Babylon & Beyond

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EGYPT: Comic book translates Martin Luther King's message

March 25, 2008 |  8:10 am

Martin Luther King Jr. has gone Arabic.

A 50-year-old comic book on the civil rights leader's strategy of nonviolence and tolerance is being published in the Arab world by the American Islamic Congress. The book, known as the Montgomery Story, was originally part of King's campaign to end racial discrimination and human rights abuses in America.

His message speaks to reformers in Arab countries today who have been battling political oppression, corruption, torture, jihadists and abuses against women, including genital circumcision. The hope is that King's tactics of nonviolence, which are outlined in the book, will inspire Arab versions of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington.

"Nonviolent activism is needed in the Middle East more than ever," said Dalia Ziada, director of AIC's office in Cairo. "Martin Luther King's legacy offers a powerful alternative to violence, and we hope this new Arabic comic book can inspire young Middle Easterners to take responsible action for reform."

Check it out at

— Jeffrey Fleishman in Cairo