This paper examines the renewed perception of Muslim women through the attributes of two Malaysian Muslimah (female Muslim) magazines. Through the years, Islamic magazines have evolved but the objective to enrich Muslim women with religious knowledge is inextricably maintained. An example is Nur, a popular monthly magazine with a focus on female modesty which has received positive response in the last decade. However, in June 2012, its publisher Karangkraf introduced Hijabista, a more “contemporary” Muslimah monthly amidst the proliferation of hijab trends in the global media. This new magazine aims to penetrate the urban community by emphasising on the fashionable and glamorous aspects of hijab wearing. As such, its stylish issues posed minimal discussions on religiosity and the role of hijab as a marker of piety. This paper applied a content analysis approach to interpret articles and related visuals produced by both Nur and Hijabista through the “framing” theoretical framework. Findings of the study revealed dissimilarities between the two magazines that were contributed by the growing preoccupation of the modern hijab. The mainstreaming of this hijab culture was presented largely in Hijabista through the recursive highlights on elite opinion leaders and fashion editorials of the hijab that are unfavourable to a conventional Muslimah. Findings also included analyses of predominant themes and messages that enhance the cultural hegemony of the modern hijab in the Malaysian media sphere.
Keywords: Cultural identity, media effects, framing, content analysis, hijab