5 Stories of Caitlyn in the Islamic World

The story of Caitlyn Jenner has been discussed all over the world these past two days, all starting with that beautiful cover from Vanity Fair. From Somalia to China, and everything in between, Muslims have been part of the conversation.

Here are five stories on Caitlyn’s new life as a trans woman:

As-Safir in Lebanon

The Lebanese newspaper As-Safir (The Ambassador) covered Caitlyn Jenner’s story. It kept the story pretty clean, although the paper is known as rather politically on the right, being friendly with the Iran-backed Hezbollah, an organization that the United States, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Canada, and Israel list as a terrorist organization. As-Safir published an image of Jenner’s beautiful cover in a computer screen as a reader looks on. They even embedded the Vanity Fair video “Caitlyn Jenner Is Finally ‘Free’ on Vanity Fair’s Cover” on their website.

Pakistan Today in Pakistan

Liberal Pakistani newspaper Pakistan Today welcomed Jenner to the country with the headline “Ladies and Gentlemen: Meet Caitlyn Jenner!” The article was originally published by CNN and Pakistan Today reprinted. In it GLAAD is quoted. Nick Adams, GLAAD’s director of programs for transgender media, is quoted as saying that for “a transgender person to step into the world as his or her authentic self is a moment of tremendous freedom,” adding that the “world can now see what Caitlyn Jenner has always known, that she is — and always has been — a woman.” Interestingly enough they did not publish the famous cover, but instead two other beautiful photos from inside the magazine.

Jakarta Post in Indonesia

Indonesia’s Jakarta Post printed an Associated Press article detailing how Jenner’s revealing of new identity was going to benefit the trans community. In the article, Eden Lane, an anchor and producer for Denver PBS television station KBDI and a transgender woman herself, is quoted as saying that “you know someone, it’s easier to leave room in your heart and mind for them. To just be without fear of them or without hatred of them,” adding that many people and institutions, including the White House, had responded positively to Jenner’s story.

Radikal in Turkey

In Turkey, the liberal newspaper Radikal (Radical) covered Jenner’s story. The paper, which is one of the most important newspapers in the country, also published reactions from famous Americans like Lady Gaga, Ellen, and Kat Dennings. The paper published 8 images of Jenner as Caitlyn and 1 as Bruce. Like As-Safir in Lebanon, Radikal also embedded the Vanity Fair video “Caitlyn Jenner Is Finally ‘Free’ on Vanity Fair’s Cover” on their website.

Anabel in Albania

The Albanian digital entertainment portal Anabel wrote about Caitlyn Jenner. They used the tabloid website TMZ as their source, and quoted President Obama in congratulating her and saying that it “takes courage to share your story. Your story matters in the fight for LGBT rights.” In the TMZ article they quoted, the writers wrote that it’s “a huge victory for the LGBT community. It’s one thing for the President to acknowledge LGBT rights during a State of the Union address … it’s another to voice strong support for the person who has become the most visible transgender person in the world.”

Afdhere Jama is the author of  Queer Jihad: LGBT Muslims on Coming Out, Activism, and the FaithHe lives in the United States.

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