Lowe's has now decided that they would pull their advertising from the show "All-American Muslim" on The Learning Channel. The Florida Family Association asked that sponsors pull their ads for the show. Why did Lowe's comply with the request, you ask? A Lowe's representative gave this reason:
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.
By making this statement, Michelle Goldberg says in The Daily Beast, it proves that Lowe's "agrees with the idea that Muslims shouldn't be depicted as anything other than terrorists." Now, most of her readers at this point are crying "Harumph!" and have set firmly in place the idea that Lowe's is a racist and hatemongering company. Such is the power of fanatacism.
Other readers, however, might be left to wonder how she is able to write so well when she clearly cannot read. Lowe's does not take issue with the fact that Muslims are portrayed as "ordinary folks." They state quite clearly that they disagree with the fact that the show profiles only those Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding more devout Muslims. A minor point, I guess, but Lowe's neither denied the existence of ordinary Muslims, nor did they say that the show should not include them. But hey, when your agenda is to stir the pot, why get hung up on truth?
Americans have reason to take issue with "All-American Muslim," and it's not because it portrays everyday, peaceful Muslims. As Robert Spencer clarifies:
In reality, All-American-Muslim purports to be fighting "Islamophobia." That is a claim that the show makes about itself in the beginning of the very first episode. Yet it then goes on to depict Muslims who by their own account aren't observant, and so not reading the texts and teachings that Islamic jihadists use to justify violence -- and so they're not the kind of people who would have given rise to any suspicion of Muslims in the first place. If All-American Muslim had said it was fighting "Islamophobia" and then shown pious, devout Muslims teaching other Muslims that the interpretation of Islam of al-Qaeda and other jihadists was all wrong, we might have had something useful. If they'd shown Muslims fighting against terror, it might have been inspiring.
And if they'd simply have left "Islamophobia" out of it and shown people from a Muslim background living their lives, it might have been an enjoyable show without pretending to deal with larger political and societal issues.
Of course, I disagree with Mr. Spencer that "it might have been an enjoyable show" without the underlying agenda to "fight Islamophobia." "Normal" people are not on reality television, because "normal" people are not fun to watch. Reality stars are crab-fisherman, alligator wranglers, epically dysfunctional housewives, and Snookis.
We all know that some Muslims are "ordinary folks." But they're not any more fun to watch that "ordinary" Christians or Jews. The producers of the show believe it will be watched by people ignorant, yet curious about Islam. The show seeks to give these viewers an incredibly biased and whitewashed impression by showing practioners of Islam that do not necessarily reflect the lifestyle and beliefs of a large number of American Muslims. And that's precisely why people take issue with the show- it dishonestly presents these "ordinary" Muslims as an honest cross-section of American Muslims.
And not only is the show not a an honest cross-section of American Muslims, it's not even an honest cross-section of Muslims in Michigan.
Let's try looking at this study, conducted by The Institute for Policy and Social Understanding, an Islamic advocacy group. In it, you will find an interesting trend. 81% of Muslims in Detroit, Michigan, are in favor of the application of Sharia law in Muslim lands. Yes- 81%.
Now, what does this tell you? Well, it shows that a lot of Muslims think Sharia law is a good thing. Now I will not discount the fact that there are a lot of Muslims, like those in this show, that are are less fundamentally observant of Islamic doctrine and probably don't know what the hell Sharia law is all about. But I guarantee you, that a lot of them are not only observant but devout, go to mosque regularly, and know what Sharia is all about and believe in Islamic hegemony. And Sharia is anything but "All-American."
All we're asking is that if you are going to claim to be showing a holistic picture of Muslims in America, be honest. If you really want people to "learn," do not dishonestly whitewash truth with fiction just to advance a PC agenda.
UPDATE: Not all the characters depicted in "All-American Muslim" are everday, peaceful Muslims. Even in The Learning Channel's attempt to whitewash the truth, some of it seeps out. Husham Alhusayni is depicted prevalently as the religious backbone of the families. The problem? He openly supports terrorism and the terrorist organization of Hezbollah. No threat there, though, right? Read more, written by former Palestinian terrorist Walid Shoebat and Ben Barrack, here.