Muslim Girl Magazine: Does being different mean more of the same?

The 13-year-old founder, editor and publisher of MG Magazine, Yasmine El-Safy, has competition now. Muslim Girl Magazine is threatening to upstage her modest attempt with its glossy, Americana covers.

The editor-in-chief is Ausma Khan, who believes the magazine challenges negative media 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”. It’s not exactly clear who writes the content, but the producers of the publication don’t appear to be Muslim, and there isn’t much information about it.

The idea is to portray the normality of Muslim girls in the US (the usual “I’m just as American as you” line). Which is fine, but the fact that such a magazine exists to cater for a specific section of the community would suggest they are different to their peers in some pretty crucial ways. And this makes me wonder what is so wrong with being different.

Then again, the webpage leaves little hope that the magazine departs too heavily from the teen glossy standard. Stories featured in the issue relate to TV show 24 and its main protagonist, Jack Bauer; there’s the “hot list” for the latest on music, film and TV; and the obligatory glossy category “Relationship reality check”.

Looks promising.