Unveiled in Turkey: Vogue for the veiled

I am a sucker for a good religious double-standard.

So I was overjoyed to see that the new Turkish magazine Alâ — the so-called Vogue for the veiled — has been doing so well. With only six issues under its belt, the magazine has been so successful that it's needed to increase circulation multiple times.

Each issue today sells about 30,000 pieces, the Daily Mail reports.

Alâ, which is Turkish for "the most beautiful of the beautiful," only shows models in headscarves and only advertises clothing that conforms to Islamic customs. The magazine was started last year by a 31-year-old devout Muslim, Ibrahim Burak Birer, in order to fight the "dictate of nudity" seen in other magazines.

“Cosmopolitan, Elle, Vogue, Marie Claire, it's all about sex and naked skin,’ Birer said in the Daily Mail. “The motto is that sex sells. But we, and millions of women around the world, believe that fashion can also be different.”

And in Alâ, described as the avant-garde of ‘veiled’ fashion, fashion truly is different.

Veils do, after all, come in a variety of beautiful colors and materials, and one never has to worry about a bad hair day.

The main problem is that the more attractive the hijab, the more attractive the models generally look in it. And the other way around. Some of the women portrayed in the magazine — with their beguiling, smoky eyes and slightly open mouths — look outright (do I dare say it?) sexy.

Call me conservative, but doesn’t “looking attractive and sexy” defeat the whole point of covering oneself in a hijab?

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