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Indon artist 'fired' over X-Men messages

dpa logodpa 11/04/2017

An Indonesian artist's "career is over" following controversy over references he put in an X-Men comic about the blasphemy case plaguing Jakarta's governor.

An Indonesian artist has hinted he has been sacked after he inserted political and religious references tied to an election into a new Marvel comic.

Ardian Syaf, an Indonesian artist who illustrated X-Men Gold, included what critics say were anti-Christian and anti-Semitic messages related to the ongoing blasphemy case that has plagued Jakarta's Christian Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly referred to as Ahok.

"My career is over now," Syaf said in a Facebook post.

"It's the consequence (of) what I did, and I take it."

The controversial images include an X-Men character Colossus wearing a shirt that reads "QS: 5:51", referring to a verse in the Koran some Indonesian Muslims interpret as forbidding Muslims being led by Christians and Jews.

Another shows a building labelled "212", in reference to a large protest by conservative Muslims against Purnama in December.

Marvel said the images would be removed in subsequent print runs.

"The mentioned artwork in X-Men Gold #1 was inserted without knowledge behind its reported meanings," Marvel said, according to comic.com.

"These implied references do not reflect the views of the writer, editors or anyone else at Marvel and are in direct opposition of the inclusiveness of Marvel Comics and what the X-Men have stood for since their creation."

Syaf apologised in his Facebook post for "all the noise".

Ahok's blasphemy trial has been postponed until one day after the capital heads to the polls next week, as prosecutors prepare what punishment they want the court to hand down.

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