Celebrating its third year as a vibrant web magazine with a growing offline presence, AltMuslimah is looking
to expand and exponentially grow its online readership and participation in offline projects.
Altmuslimah.com grew out of a grassroots effort within the Princeton, NJ community that was focused initially on gender-related discourse through a book club. One of the book club’s early meetings discussed Living Islam Out Loud, a collection of essays by Muslim American women, and the club had the pleasure of hosting the book’s editor, Saleemah Abdul Ghafur, at its meeting. The conversation that ensued that day was eyeopening in that it revealed the deep-seated frustrations of Muslim American women, ages 18-45, and their need for a forum to discuss and find solutions for their concerns.
Today, AltMuslimah has become a unique space for compelling commentary on gender-in-Islam from both the male and female, Muslim and non-Muslim, perspectives. Within the first three months, AltMuslimah grew to 40,000 viewers per month, and today, that number has tripled. In addition to a large and ever-growing readership, AltMuslimah has received numerous invitations from prestigious universities, think tanks, and
mainstream media to speak publicly at various forums, partner on gender-related programming, and, perhaps most notably, to share content with the likes of the Washington Post.
The issue of gender is central to:
(1) The development of intra-community Muslim discourse on gender rights (women’s space in the mosque, relations between the genders, the marriage crisis facing young Muslim American women, etc.).
(2) Enhancing non-Muslims’ understanding of Muslims and Islam, as it is precisely these sorts of issues (women’s rights, burqas, headscarves, honor killings, polygamy, harems, etc.) that capture the imagination
of non-Muslims and inspire their distrust of Islam. The tragic story of Asiya Zubair Hasan is one clear example, while European burqa bans raise broader questions of Muslim women, modernity, and religious
(3) Domestic and international counter-terrorism strategy. Religious narratives of masculinity often lure Muslim youth who fall prey to radicalization. Research has also revealed that these Muslim youth are often
estranged from their fathers. It behooves us to study both the role of fatherhood in radicalization and the attendant role of mothers, and women generally, as moderating forces for extremism.
(4) Women as political change-makers. The political uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa have put tremendous media attention on the public role of women in the revolution and their struggle to maintain
that presence in post-revolutionary reform efforts.
AltMuslimah.com is the only media platform in existence that devotes itself entirely to addressing these key topics for a wide audience, and it does so with nuance and complexity.
STRATEGIC GROWTH PLAN
Celebrating its third year as a vibrant web magazine with a growing offline presence, AltMuslimah is looking to expand and exponentially grow its online readership and participation in offline projects. To this end, it
has identified the following areas for growth:
1) Increase readership domestically and internationally.
2) Increase participation within mainstream media, including print and television news outlets.
3) Cultivate additional partnerships with prominent faith-based web magazines and organizations.
4) Increase development and participation in offline seminars, roundtables and speaking engagements.
In order to meet these goals, AltMuslimah has chosen to focus on the following key strategic initiatives and seeks seed funding to make its efforts possible:
- Website facelift – In order to better organize content, facilitate reader participation, and allow broader coverage of relevant topics, AltMuslimah needs a redesign and ongoing technological support. Its goal is to have a website layout similar to The New Yorker Magazine. Seed funding required: $20,000
- Feature publications – AltMuslimah seeks to (1) grow its current opinion commentary; and (2) develop original news reporting with a paid staff of journalists and journalistic editors. Currently, the entire staff works on a voluntary basis and is severely limited in the time and effort it can devote to the project. With funding, AltMuslimah can hire trained editors and writers, ensuring not just the sustainability of the magazine but also increased quality and more timely coverage of current events. Seed funding required: $15,000
- Programming – AltMuslimah hosts roundtables at prominent think tanks and universities across the U.S. AltMuslimah needs funding in order to develop more complex programming, such as conferences, and to grow its offline presence more rapidly. Seed funding required: $10,000
- Speaking circuit exposure – AltMuslimah editors are highly active on the speaking circuit. To formalize its speaking efforts and broaden the distribution of its message, AltMuslimah seeks to (1) provide all editors with formal media training; and (2) develop speaking toolkits that can be used by multiple constituents including print, television, and radio outlets. Seed funding required: $5,000
PRAISE FOR ALTMUSLIMAH
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The AltMuslimah Team
The AltMuslimah team consists of ten dedicated editors and hundreds of contributors from across the U.S. and abroad. Find out more about our editorial staff here.