I still remember the first television in my sister’s bedroom included the first generation of Nintendo built into it, with a handful of games, my favorite being Donkey Kong.
"The Costume Play" Art
This year, in parallel to the Global Peace and Unity (GPU) event, the London Movie Comic Media (MCM) exhibition took place at the Excel exhibition center venue, London. Pulling in more than 30,000 visitors with orderly queues, extending outside and around the exhibition center, MCM was an immediate hit for all, non-Muslims and Muslims alike.
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At the steps of the exhibition center, hundreds of CosPlay fans lined the pavement, dressed up in every many of science fiction characters you could possible imagine from Storm Troopers to Indiana Jones to Batman to leading anime comic characters.
A significantly large number of Muslims attending the GPU clearly demonstrated their love for science fiction as they posed alongside the various characters both outside the venue as well as attending the MCM.
MCM was broken into several ‘villages’. Anime, Games, CosPlay, Manga Alley, while the main stage featured short programs with the cast of leading Tv hit shows such as Heroes.
In a rather commercial manner a program was launched to have your photograph taken with any number of cast show members priced at £15 per person.
|Muslim girls with Storm Troopers.|
Among the more interesting of costumes were those of some young adults who attended the event dressed as a Muslim wearing the traditional Arabic attire with a turban. I can only imagine their surprise when they realized that next door one of the largest gatherings of Muslims in Europe, The GPU, was taking place!
Many Muslims did speak negatively about the MCM, but many more enjoyed the merger between one very focused religious exhibition and one mainstream entertainment focused exhibition.
Proof of course being in the main floor at the GPU where, throughout the speeches, songs and entertainment, if you looked at the audience you would see them lit up from the Star Wars light sabers they waved throughout.
As a fan of science fiction from a very young age, I found a great deal of comfort this year while attending the GPU, as the opportunity to participate in MCM also became apparent.
And while not perhaps every Muslim’s 'cup of tea', that each of us having differing interests also adds to the beauty that is Islam.
The reality is we are all different, and the sooner we, the Muslim communities, choose to accept our differences the sooner we will find cohesion, bonding and bringing ourselves closer to each other in those areas where we do not differ.
As for the MCM, you have bagged yourself one additional fan and I eagerly look forward to next years event!