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Monday, December 03, 2018 

Even today, Frank Miller's Holy Terror is still victim of censorship

Andrew Harrod at the American Spectator (via Middle East Forum) has given an alert that Miller's notable 2011 graphic novel, Holy Terror, originally planned as a Batman tale before DC under Paul Levitz rejected it, has been shunned at a Texas library because the Council of American Islamic Relations called for it:
The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Dallas-Fort Worth chapter (CAIR-DFW) recently “applauded a decision by the Plano Library to resolve an issue related to anti-Muslim material in its catalog.” CAIR claims to have convinced this Texas library to remove the book Holy Terror by renowned graphic-novel author Frank Miller, a disturbing act of censorship and a flagrant violation of longstanding library standards.

This author asked the Plano Library Director Libby Holtmann about the book’s removal. She stated that the library “did not remove the subject item from its collection from a request by anyone including CAIRDFW,” but rather “was alerted by a comment sent through social media.” Examination of Holy Terror revealed “that it did not have any professional reviews,” which she claimed is a “necessary component for maintaining an item.” She also cited library records showing little reader interest in Holy Terror.

In fact, dozens of reviews of the comic book have been published, including by prominent newspapers and peer-reviewed journals. Plano library’s dubious response leaves several troubling questions. What was this social media comment that led to an immediate “evaluation” of Holy Terror? Why does Plano Library appear to be kowtowing to CAIR? Does the very controversy itself surrounding Holy Terror raised by groups such as CAIR not justify keeping a copy for the sake of healthy public debate?

CAIR’s opposition to Holy Terror, a story of comic superheroes battling Al Qaeda in New York City, goes back to when it first appeared in 2011. CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad had condemned Holy Terror as a “shameful” example of how “Islamophobia is becoming mainstream.” That same year, journalist Spencer Ackerman wrote that “Holy Terror is a screed against Islam.”

Accordingly, CAIR-DFW Executive Director John Janney asked the Plano library about “standards, policies or code of ethics that the publicly funded library followed when faced with publications that dehumanize or marginalize minorities.” This applied, he claimed, “especially when those publications are targeted at children” (which the adult graphic novel Holy Terror is in fact not). Although paying lip service to First-Amendment free speech guarantees, CAIR-DFW’s argued that “imposing hate literature on a captive audience of children is not appropriate” for a library’s mass holdings.
Well this does tell something besides the sad fact CAIR, which was founded by Hamas sympathisers, is still active: they have a backwards view of the comics medium itself, taking the antiquated vision that it's only for children.
CAIR-DFW also claimed that Miller had in 2018 “expressed regret for the book” — implying that Miller would support the censorship of Holy Terror. Yet he actually stated, in a Guardian interview, that he did not “want to go back and start erasing books I did.” Importantly, he described Holy Terror in a 2011 interview as a specific “screed against Al Qaeda,” not Islam. “The issue here is a method of killing. It’s not a religion,” he explained. “I can tell you squat about Islam,” but “I know a goddamn lot about Al Qaeda and I want them all to burn in Hell.”

Ironically, CAIR-DFW’s announcement appeared during the annual Banned Books Week of the American Library Association (ALA), the “oldest and largest library association in the world,” founded in 1876. During Banned Book Week, ALA promotes a “Stand for the Banned Read-Out” for people to “declare your literary freedoms by reading from a banned book or discussing censorship issues on camera.” Since the Week’s 1982 beginnings, “libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs, continuous readings of banned and challenged books.”
What the Plano library did was a slap in the face to anybody opposed to book censorship. But most curious is where the CBLDF stands in all this, if they focus on topics like these? Unsurprisingly, this hasn't been in the mainstream comics press from what I can tell, proving where they actually stood all these years, and if the CBLDF won't give Miller any backing in this case, then they've rendered their mission meaningless.

I think it's a shame Miller reverted back to leftism, if he supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections. Though this current case can demonstrate the unforgiving positions of social justice advocates - he dared do something the late Will Eisner also did with his last graphic novel, The Plot, and for this, the SJW leftists shunned Miller for all eternity by not coming to defense of his work.

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Believe me, the anti-Muslim slant is the least of this book's problems, among which are story direction, characterization, artistic design (or lack there of), padding, etc.

I have my problems with the book as well. However, if Miller was condemning one group and every one keeps saying it's slamming Islam, are they saying that Al Qaeda speaks for all Muslims? They may not be intending to say it but it's how it comes off when you think about it. Either way, it's still censorship and if they removed it because of some comment and not complaints by anyone as they claim, I'd like to know what the comment was too.

All this ends up doing is putting people who don't like the book in an uncomfortable position of defending it in the name of free speech, which of course the left will use against them. I also find it interesting, as Ari noted, that they're still looking at comics as a "kids medium" given how kid-unfriendly comics in general and superhero comics specifically these days are becoming, especially from the Big 2 and even most Comicsgate offerings.

if the CBLDF won't give Miller any backing in this case, then they've rendered their mission meaningless.

Like the ACLU, the mission of the CLBDF has always been to keep communist/anti-Christian literature available at your local comic shop, bookstore or library. Controversial books on the right are always racist and sexist and nobody would want to defend that sort of thing.

And then in a few years it will be controversial books on the left that are always racist and sexist, and then back to condemning the right, and then the left again, like an endless loop that doesn't solve anything.

They're looking at comics as kids material because stupid people in libraries don't separate comics into adults and children's content. This tendency to lump all comics together and treat them as a genre is reinforced by sjws who use crudely drawn "indie" comics to help indoctrinate students into left wing politics. A LGBT graphic novel is removed from the 'comics' section...and LGBT people activists who now dominate the CLBDF* rally to have that LGBT graphic novel put back... in the 'comics section', which will most likely be in a children's section of a library but they won't tell you that. I suspect that is the case half the time, because they will insist almost all lgbt content is appropriate for children because they want to push their agendas.



*Take a look at http://cbldf.org. It does nothing but promote and defend feminist/lgbt comics. It has a very explicit political agenda

"comics aren't allowed in prisons! Oh no!"

" Crazy Bible thumper burns lgbt comics again...you could be next, lgbt-reader!"

I'm exaggerating a bit but not by much.


From what I've seen on that site, they're just typical self-centered nutjobs who only do donations and the like for the taxbreaks and not for any feelings of goodwill. These jokers are the ones who'll switch agendas and causes on a dime just to get more money.

Current books on the cbldf site’s current list of recently banned and challenged comics include Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Strikes Again, four books by Alan Moore including Watchman and the Killing Joke, and a Spider-Man collection. They mention Maus, which was challenged as being anti-Polish, and Jeff Smith’s Bone, because it shows smoking and drinking. The sexual content/nudity books listed as having been challenged are about equally divided between homosexuality and heterosexuality, with others containing nudity in a non-sexual context.

So these guys are willing to take potshots at anything as long as enough noise and protests are made about it?

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