A proposal to publish an Arabic edition of Vogue, the celebrated American fashion magazine, has had an unequivocal rejection from Conde Nast, the magazine’s American publishers.
Conde Nast international chairman Jonathan Newhouse has said the Middle East is too violent at the moment for such a move.
It is understood that a publishing company based in the United Arab Emirates was behind the proposal to produce a new franchised edition of the title.
Newhouse said in response: ‘Within the Arab world, or to be more accurate, the Muslim world, there is an element which accepts Western values. There is also a powerful fundamentalist religious element which rejects Western values. This element rejects freedom of expression, equality for women and expression of sexuality, to name three values associated with our publication.”
He went on to recall the troubles Playboy had when it tried to launch an edition in heavily Muslim Indonesia. ‘In Indonesia the editor of the local edition of Playboy was put on trial, even though the local edition did not print nude photos.”
Newhouse added that he believed there were lot of potential readers of Vogue in the Middle East, ‘but unfortunately they live in the same general region as some of the most militant and violent elements”.