Magazines Strive to Erase Stereotypes of Muslim Women


ISLAMIC VOICES

Azizah magazine features only women who wear the hijab, or head scarf, on its cover.

Islamica magazine focuses on current affairs, culture, arts and sciences.

Muslim Girl magazine caters to Muslim Americans;

Holding an American flag and wearing a bright-white grin beneath her head scarf, Wardaw Chaudhary, a 16-year-old from Tulsa, Okla., radiated confidence and optimism, the perfect cover girl to grace the first issue of Muslim Girl magazine.

Launched in January with the tagline "Enlighten Celebrate Inspire," the bimonthly magazine targets what Editor-in-Chief Ausma Khan says are 400,000 Muslim teenage girls in North America who, like other teenagers, want a magazine that reflects their lifestyles and aspirations.

"We want to tell the stories of Muslim girls who have grown up in America," said Khan, 37. "We want to give them a voice and a forum where they can see themselves and connect to other Muslim girls but also demonstrate how much they're part of the fabric of American life."

Muslim Girl, with circulation approaching 50,000, is the latest of several new magazines catering to Muslim Americans. Although they reach for distinct demographics -- teenagers, professionals, mothers and even secular Muslims -- they share a common motivation: to define themselves at a time when many feel Muslims have surrendered that responsibility to a Western media that often gets them wrong.

The magazines follow a few longer-established publications, such as Islamic Horizons, published by the Islamic Society of North America, and are more than an expression of Muslim American assertiveness. They reflect the community's diversity and a growing Muslim market that is catching the eye of advertisers and distributors.

 


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