Award-winning actor Mahershala Ali is the face of the most recent issue of GQ magazine.
And trailblazing model Halima Aden graces the cover of Allure‘s July 2017 issue.
Ali and Aden are being celebrated by both publishings as pinnacles of American success.
GQ chose to honor Ali with the magazine’s “American issue, ” according to GQ writer, Mark Anthony Green.
Allure, meanwhile, deemed Aden the “destroyer of stereotypes” and extol her front covering seem a head scarf, with everything red, white, and blue as “American beauty” at its finest.
Both Ali and Aden are Muslim, and their all-American encompass couldn’t have arrived at a better time.
Because to too many Americans, being Muslim and American aren’t identities that can go hand in hand.
In general, Americans have dramatically skewed perceptions of Islam, which have carven deep cultural divides across the country .
A Pew Research study conducted this year found Americans view Islam more negatively than every other major world religion( and atheism ). A survey from 2015 found the majority of Americans believe Muslim values are “at odds” with American ones. These fear-driven stances have culminated in wildly inaccurate perceptions of the U.S. Muslim population, which stands at merely over 3 million Americans think that figure is closer to a whopping 54 million.
Polarizing, Islamophobic positions correlate strongly with alarming increases in hate crimes targeting American Muslims, too .
Earlier this week, two horrific incidents affected Islamic communities in the West: A 17 -year-old Muslim girl was murdered after leaving a prayer conference in Virginia, and a man in a van work over several people leaving a mosque in north London, hollering, “I want to kill all Muslims, ” as he plowed through.
We have to do better. And believe it or not doing better truly can start with the magazine encompasses we see in the checkout aisle.
Can two magazines alone actually stomp out Islamophobia? Of course not. But find Ali and Aden trailblazers with many of the same dreams, values, and inspirations as any other American helps in making a vital point to readers everywhere: Muslims in the U.S. are just as American as anyone else.
“I sincerely believe we have the capacity to actually make this country great, ” an optimistic Ali explained about overcoming injustice in his GQ interview. “There are enough people, there are enough disciples out there, there are enough intelligent, empathetic spirits out there that want good for the whole.”
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