The TLC reality TV show All-American Muslim chronicles the lives of a group of Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan. The show has been well-received for its fair and realistic portrayal of the Muslim American experience in the United States. Watch a trailer for the show here.
But a reality TV show that lets Americans relate to the lives of Muslims in the United States is an offensive idea to those who want to demonize Islam. The Florida Family Association (FFA) launched a campaign earlier this year to get companies to pull their advertising from the program. FFA claims that 65 of the 67 companies targeted have done this, including home improvement giant Lowe’s and megabank Bank of America:
The Florida Family Association, a Tampa Bay group, has led a campaign urging companies to pull ads on “All-American Muslim.” The FFA contends that 65 of 67 companies it has targeted have pulled their ads, including Bank of America, the Campbell Soup Co., Dell, Estee Lauder, General Motors, Goodyear, Green Mountain Coffee, McDonalds, Sears, and Wal-Mart.
One of the companies that FFA claims pulled commercials, Amway, told the Washington Post that such reports were “misleading” and that it has done no such thing. Lowe’s told the paper that it did indeed pull advertising. “We understand the program raised concerns, complaints, or issues from multiple sides of the viewer spectrum, which we found after doing research of news articles and blogs covering the show,” said Katie Cody, a spokeswoman for Lowe’s.
The Islamic Circle of North America is urging concerned citizens to call Lowe’s and protest their withdrawal of advertising: “We urge the American Muslim community and our friends, family, neighbors and all people of conscience to call Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock at (704) 758-2084 or Executive Support Mr. Andrew Kilby at (866) 900-4650 and respectfully complain about this decision.”
Lowe’s issued this statement on Facebook confirming that it pulled the ads: “Lowe’s has received a significant amount of communication on this program, from every perspective possible. Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lighting rod for many of those views. As a result we did pull our advertising on this program.”
The Florida Family Association, the right-wing group responsible for manufacturing a campaign against All-American Muslim, says this about the show:
Clearly this program is attempting to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad and to influence them to believe that being concerned about the jihad threat would somehow victimize these nice people in this show.