This has been a banner week for comics, my friends. A banner week. If you haven’t been following the Ardian Syaf scandal, don’t bother; it’s not worth the brain cells. If you’re already elbows deep, however, you will have come across his easter egg reference “QS 5:51″ in X Men Gold #1, with ‘QS’ apparently being an Indonesian way of indicating ‘Quran, Surah,’ i.e. Quran, Chapter (Surah) 5, verse 51. 
I am so profoundly pissed off this week that I am now going to discuss Quranic exegesis while swearing profusely. So, you know. Fair warning. 
This verse is subject to a truly fantastical amount of bullshittery in the modern era. And that bullshittery takes on a particular flavor depending on the agenda of whoever is translating the verse. Keep in mind that 75% of Muslims are non-native speakers of Arabic (I’m one of them), and of that 75%, most know a few phrases of Arabic at most; just enough to be able to perform the five daily prayers, plus some tangentially related religious terminology (I know a bit more). To put it more simply, the vast majority of Muslims around the world do not read the Quran in the original Arabic. They read an interpretation rendered into their local language. And this is where the bullshittery starts.
Apparently, the Indonesian translation of 5:51 reads something like this: “Oh you who believe, take not the Jews and the Christians as leaders/advisors.”  (I don’t speak or read Indonesian, so I am going off the explanations of others and stuff I have been able to find online.) The reason Syaf referenced this verse is because (apparently) he has been protesting a Christian governor in his province; a governor who has been accused of blasphemy and/or corruption and/or making fun of this particular verse of the Quran, depending on who you ask. 
Here is the problem: the Arabic word in that verse that is translated variously as leader, advisor, friend, intimate etc is أولياء (awliya’), the plural of ولي‎‎ (wali). And it means none of those things.
Awliya’ in this context means something very specific, and among Arabic speakers, that meaning has changed very little over the last 1400 years. A wali is a legal counselor or sometimes a legal guardian. Some examples: an unmarried girl must appoint a wali to act on her behalf during a marriage negotiation, according to Islamic law. Your lawyer is your wali in court. The executor of a will is the wali of the deceased. A parent is the wali of a child until that child reaches the age of majority. You get the gist.
The Indonesian interpretation, in this case, is less bullshitty than the English translation pushed primarily by certain extremist Sunni factions (cough the Saudis cough cough) which has also been making the rounds in comics media today: friend. A wali is not a friend. A wali is nothing even related to friendship. The literal translation of friend is siddiq; you could also use sahib (companion). Wali doesn’t even come from the same root as either of these words. The Quran never suggests you can’t be friends with non-Muslims. Which makes sense, because, you know, the Prophet had non-Muslim friends. 
So in the grand scheme of things, the Indonesian interpretation is more accurate than the one being pushed by certain other factions, but it’s still bullshitty. Why? Because it has very little relevance to a democratic, multi-ethnic and multi-religious state. It was revealed at a time when the fledgling Muslim community was engaged in a de facto trade war (that rapidly escalated into armed conflict) with its non-Muslim neighbors. In such a situation, appointing somebody from the opposing side as your legal representative does indeed seem like a pretty bad idea. 
While there are some hardline interpretations that hold this edict applies equally to all situations across time and space, Muslim history is swimming in Jewish and Christian (and sometimes Hindu) advisors elevated to positions of intimate counsel in various caliphates, so it’s clear that for much of Islamic history, this verse, much like the Pirate Code, was more of a guideline than an actual rule. (If you haven’t read about Moses ben Maimon, aka Maimonides–Jewish philosopher, Torah scholar and personal physician to Saladin himself–do.) 
This is all to say that Ardian Syaf can keep his garbage philosophy. He has committed career suicide; he will rapidly become irrelevant. But his nonsense will continue to affect the scant handful of Muslims who have managed to carve out careers in comics. From what I can deduce off of Facebook, it appears he is trying to claim the Charlie Hebdo defense…ie, he doesn’t mean anything by it; we just don’t understand the nuance and subtly of the local bigotry. Much good may it do him. Goodbye, Ardian Syaf. We hardly knew ye, which is just as well. 
PS You don’t need to take my word for any of this. I’m not a scholar; I am merely an obsessive layperson.  Here is a breakdown of 5:51 from a sheikh on a traditionalist Sunni website