Check out these 2 delightfully patriotic, unapologetically Muslim magazine covers.

Award-winning actor Mahershala Ali is the face of the latest issue of GQ magazine.

And trailblazing model Halima Aden graces the cover of Allure's July 2017 issue.

Ali and Aden are being celebrated by both publications as pinnacles of American success.

GQ chose to honor Ali with the magazine's "American issue," according to GQ writer, Mark Anthony Green.

Allure, meanwhile, deemed Aden the "destroyer of stereotypes" and proclaimed her front cover look — a head scarf, with everything red, white, and blue — as "American beauty" at its finest.


Both Ali and Aden are Muslim, and their all-American covers couldn't have arrived at a better time.

Because to too many Americans, being Muslim and American aren't identities that can go hand in hand.

Muslims gather in New York City to pray and demonstrate after a community member was shot outside a mosque in 2016. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

In general, Americans have dramatically skewed perceptions of Islam, which have carved deep cultural divides across the country.

A Pew Research study conducted this year found Americans view Islam more negatively than every other major world religion (and atheism). A survey from 2015 found the majority of Americans believe Muslim values are "at odds" with American ones. These fear-driven attitudes have culminated in wildly inaccurate perceptions of the U.S. Muslim population, which stands at just over 3 million — Americans think that figure is closer to a whopping 54 million.

Polarizing, Islamophobic positions correlate strongly with alarming increases in hate crimes targeting American Muslims, too.

Earlier this week, two horrific incidents affected Islamic communities in the West: A 17-year-old Muslim girl was murdered after leaving a prayer session in Virginia, and a man in a van ran over several people leaving a mosque in north London, screaming, "I want to kill all Muslims," as he plowed through.

We have to do better. And — believe it or not — doing better truly can start with the magazine covers we see in the checkout aisle.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

Can two magazines alone really stomp out Islamophobia? Of course not. But seeing Ali and Aden — trailblazers with many of the same dreams, values, and inspirations as any other American — helps in making a vital point to readers everywhere: Muslims in the U.S. are just as American as anyone else.

"I sincerely believe we have the capacity to actually make this country great," an optimistic Ali explained about overcoming injustice in his GQ interview. "There are enough people, there are enough believers out there, there are enough intelligent, empathetic souls out there that want good for the whole."

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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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Photo: Canva

We're nearly a year into the pandemic, and what a year it has been. We've gone through the struggles of shutdowns, the trauma of mass death, the seemingly fleeting "We're all in this together" phase, the mind-boggling denial and deluge of misinformation, the constantly frustrating uncertainty, and the ongoing question of when we're going to get to resume some sense of normalcy.

It's been a lot. It's been emotionally and mentally exhausting. And at this point, many of us have hit a wall of pandemic fatigue that's hard to describe. We're just done with all of it, but we know we still have to keep going.

Poet Donna Ashworth has put this "done" feeling into words that are resonating with so many of us. While it seems like we should want to talk to people we love more than ever right now, we've sort of lost the will to socialize pandemically. We're tired of Zoom calls. Getting together masked and socially distanced is doable—we've been doing it—but it sucks. In the wintry north (and recently south) the weather is too crappy to get together outside. So many of us have just gone quiet.

If that sounds like you, you're not alone. As Ashworth wrote:

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Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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Dr. Who / YouTube

It's incredible to imagine that Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. "The Red Vineyard" sold in Brussels a few months before his death for just 400 Francs.

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via Walt Disney Television / Flickr and jilhervas / Flickr

There comes a moment in everyone's social media life when they get stressed because they've been followed by an authority figure. When your boss, mother, or priest starts following you, social media immediately becomes a lot less fun.

When that happens, it's time to stop posting photos of yourself partying it up with an adult beverage. You gotta hold back on some of your saltier takes, and you have to start minding your language. Also, you have to be very careful about the posts you're tagged in.

Model, TV personality, and author Chrissy Teigen has been suffering through a mega-dose of this form of social media stress since January 20 when President Joe Biden followed her on Twitter. His follow came after Teigen made the request.

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