Willow Smith Called Out for Racism and Islamophobia in her New Novel “Black Shield Maiden”

willow smith

American singer Willow Smith, daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, has been under fire by many on Twitter for her Islamophobic description of Amazigh (North African Muslims) and Muslims in general, in a preview of her debut novel “Black Shield Maidenpreview.

In the released preview, Smith described the Amazighs as the following:

The Amazigh are dangerous on their best day. They have little regard for anyone who doesn’t worship the Muslim god — and even their own tribes are always at war with one another.

The Novel’s exclusive preview read

Naturally, the preview received various backlash from fans, especially since the Smith family built a brand, and subsequently a fanbase, that is progressive and vocal against racism and equality. This added a whole new layer of confusion by her Muslim fans since it’s another confirmation that Islamophobia and hate are never taken seriously by the west.

Even after the backlash, Smith did not apologize or acknowledge her angry fans.

Fans quickly pointed out that the comments don’t make sense since when Willow’s father, Will, visited Morocco, he claimed he was treated like a king.

Aside from Willow’s ignorance, fans were also pointing out how the book’s publishers, Penguin, didn’t hire editors before publishing this exclusive novel preview who can point out how this description is insensitive, especially with a book targeted towards young readers.

Additionally, many critics felt like the description did not represent the real Amazigh people, assuring that there are racist and Islamophobic messages in the novel. They were all sad about her being the one to introduce the North African Muslims and Islam to the Americans.

People were wondering why Willow Smith depends on such racist and Islamophobic stereotypes for her new book without educating herself about who the Amazigh really are.

That made Jess Hendel, the co-author respond to the criticism

Although Willow Smith didn’t respond publicly to the criticism and didn’t even turn off the comments on her social media, Jess Hendel turned off the comments section in two of her Instagram posts, in which she was promoting the novel. Besides stating that

The novel directly tackles prejudice, stereotyping, and ignorance about people from other cultures – including prejudices about the Amazigh and other Islamic peoples.

Jess Hendel on her instagram

And in a comment on Willow Smith’s Instagram post promoting her debut book, Hendel stated that she is:

Beyond excited for this incredible story to reach readers to shining a light in the dark and giving voices to the voiceless.

Jess Hendel

The novel follows a young African warrior who was stolen from her home and brought to the world of the Vikings, where she meets a princess. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by ∴ WILLOW ∴ (@willowsmith)

In the end, the controversy regarding the real ideology of the Smiths is still rising. People are still talking and labeling Willow as Islamophobic. Some of them are calling out for an apology from Willow and Penguin for the Muslim fans worldwide before it is published on October 4th.

However, after this backlash, do you think that there gonna be an apology from Willow Smith to Muslims, or any changes in the book? We’ll have to wait and see!

What do you think?

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Written by Omar Bakry

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  1. No one cares what Muslims say. Coz islamophobia is REAL. People forget that out of the 0.01% responsible for terror attacks, the majority of Muslims are just regular people like any other people. Blame the media for it. But we are going through a time of prejudice against Muslims and it’s so blunt and disgusting. Maybe in half a decade people will start treating us with dignity and there will be such a thing as anti-semetism for Muslims

  2. Honestly I prefer to give her the benefit of the doubt and wait until the book is released. Without context it’s impossible to know if that’s the way Amazigh people are depicted or if it’s the point of view of one character which is going to be demolished. If that’s the case it was definitely not a good extract. Penguin should have known better

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شركة ”زيدا“ تعلن إطلاق خاصية ”طلب الطعام“ عبر مواقع التواصل الاجتماعية عقب استكمال برنامج مسرعة ”فيسبوك“ لحلولالأعمال

شركة ”زيدا“ تعلن إطلاق خاصية ”طلب الطعام“ عبر مواقع التواصل الاجتماعية عقب استكمال برنامج مسرعة ”فيسبوك“ لحلولالأعمال