screens this year.
The cartoons, named The 99 after the characteristics of Allah, were launched in 2006 as a comic book.
Now an animated series is being produced by Endemol, the Dutch company that made the reality TV show, Big Brother.
The creator of The 99 series is Dr Naif al-Mutawa, a former psychologist who explained he wanted to take Islam away from its militant portrayal after the September 11th attacks.
In a letter to his sons, Dr al-Mutawa wrote: “Khalid, you were born in New York City, shortly after 9/11. I had already made a decision that I needed to find a way to take back Islam from its hostage takers, but I did not known how.
“The answer was staring me in the face. It was a simple, and as difficult, as the multiplication of 9 by 11: 99.
“I uncapped my pen to create a concept that could be popular in the East and the West.
“I would go back to the very sources from which others took violent and hateful messages and offer messages of tolerance and peace in their place. I would give my heroes a Trojan horse in the form of The 99.”
The cast of the comic books include Jabbar, a Saudi Arabian Hulk-type figure and Darr the Afflicter, a paraplegic American who can manipulate nerve endings with his mind to trigger pain.
More characters are being revealed as each comic book is released, but there will never be 99 characters because it is forbidden to depict all of Allah’s attributes.
Dr al-Mutawa continued: “I told the writers of the animation that only when Jewish kids think that The 99 characters are Jewish, and Christian kids think they’re Christian, and Muslim kids think they’re Muslim, and Hindu kids think they’re Hindu, that I will consider my vision as having been fully executed.”
The comic book series is illustrated and scripted by former comic book writers and artists whose credits include X-Men, Spider-Man, Superman and Power Rangers.
In 2008, Forbes named The 99 as one of the top 20 global brands “sweeping the world”.