Ardian Syaf, the lead artist on X-Men Gold #1, was fired by Marvel this week after the hidden messages came to light on social media. Syaf was a victim of his own hubris: he actually tweeted out the specific artwork from the one comic book page with the references, almost daring followers to catch it. He then seemed amused when some caught the references in his work. People upset over the references alerted Marvel, who then took action.
Here is the artwork. If you can't tell where the hidden messages are, you aren't alone. Most people cannot. The "Jew" reference is pretty obvious, however.
BleedingCool.com explains what the numbers mean.
In Indonesia, 212 is the number used to denote a specific mass protest from 2nd December of last year. 200,000 conservative Muslims marched against the Christian governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, over allegations of blasphemy regarding his use of the Qu’ran in campaigning against opponents. The march was organised, in part, with the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Council’s Fatwa. It was pretty hardline conservative and the protest demanded the government prosecute and jail Ahok based on the council’s fatwa, declaring him to be a blasphemer. This year, a 212 2.0 march with similar aims was held on the 21st of February.Here is a closer look at the references shown above, as well as another Qu'ran 5:51 reference in the book.
Ahok caused a great deal of controversy in Indonesia after he referred to a verse in the Qur’an while campaigning, specifically the verse Al Maidah 5: 51 and said that people should not believe Islamic leaders who claim it forbids Muslims from being led by non-Muslims. He has since repeatedly apologised for his statements, but it hasn’t stemmed the protest.
The verse translates into English as “O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are, in fact, allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is one of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.”
A more common Indonesian translation of the verse, however, states that “Muslims should not appoint the Jews and Christians as their leader.”
In a statement, Marvel said Syaf's messages were not inclusive and something they did not want to be a part of.