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October 18, 2007

Understanding Islam with Magazines

This article makes me very happy to see. I spend a lot of time online (where there are polarizing opinions to be sure) and read far too many bigoted and alarmist things in regards to Muslims that are seemingly born out of ignorance. Perhaps this is a way to allow narrow-minded individuals who fear or hate Muslims to see there are many sides to the vast number of individuals representing this often misunderstood religion. From Islam Online:

With glossy covers, modern layouts and polished writing, Muslim magazines are fanning out across the shelves of American newsstands to address the imperfect representation of Muslims in the US media, reported the Chicago Tribune

"I think there is a whole wave of new publications that are arriving from the second generation with a great urge to express themselves," said Ihsan Bagby, professor of Islamic studies at the University of Kentucky.

"They’re trying to lay out a viewpoint that corresponds to that second-generation mentality: more moderate, more engaged in society."

With eye-catching design and high-quality photographs, the magazines are discussing Muslim culture in the intellectual and social contexts of the West.

They discuss different issues ranging from foreign policy, women’s empowerment to teen fashion.

"There is a tendency on the part of non-Muslims to view Muslims as a monolithic ‘other,’ and the need to exhibit the many dimensions of Muslims was very important to me," said M. Salahuddin Khan, the Chicago area-based publisher of Islamica magazine.

"In so doing, we are communicating the essential humanity of Muslims."

Read the rest of this article.

I hope it works, because I think that we can all agree that peace between varying nations and their religions best serves all involved. (I suppose there are those who think we are better off at war, but I like to imagine they are a very tiny minority.) If you are of the opinion that Christians are much more tolerant of Muslims than Muslims are of Christians, then perhaps you can agree that leading the process of understanding by example is a most powerful strategy.



About the Author

Michelle Ryan
Michelle Ryan
Michelle Ryan is obsessed with good food, great shoes and Alabama football way down South in Savannah, Georgia. She hasn’t met a kitchen gadget she hasn’t at least thought about buying (trying them is another story) and devotes her time to Bikram Yoga, baking and trying to overcome long-held finicky eating habits.