A reality TV show in the United States on Muslims in the country is finding itself in a storm of controversy which has resulted in one advertiser pulling out.
The All American Muslim shown on TLC network has been accused by Florida Family Association as promoting Muslims in a positive light, ignoring the “many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish,” it wrote in a letter sent to advertisers who support the show.
The reality TV series films the everyday lives of American Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan, a state with a large population of Muslims.
“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,” it writes in the letter sent to advertisers.
The hardware store Lowe subsequently withdrew its advertising but quickly came under attack for pandering to the family group’s demand.
Lowe’s decision to withdraw has garnered it a hashtaq on Twitter called #boycottlowes on which many people from all walks of life have expressed their outrage at the company for their lack of respect for diversity. One person tweeted: “Don’t think only Muslims will boycott your stores. I'm black, female& agnostic and you ain’t getting my $$$.”
Lowe’s has defended its decision of pulling out, saying that it did not do so solely on the complaints of any one group. “It is never our intent to alienate anyone. Lowe’s values diversity of thought in everyone, including our employees and prospective customers,” it wrote on its Twitter page on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Florida Family Association claims that it has convinced 65 companies to stop advertising on the show through its email campaign.
In the aforementioned letter it sent out, it writes: “Many situations [in the TV show] were profiled in the show from a Muslim tolerant perspective while avoiding the perspective that would have created Muslim conflict thereby contradicting The Learning Channel’s agenda to inaccurately portray Muslims in America.
“The show portrayed a Roman Catholic who converted to Muslim to marry. However, there was no mention of a Muslim who attempted to convert to Christianity which has resulted in a multitude of conflicts in America and abroad. Many woman were shown wearing hijabs and many who were not, but the program did not show what happens if one of the hijab-wearing women decides to take it off. Such conflicts would conflict with The Learning Channel's agenda to inaccurately portray Muslims in America.
“There is no mention of the honor killing of Jessica Mokdad who lived not far from where this show was taped in Dearborn.
“The show fails to mention many Islamic believers’ demeaning treatment of women or great disdain for non-Muslims (infidels),” it writes.
A TLC spokesperson told Entertainment Weekly Magazine: “We stand behind the show All American Muslim and we’re happy the show has strong advertising support.”
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is calling on its membership to support the show — and to contact Lowe’s, according to a report Saturday in EW magazine.
“Sadly corporations, such as Lowe’s, have succumbed to the idiocracy of such garbage campaigns, which are orchestrated by groups and organizations which lack credibility, legitimacy, and are founded on the basic notions of bigotry and racism reminiscent of a shameful era in this country’s history,” said the organization in a statement.