Anti Muslim Bigotry,  Stateside

All-American Muslim: too all-American?

The hardware chain Lowe’s, responding to pressure from crazy anti-Muslim bigots, has pulled advertising from the TV “reality” show All-American Muslim, about five American Muslim families living in Dearborn, Michigan.

Now I personally detest “reality” TV (there nothing even slightly real about it), and wish the whole scourge of such shows would disappear forever. But what’s strange about the protests which caused Lowe’s to pull out is this: the objections were not to what All-American Muslim portrays (as some object to the Italian-American stereotypes on Jersey Shore), but to what it doesn’t portray.

Talking Points Memo reports:

Lowe’s was caving to pressure from a campaign by the Florida Family Association, a right-wing social conservative group that asked supporters to e-mail advertisers for the show.

“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 FFA said in a series of three e-mails to its supporters. “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.”

The FFA also referenced concerns by anti-Islam activists Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. Spencer had called the show a “bait-and-switch” that “addresses nothing of that supremacist ideology” in a column for Human Events. And Geller told World Net Daily: “It is an attempt to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad and to bully them into thinking that being concerned about the jihad threat would somehow victimize these nice people in this show. The problem is not people; it’s ideology. The show doesn’t address that.”

Yes, our old friends Spencer and Geller sense a danger to our national security from a program that lulls Americans into believing that large numbers of US Muslims are (shudder) pretty ordinary people.

I’m not sure why they are singling out this “reality” show for allegedly failing to present a complete and truthful account of Muslim beliefs. On second thought, I know exactly why they are singling it out.

(When has any “reality” show presented presented a complete and truthful account of anything? Would they complain if a show about modern American Catholic families failed to deal with priests who sexually abuse children?)

The whole thing reminds me of the hilarious segment that The Daily Show‘s Muslim correspondent Aasif Mandvi did about a Muslim-American version of The Cosby Show, which you may or may not be able to watch depending on your location and how much trouble you want to take.

In a statement posted on its Facebook page on Saturday, the hardware company said that it has “managed to step into a hotly contested debate with strong views from virtually every angle and perspective – social, political and otherwise – and we’ve managed to make some people very unhappy. We are sincerely sorry.”

But, it seems, not sorry enough to return as an advertiser.

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