Company Markets to Young Muslims With Clothes and Spoof Humor

October 3, 2003

Source: MSNBC News

On October 3, 2003 MSNBC News reported on a group of Muslim entrepreneurs latching on to the "Muslim niche" in the American market: "Chicago-area computer professionals Mirza Baig, Azher Ahmed and Afeef Majeed — all 26 — run one of the busiest Muslim Web sites in North America, driven in part by their spoof Internet publication Islamica News — a service they describe as 'news you can lose.' At a time like this, there’s no shortage of dark humor for the headlines: 'FBI cracks down on lemonade stand ring, further souring relations with Arab community,' reads a spoof headline from one article, quoting an 'FBI spokesperson for the special division on Arab people and their kids'...The site has struck a chord with young Muslims in and outside the United States. The discussion forum is the fastest-growing section of Islamica — and some of the conversation is probably off-color in the strictest Quranic sense. But it has clearly brought together young Muslims — Islamica’s founders report posts from at least 80 countries — especially people who are otherwise immersed in Western pop culture, much of it at odds with their families’ values. Islamica’s line of clothing with Islamic slogans captures the Islamic, and ironic, sensibilities of its founders. 'Got Wudu?' reads one referring to ablutions prior to prayer. 'Feel the Deen' says another, promoting the way of Islamic life. A shirt that reads 'Brincess' is only funny if you know that there’s no letter P in Arabic."