RELIGION

'Hot Muslim Men Of 2014' Calendar Creator Ayesha Mattu Addresses Objectification Accusations (VIDEO)

01/10/2014 06:24 pm ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014

Twitter was abuzz after the editors of LoveInshallah.com posted a "Hot Muslim Men of 2014" calendar to BuzzFeed, sharing "their picks for the hot American men they most want to see on a pin-up calendar for the new year."

Some slammed the calendar for allegedly objectifying Muslim men, while others applauded it as a creative way of drawing attention to accomplished and talented American Muslims.

Calendar creator Ayesha Mattu and editor of the forthcoming book Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex & Intimacy joined HuffPost Live hosts Alyona Minkovski and Ahmed Shihab- Eldin (he also happens to be "Mr. May") to elaborate on the intention behind the provocative list, and the importance of "shifting the narrative" when it comes to American Muslims in the spotlight.

Calendar critic and college student Hidaya Nawee said she "felt that there were better ways to bring attention to the most accomplished Muslim men without actually putting their bodies on display."

HuffPost Religion Associate Editor Yasmine Hafiz, co-author of The American Muslim Teenager's Handbook, commended the calendar creators for re-appropriating the pinup calendar format in order to highlight the achievements of American Muslim men. She criticized the tendency of some members of the Muslim community to hold up modesty as a defining characteristic of Islam, using shame to stifle innovation.

"Mr. May," Ahmed Shihab Eldin, said that he was "thrilled" to be a part of the calendar, telling Mattu, "In all seriousness- I applaud you. I think it's interesting always trying to explore the way in which we promote, in the ways we interpret, what it means to be hot, what it means to be Muslim, what it means to be accomplished."

Check out the highlights above, and let us know what you think of the calendar in the comments!

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