NEW US MAGAZINES TARGET MUSLIM WOMEN AND TEENS
A new publication is aiming to break negative stereotypes about Islam and to help young Muslim women feel confident and optimistic about being Muslim in America.
Muslim Girl was launched in January with the headline: “Enlighten, Celebrate, Inspire.” The bi-monthly magazine targets hundreds of thousands Muslim teenagers in North America who want a magazine that reflects their values, ambitions and goals.
Muslim Girl is the latest of several new magazines catering to Muslim Americans. Each targets distinct demographics teenagers, professionals, mothers, secular Muslims, but each also aims to take pride in who they are, and what they believe.
Muslim teenage girls have said they are delighted when they discover Muslim Girl, because it features young Muslim American women who stand out in academics, the arts and sports. It also gives them ideas for modest fashions they can wear. Being comfortable with Islam is certainly one of the goals of Muslim Girl, says editor-in-chief Ausma Khan. She describes the monthly publication as a magazine for young Muslim women whose faith means a lot to them, but who are just like other teenage girls in America. Khan created the magazine as a way to serve what she says is a huge community that needs more positive representation in the mainstream media.
Khan a writer, human rights lawyer and activist said in a recent interview that she left a teaching position at Northwestern University to become editor in chief of the new magazine. “Most representations of Muslims in the media are negative,” she said. “Muslim Girl Magazine challenges those perceptions by telling the stories of Muslim teens who are proud to be American and who contribute to American society in so many positive ways. This is a chance for their voices to be heard. We want to reach as many people as possible by telling the stories about American girls who are Muslim and getting other communities to see them as part of American life, as teens that they have something in common with and to clear away misunderstandings, and hope for a better dialogue,” said Khan.