From April to November of 2012, my final months of studying journalism at Ryerson University, I was working on this story for the Ryerson Review of Journalism, a magazine circulated across Canada that tackles critical issues in national journalism. Last … Continue reading
This April, my family and I travelled to Saudi Arabia to perform an Umrah pilgrimage. My experience was documented in the May travel issue of Velvet Magazine: Read the full piece here!
Recently, I noticed the growing trend of Muslim fashion bloggers on the web, and found it to be a “clash of cultures.” Fashion bloggers, who generally flaunt their daily outfits and thrive on support and publicity would seem to stand … Continue reading
This past semester, I worked on a story about the modernization of the Islamic Hajj pilgrimage, for my Feature Writing Class at Ryerson’s Journalism School. Read the full story here on IllumeMagazine.com!
The headline of Pamela Geller’s latest blog post reads “Takbir! NYC Traffic Snarled By Muslim Cabbies Stopping To Pray.” Geller finds it upsetting that Muslim cab drivers park their yellow taxis on the sides of the roads, and pray on … Continue reading
TLC’s new reality show, “All-American Muslim,” has sparked lots of debate amongst the Muslim community in America. But in Canada, viewers failed to understand the hype and the controversy. Read my piece about Canadian’s’ reactions to the show, and their … Continue reading
In one of Pamela Geller’s recent blog posts, she attacks Muslim women wearing the keffiyeh in the photo below, calling it a “war scarf:” I was appalled. The keffiyeh is often worn by celebrities and youth in the West, for … Continue reading
As a journalism student struggling to find a balance between writing about two completely different passions (fashion, and the Western perceptions of Islam), I often wondered if an opportunity would ever come to combine both topics in one news article. … Continue reading
A few weeks ago, I spotted these clutches at Valleydez in Wafi, Dubai, and instantly fell in love! I went back yesterday and they were no longer there, however with a bit of research, I found out some more about the designs, and where they are available for purchase.
Al-Qaeda released an extremist women’s magazine on Sunday, and for the past two days, the media has been obsessed with drawing comparisons between it and Cosmopolitan Magazine. The 31-page publication titled Al-Shamikha Magazine (The Majestic Woman) was written with the objective to coerce women into following fundamentalist Islamic principles, and support pro-terrorist activities.
Cosmo on the other hand is the polar opposite—a magazine that targets modern women’s interests in sex, fashion, beauty and entertainment.
The two were linked due to a comment made by James Brandon, a spokesman for Quilliam, an “anti-Islamic extremism” London-based organization. He told the Sunday Times that Al-Qaeda leaders “see how effective magazines are at pushing the ideals of Western culture and want to try the same thing…As a result they have come up with a jihadist’s version of Cosmopolitan magazine.”
Since then, bloggers in addition to news organizations worldwide have exploited the witty analogy in their headlines for the story. “Al-Qaeda magazine offers tips on how to look good before you blow yourself up” reads the National Post headline.
While news publications both online and in print have taken the Cosmo lead into the story, its underlying issues are buried under comical jargon about “how to score a mujahideen,” “interviews with the wives of martyrs,” “keeping clear complexions by avoiding the sun and staying indoors” and “preparing your children to fight for jihad.”
There are a million miles between the West and corners of the world where Al-Qaeda-type thinking dominates society, and belittling a news story like this by Cosmo-fying it will provide little help in bridging that distance. Perhaps the media should give more attention to reporting on Muslim women’s reactions to the magazine, its readership, process of distribution and ways to counter this viral way of spreading extremist pro-terrorism ideals, rather than focussing on Cosmo catch phrases to sell the story.
Sources: The Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Fox News