Here we see the beginning of Muslim self assertiveness in Finland, the call for more Islamic life to be experienced in the northern state will be forth coming. We already have between 30 to 45 000 Muslims in Finland, and the more this trend continues, the more we are going to see Islam being thrust in our faces. KGS
H/T Holger Dansk
Young Muslims are planning to publish their own magazine, the first issue of which will appear in August. The magazine dubbed Umma is the first of its kind in Finland. Editor-in-chief Bilal Sehli describes the publication as a lifestyle magazine which will include features on everyday matters, relationships, fashion and sports seen from the perspective of young Muslims.
The idea for such a magazine originated about a year ago in the youth committee of Finland’s Islamic Council. The 24-year-old editor-in-chief says that young Muslims need a channel for expressing themselves. It is hoped the readership will include non-Muslim youths as well. “We want to use the magazine to unify youth and break barriers between young people of different backgrounds,” Sehli says.
This goal is also symbolised by the magazine’s name, Umma, which means a unified nation. Before coming to Finland from Tunisia three years ago, Sehli informed himself of the Finnish code of behaviour.
He suspects that most youths are lacking information about Muslim youths. “We need to know each other better so that we can build a common history. We want to help make our culture familiar from the perspective of young people,” he says.
According to Sehli, young Finnish people who are not Muslims have also been interested in participating in the setting up of the magazine. He says that in the future they may be included in the editorial team.
Currently, the only person in the group who is not part of a religious community is professional photographer Anna Autio. “It has been great to see how enthusiastic these young people are about their project,” says Autio. “This has been a novel and challenging experience for me as well because the photographs must be taken within the parameters set by the prescribed rules of Islam.”
The magazine’s ten-person editorial team includes young men and women from Somalia, Algeria, Kosovo and Finland. Most of them are below the age of 27. They all work for the magazine on a voluntary basis.