Flip through the pages of Aquila Asia magazine and it soon becomes apparent that the publication is different from other glossy women’s magazines sold across the region.
To be “modest and fabulous” is the motto of the bi-monthly magazine, whose name means “intelligence” in Arabic, said its vivacious founder and publisher Liana Rosnita, a Singaporean Muslim married to a Swiss man.
Aimed at “cosmopolitan Muslim women” in Southeast Asia, the magazine has corporate offices in Singapore and editorial operations in Jakarta, capital of the world’s largest Muslim nation Indonesia.
“We don’t work for the traditional school of thought,” Jakarta-based Liana said in an interview with AFP.
“If people think that Muslims today are backward or traditional or don’t have a sex life, or we’re not interested in having a great career, then they are very wrong, because that’s really not the case.”
Describing Aquila Asia as something of a hybrid between US magazine Cosmopolitan and high-society publication Tatler, Liana said other Muslim magazines in Asia focus more on religion rather than its readers’ lifestyles.
The latest May/June issue of Aquila Asia features a commentary on polygamy in the Muslim faith as well as an article on an online shop selling halal sexual wellness products such as moisturiser gels and aphrodisiac capsules.
Halal is a concept within the Islamic faith which designates what is permissible to eat or do.
But even as Aquila Asia pushes boundaries in its coverage, it takes care to conform to basic Muslim values, said creative director Sandy Tjahja.
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