Apparently Superman 712 wasn't dismissed because of Sharif the Muslim character. It was shelfed because Superman starts the issue by saving a cat from a tree.
And this caused considerable problems with certain DC executives. They thought it was too sweet, too innocent, too anodyne, and not the kind of Superman stories they wanted to tell. The kitten up a tree image symbolised for them what was wrong with the Superman books. It became totemic in the office, standing for far more than it could possibly symbolise. It had to go.
Holy @#$%. Well, this is Dan "Countdown" Didio and Jim "Wildstorm" Lee publishing and Bob "Clone Saga" Harras as Editor in Chief.
At first I found this hilarious, then puzzling, and now I'm weirdly concerned for DC Comics. What the @#$%, ya'll?
As Bleeding Cool also notes:
And a story that started with a kitten has been replaced by a story starring a dog. I’m wondering if that was Superman editorial trying to make a point.
Looking forward to new Superman comics where kitties are left to fend for their @#$%ing selves.