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           07 May, 2021


    
Category:  Press » Kids & Teens

 

Teens Not Terrorists: Muslim Girls Get a Voice in Muslim Girl Magazine

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2007-01-20 20:33:30     
Ausma Khan

American teen Muslim girls are much like teen girls everywhere – so says a recent nationwide study of Muslim girls aged 14-18 years. The study was conducted on behalf of Muslim Girl Magazine , a new bi-monthly glossy magazine launched this month to give 400,000 American Muslim teen girls a lively and uniquely relevant perspective on contemporary living.

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. Our editorial mandate is to ‘enlighten, celebrate and inspire’ them.

"Our study showed that these girls go to public school, watch a little too much television, read teen magazines, surf the Internet, use Google, enjoy YouTube, play video games, shop a lot, talk on the telephone and spend time just hanging out," says Faye Kennedy, VP at execuGo Media, the publisher that commissioned the study. "In short, they are pretty much like most other American teenagers." The study also highlighted some likely differences: for example, they get news at Al Jazeera, socialize at IslamiCity and count among their top hobbies, Qur’an study.

The research confirmed Kennedy’s hunch: teen Muslim girls in America would love a lifestyle magazine that does what no other teen girl magazine has done for them – give them a means of enjoying contemporary life within the values they love. Over 90% of the panel, when shown the initial concept, indicated that they liked it, thought it was what they need, would read it and would recommend it to their friends.

Ausma Khan, PhD, writer, human rights lawyer and activist, liked the concept so much that she left a teaching position at Northwestern University to become Editor in Chief. "Most representations of Muslims in the media are negative," she says. "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. Our editorial mandate is to ‘enlighten, celebrate and inspire’ them."

Challenging stereotypes about Muslim girls in America, Muslim Girl Magazine re-defines the face of Muslim youth in America. Its innovative content showcases teen girls who are equally proud of their identity as Americans and Muslims, while not shying away from the conflict inherent in being both. It also shakes up the complacency of Muslims themselves by emphasizing the diversity of practice within American Muslim communities, typically a no-go area.

The premiere issue of the magazine features girls who have joined the Peace Corps and volunteered in Indonesia. Advice columns tackle everything from boyfriends to divorced parents to anti-Muslim discrimination. Regular departments range from Qur’an Notes to Hot List reviews of TV shows like The CW Television Network’s ‘Gilmore Girls.’ And a special feature on the hit show ‘24’ directly confronts the biggest elephant in the room—the association of Muslims with terrorism.

Khan says, "We’re showing hijab-wearing basketball players alongside contemporary fashion designers and artists. We want to dispel the notion that Muslim teens conform to one particular model. Veiled or unveiled, Muslim girls participate fearlessly in sports, the arts, international travel and their local mosques."

Muslim Girl Magazine launched with a planned circulation of 50,000 copies per issue in the first year and expects to grow to 100,000 within two years. Dianna Hightower, Publisher and Director of Business Development and Advertising, expects advertising to grow quickly. "Today the Muslim market is where the Hispanic market was five years ago — on the verge of a major breakout. Households of Muslim girls comprise a valuable commercial profile with higher than average scores on income, education, occupation and size. Having Fox Broadcasting and Oxford University Press advertise in our first issue is evidence that prestigious and smart advertisers see strong potential."

Specialized in: Teens - Terrorists - Muslim Girls
URL: http://www.muslimgirlmagazine.com
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