BuzzFeed’s Snapchat Discover channel usually comprises a lighthearted mix of listicles, videos, celebrity news, and funny animations. On Monday, BuzzFeed applied its typical playful format to a collection of stories about Muslim life.
The Snapchat collection, which disappears after 24 hours, included a profile of a Muslim fashion blogger, a graphic called “8 Emojis All Muslims Need,” a video showing how to wear different hijab styles, a listicle of popular Twitter posts from the hashtag #GrowingUpMuslim, and other Islam-related memes and videos.
The pieces were a mix of funny and profound. A humorous looping video of a man preparing to pray by washing his feet in a public restroom (only to be interrupted by a confused non-Muslim) was followed by a listicle titled “13 Ways to Take Care of Yourself in the Face of Islamophobia.”
Snapchat Discover launched in January 2015 and showcases daily content from more than a dozen media brands, including Refinery29, ESPN, and BuzzFeed. Discover—which releases a completely new set of articles, videos, and activities every day at 6:00 a.m.—attracts more than 60 million monthly visitors.
BuzzFeed’s decision to feature all-Muslim content on one of its biggest platforms (a recent estimate suggests that Snapchat views make up 21% of all interactions with BuzzFeed content online) is a weighty acknowledgment and validation of the media company’s Muslim audience—especially at a time when a prominent presidential candidate has called for a ban on Muslims coming into the U.S.
One of the most powerful segments in Monday’s collection is called “I’m A Hijabi Woman, But…” In that video, young Muslim women tackle common misconceptions and questions they face daily. One jokes, “I wear the hijab, but I’m not Malala. I can’t give you her autograph. I can’t take a photo with you.”
But the joke has a counterpoint: “I feel like I have to smile at people all the time in order for them to know that all Muslims aren’t scary,” a woman says. Another adds, “I wear the hijab, and I’m scared, and I’m worried, and I’m tired.”