by Matt Lacy –
The new show All-American Muslim does not appear to be the hit TLC and Muslim groups had hoped it would be. Several sponsors have pulled their advertising from the show after complaints from customers.
All-American Muslim is a reality show that attempts to show that Muslims living in America are no different than everyday Americans in their lifestyles choices.
The show revolves around five Muslim families living in Dearborn, Michigan. A press release describing the show says “Each episode offers an intimate look at their customs and celebrations, as well as the misconceptions, conflicts and differences they face outside-and within-their own community.”
Some groups have expressed concern that the show is simply an attempt to present a white-washed version of Islam.
The Florida Family Association sent out a letter encouraging its members to contact advertisers on the show, urging them to pull their support.
“The Learning Channel’s new show All-American Muslim is propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law. The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.”
“One of the most troubling scenes occurred at the introduction of the program when a Muslim police officer stated ‘I really am American. No ifs and or buts about it.’ This scene would appear to be damage control for the Dearborn Police who have arrested numerous Christians including several former Muslims for peacefully preaching Christianity,” the letter said.
The Gazette previously reported on how police in Dearborn arrested Christians attending an Islamic family event that was open to the public for simply engaging in dialogue with others about Christianity.
According to David Wood, one of the men arrested, they were not passing out any type of religious literature, but simply talking to people who engaged them in conversation. For this, they were arrested for disturbing the peace.
The city had earlier passed a ban on handing out Christian literature near the festival.
The FFA says that 65 companies they targeted with e-mails did not advertise on the program again. Some of the companies include 3M, Airborne Vitamin, Capital One, Campbell’s Soup, Conagra, JC Penny, Radio Shack, Wal-Mart, Sonic and McDonalds.
Retail giant Lowe’s also recently announced it would no longer advertise on the show.
On the FFA’s wbsite they posted an email from a Lowe’s representative saying: “While we continue to advertise on various cable networks, including TLC, there are certain programs that do not meet Lowe’s advertising guidelines, including the show you brought to our attention. Lowe’s will no longer be advertising on that program.”
Pamela Geller, an Islam analysis said the real danger is the perspective it attempts to put on Islam.
“The danger is, it’s misleading. The Muslims portrayed in the show are free to choose their path. That is the beauty of living in a free society. But so many aren’t, not only in Muslim countries, but here in America,” Geller said. “Who speaks for Jessica Mokdad who lived not far from where this show is taping? Mokdad was honor murdered by her stepfather, Rahim Alfetlawi, for ‘not following Islam’. That happened in the same city that refuses to run my freedom bus ads. The ads were designed to help girls like Jessica. Despite our free speech victories in the Detroit court, Mokdad was honor murdered the week my ads were supposed to run.”
The freedom bus ads provide help for individuals leaving Islam who are afraid for their safety.
Robert Spencer, Executive Director of Jihad Watch echoes Geller’s concerns, noting that while not all Muslims are extremists, the violent element within Islam is glossed over.
“The problem people have with Islam is its teachings of violence against and the subjugation of unbelievers. The problem is not with every Muslim person. It is with the supremacist ideology and the fervent believers in those noxious doctrines of warfare and subjugation,” he said.
The Council on American Islamic Relations, which was an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case involving funding to terrorist groups, said those supporting the campaign are showing their Islamophaobia.
CAIR’s Executive Director, Nihad Awad, said “This fear-mongering campaign, by targeting any manifestation of pluralism in America, sums up what Islamophobia is all about in our society today.”
Awad went on to say that “advertisers who seek to reach the tolerant majority of consumers should not pander to those who promote religious and ethnic hatred.”