First Thoughts on SAL.AM Magazine

SAL.AM magazine is “a freely distributed, quarterly lifestyle magazine, targeted at Muslims”, according to the magazine’s website. The original idea was to have a paper magazine, which is why there’s a mock-up featured on the site.

I am not comfortable with this woman’s body on the front of the magazine, with her head cut off. salam1If a non-Muslim magazine does this to a woman’s body, it’s sexist objectification. If a Muslim magazine does it, it’s halal? No, ma’am!

Since I first visited, SAL.AM has decided to become an online-only magazine. This doesn’t solve the problem, however. The website has both male and female figures without their heads, but the majority of the pictures are of women.

Removing someone’s head from the picture reduces them to a body; no matter how covered someone is, when you remove their eyes as a focus point, the body then becomes the central focus of the viewer’s gaze. Isn’t this the exact opposite of what loose clothing is intending to accomplish? Despite the looseness of her clothing, a viewer’s eyes will still follow the lines of her body.

salam2

I realize that it may be done done as part of a specific interpretation that regards human representations as forbidden, but then why even have a body there in the first place? Why not just work harder on the graphics, or include some cool tessellations (I am just smitten with tessellations)? Technology allows us cool flash players and sparkly graphics and such; why should we need to use someone’s body (especially without their head…that seems especially eerie)? Or as SISTERS magazine did, why not create cartoon representations of people without faces (I’m not a huge fan of that, either, but at least a real live person isn’t being objectified). The designers of SAL.AM’s website also designed SISTERS covers (you can see it in their impressive porfolio here), so it’s an avenue they’ve explored before.salam3

SAL.AM Magazine is slated to be released sometime in December.

All images designed by iGraphic; all images via SAL.AM magazine.

Update: SHIT! The website is down and I am the jackass who linked to the pictures instead of saving them. Sorry. I’ll try to scout them out and get them back up.

Update II: Well, everything seems to be perfectly normal now. Just in case, I saved and re-uploaded the pictures so this won’t happen again, enshallah. My apologies if anyone was temporarily unable to view the pics.

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