As I point out on my other blog (Markets for Writers), numerous magazines are seeking profiles to grace their pages each month. Depending on the focus of the magazine, they may need profiles of business owners, artists, athletes, environmentalists, chefs, politicians, activists, writers, extraordinary women, and so on.
There is really no end to a magazine’s eternal need for engaging profiles, and there is no reason why these profiles cannot feature Muslims.
In fact, the Muslim “hook” may be something that actually generates increased interest in your article.
This is particularly true when it comes to profiles of Muslim women. Stereotypes still prevail, and most people do not necessarily expect to see a veiled Muslim woman who is a business owner or athlete, so they are naturally attracted to such topics.
But there are lots of other interesting tidbits about Muslims that can be incorporated into such articles as well. How do the Muslims you are writing about blend faith with their work or other activities, especially when it comes to prayer, fasting, or possible conflicts (such as the need to shake hands with the opposite sex in a Western business setting)? How has Islam shaped their views on various issues, like financial dealings, artistic expression, animal rights, food, or the environment? What is the role of family in their lives? Why did they embrace Islam (if they converted later in life)?
Obviously, each Muslim will be different, and the idea is not to get a unified “Muslim” answer. The article should not necessarily focus on Islam, either. You want to stick to the subject at hand, which could be anything from business to sailing the Pacific. It is not a sermon, and you should avoid preaching at all costs. It is a profile, though, so you don’t want to ignore the most important thing in this person’s life, which, for many Muslims, is faith.
When people read about Muslims in their favorite magazines, this will help them see that Muslims are basically regular people who have many of the same interests and goals that they do. A well-written article may even spark someone’s interest in Islam.
Have you ever written about Muslims for a non-Muslim audience? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below.