New Playboy Issue is First to Feature a Muslim

Tahreem Farooqi - 1A Planning
Posted on: October 11, 2016

The new issue of Playboy features a fully-clothed woman wearing a hijab, and is the first issue to do so.

Playboy featured her in the 2016 Renegades, a list of men and woman whom they would consider to change the business and media industries. The model’s name is Noor Tagouri – she is a journalist for Newsy, and her interview in Playboy discusses her efforts to become the first Muslim woman news anchor. According to Mashable, they added this feature after they made the announcement that they would no longer be featuring nude models in their magazines.

The decision to be a part of a once nude magazine has polarized the public. There are many that support her decision and there are those that don’t, claiming that being a part of the once nude magazine would be considered un-Islamic.

In an interview with BBC, she discussed the topic and the controversy in which she said, “People ask ‘why Playboy?’ And I kind of say ‘why not?’” She claims that she is trying to reach a broader audience on a platform where Muslim women would not normally be seen, in an effort to break stereotypes. She claims that by doing the interview with Playboy, she is challenging the previous sexualisation of women in the magazine by not being portrayed sexually herself. She states, “If my message is to combat the objectification and to combat the sexualisation of woman in our society, then what better way to share that message and to kind of put it in people’s faces, on the front lines of where people are known to do that.” She said some are against the interview because it was not easily accessible in countries like the Middle East, where the magazine was banned, so most are not able to read the interview and are judging her before knowing the full context. The significant aspect to acknowledge is that she did not compromise any of her values pertaining to Islam during the interview.

The interview with Playboy itself was centred around her career in the news industry and her efforts in becoming a reporter. In the interview she highlights the struggles, as well as the benefits, of being a reporter as a Muslim woman. The struggles of combating the stereotypes that surround a woman wearing a hijab makes it more difficult to find a job. And yet, the benefits of easily gaining trust from those who have been in vulnerable positions help her in her line of work. She states, “To be honest, I think being a hijabi Muslim woman, helped me gain that trust. I know what it’s like to have the narrative of our community be skewed and exploited in the media. I was like, ‘Hey, I know what it’s like to be misrepresented in the media. I won’t do that to you. I want to tell your story because it’s important and deserves justice.’” In the end, she has gained success because since June she has been the news anchor for the video news network, Newsy.