I really picture Allah more as the blue robot lobster in this picture, than Ultraman, but Malaysian kids are apparently more likely to think that the Muslim deity is a man in a really uncomfortable jogging suit than a giant blue monster.
Malaysia has banned a translation of an Ultraman comic book after it referred to the popular Japanese superhero as “Allah”, authorities said Friday, during an ongoing row over use of the word by non-Muslims.
The home ministry, which is in charge of domestic security and censorship, said the Malay-language edition of “Ultraman, The Ultra Power” contains elements that can undermine public order and morals.
A government representative confirmed the ban. In a statement on Friday, the Home Affairs Ministry said that because “Ultraman is idolized by many children,” equating the lead character, Ultraman King, with Allah would especially “confuse Muslim children and damage their faith.”
It further warned that irresponsible use of the word can provoke Muslims and threaten public safety.
Maybe Ultraman can stop the Muslim threat to public safety. Muslim governments certainly don’t intend to.
If Malaysian children do trade up from Allah to Ultraman, it will increase public safety because Ultraman fans don’t try to kill people. Also Ultraman fights monsters, while Allah’s followers fight all non-Muslims and even other Muslims.
Let’s compare and contrast Allah and Ultraman.
- Ultraman’s superpowers include Ultra Punch (ウルトラパンチ Urutora Panchi): This is a basic punch, but since Ultraman possesses super-humanoid physical strength, it “has the power of 50 Indian elephants.”
- Allah’s superpowers include 72 Virgins: This tricks his followers into killing for him in the hope that they will receive 72 virgins.
- Ultraman’s superpowers Ultra Separation (ウルトラセパレーション Urutora Separēshon?): In the 1996 movie Revive! Ultraman, Ultraman created four duplicates of himself to fight various monsters simultaneously.
- Allah’s superpowers include followers who will kill anyone who makes fun of him because they hope to receive 72 virgins.
- Ultraman’s greatest weakness is “Since Earth’s atmosphere leeches away his solar energy, Ultraman can only physically exist on Earth for approximately three to five minutes of Earth time.”
- Allah’s greatest weakness is that he was a story made up by a 7th century Arabian warlord and cannot exist on Earth for even 1 second.
By my calculations, to defeat Allah, Ultraman will have to convince Muslims in 3-5 minutes that the 72 virgins don’t actually exist.
The decision has led to widespread ridicule among Malaysian Facebook and Twitter users — including from Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who asked “Apa salah Ultraman? (What wrong did Ultraman do?)”
The controversial line can be seen in an image available on social media that describes Ultraman: “He is considered, and respected, as Allah or the Elder to all Ultra heroes.”
The Ultraman ban is the latest example of growing hard-line religious conservatism under the country’s United Malays National Organization–led government. Earlier this year, authorities in Selangor raided a church and seized more than 300 Bibles that officials claimed referred to God as Allah in the Malay language.
Malaysia desperately needs Ultraman.
Now this guy on the left looks a lot like Allah.