Saudi Arabia: Al-Shamikha, the Alternative to Cosmopolitan Magazine

I remember early editions of “Soldier of Fortune” magazine and classified ads which would appeal to mercenaries.  Even now, Soldier of Fortune magazine is described as “…the right of the individual to keep and bear arms… By opposing tyranny of all kinds, we support the basic freedom of mankind.”

Has Al-Qaida taken a lesson in publishing from Soldier of Fortune?  The first issue of “Al-Shamikha” magazine made its debut in early March. Al-Shamikha, meaning ‘Majestic Woman’ in Arabic is a women’s magazine which Al-Qaida has combined elements of Soldier of Fortune and “Cosmopolitan” magazine into a slick glossy publication targeting Muslim women.  Al-Shamikha is published in the Arabic language through the Al-Fajr Media center.

Al-Shamikha articles encourage Muslim women to marry a mujahedeen (freedom fighter…a la Soldier of Fortune) on one page and in the next advise Muslim women how covering the face maintains the perfect skin (reminiscent of Cosmopolitan and its beauty tips).  Interviews with the wives of martyrs praising the actions of their late husband are also featured. The next issue is promising further articles on skin care and how to wage electronic jihad.

The debut of such a publication as Al-Shamikha is further confirmation that Al-Qaida is “wooing” and targeting the Muslim woman.  It is pulling out all the tactics towards influencing and shaping the minds of Muslim women. The interviews with wives of martyrs make it sound like a badge of honor and pride for a Muslim woman to marry and “support a mujahedeen against infidels.”  The teaser of the future issue on how to wage electronic jihad may intrigue and encourage more Muslim woman to become internet savvy and active in social media.

How do Muslims and Muslim women in particular counter this latest offensive by Al-Qaida?  Would Saudi Arabia promote and support a group of Saudi women to produce their own version of an Al-Shamikha which specifically targets and presents an opposing perspective to Al-Qaida’s picture of a majestic (Muslim) woman?  It could even debut with an article on how a Muslim woman can recognize the signs of an electric jihad or what to do if a spouse or other family member is showing signs of supporting Al-Qaida.

 

What do YOU think?

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19 Responses

  1. And once you have the mothers, you have their children.


  2. The interviews with wives of martyrs make it sound like a badge of honor and pride for a Muslim woman to marry and “support a mujahedeen against infidels.”

    How sick!!!! Comparing a moslem terrorist mag to the peaceful and sexy Cosmo is an insult to humanity ….

  3. I agree with Karyns comment. I think your idea about getting “proper muslims” to issue a counter magazine is good. Maybe a group of these could get together to do this. Initial contacts would have to be found to facilitate the setting up of this group of people. Maybe you could be instramental in this, as no doubt you still have many contacts from the time you were there with your late husband!

  4. What about trying to stop this magazine from being published and/or distributed? Perhaps the same tactics could be used that were used to stop the burning of Qurans or the publishing of Mohammed cartoons? Maybe they should try that. Unless of course they think that this magazine is a good idea. {{shrug}}

  5. ”Secure your future happiness by marrying a mujahideen”
    ”Relieve the stress on your household expenses and encourage you children to join the mujahideen”
    ”The suicide bombers need your help! Breed more children!”
    ”Cover your face for that sexy mysterious look which drives the men wild!”
    ”Your skin will always look beautiful under the niqab; nobody will know if it isn’t!”
    ”My husband blew himself up and we are left with nothing, but we are happily anticipating gold and houses in heaven”

  6. Of course, good skincare advice is vital for the mujahideen bride market segment. These picky warriors don’t just marry any pimply-faced chick next door.

  7. I doubt it will have an influence on any woman except the ones who are already extremists.

    The rest is quite aware that the members of Al-Qaida are far from Islam, and so it’s best to keep away from anything related to them.

    I think it will be forbidden in Saudi, since that country is following a strong anti-terrorist policy.

  8. “How do Muslims and Muslim women in particular counter this latest offensive by Al-Qaida?”

    education education education.. I doubt muslim women reading this are idiots, like someone said, no one is going to turn around and marry a martyr unless they already beleive in such .

    If they already beleive to murder is great .. then there’s no help for them, if not most sensible women around the world wouldn’t try marry so their soon-to-die husbands get virgins in heaven…:-)
    just ignore the whole magazine .

  9. Is this just an on-line magazine?

  10. radha, on March 17, 2011 at 10:39 pm said:
    I doubt muslim women reading this are idiots, like someone said, no one is going to turn around and marry a martyr unless they already beleive in such.

    However, this may not hold true in case of forced/arranged marriages, which is the cultural norm in many moslem countries. And where wannabe martyrs are worshipped and held in very high esteem.

  11. Harry, constrain yourself, not everything needs to be in italics!

  12. What have you done? Now éverything is in Italics!

  13. sorry, aafke! still trying to figure it all out …

  14. Oooh, is this a tutorial? Can someone please tell me how to quote others using those nice pink boxes? Thank you.

  15. Wait a minute how are my comments in italics, I don’t know how to do that! Very funny indeed!

  16. inshallah to this.

    Cosmopolitan magazine is pornographic, unislamic filth…its readers, models and publishers and anybody who buys a copy ougta face the wrath of righteousness with the usual islamic punishments for prostitution. ALLAHU AKBHAR

  17. I love the smell of idiot in the morning…

  18. A machine gun in the background and a woman totally covered a female magazine ? Really ?? Violence symbol and minorize womens a female cover magazine ???

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