It’s all over the social networks now – that Lowes pulled its advertising from TLC’s series, “All-American Muslim” Sheila Musaji at The American Muslim reported on this earlier, and Patheos reprinted her post on Thursday (giving great detail on the boycott). But it was Friday night that the real explosion took place, when mainstream media reported and confirmed what we already knew:
“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.”
The article, written by Omar Sacirbey for Religion News Services, was posted by several news outlets, including The Washington Post. The anger right now is being directed at Lowes, and Americans — Muslim and not Muslim — have begun a boycott against the home improvement chain. I can’t even count how many status updates and tweets I’ve read that say: “Call Lowe’s at 1 800 445-6937 and let them know you can’t shop at a store which gives in to bigotry.”
Signon.org quickly organized a petition to “Defend Our American Values,” asking everyone to say no to “hate-mongering and bigotry.” The petition aims to put an end to corporate racism, bigotry, and media censorship.
MoveOn is plans to push this petition nationally if 10,000 signatures happen today. Russel Simmons is also pushing this petition.
According to Signon.org’s press release about the petition:
When TLC first announced the launching of the “All-American Muslim” reality show in July of this year, it quickly landed on the radar of the fringe anti-Islam/Islamophobia industry [spearheaded by the likes of Pamela Gellar and Robert Spencer] here in the United States. These are the same people who successfully attacked Whole Foods and Campbell’s Soup for introducing a Halal line of products, targeted to practicing American Muslims, and whose bigoted activities are well-documented in a report published by the Center for American Progress titled “Fear, Inc.” … Before a single advertiser could confirm or deny their position, the Florida Family Association touted that advertisers were fleeing the show “like rats from a sinking ship”, clearly aware that the greatest advantage of this invented “whisper campaign” lies in its ability to plant the seeds of doubt in the minds of future advertisers for the show.
Let it be known that the virus of extremism is not exclusive to any one group of people, as is increasingly evident from the hate-mongering climate that has gripped some across our nation. And that mainstream American voices, of all backgrounds, are our most viable cure today. It is time for all of us as Americans to once again say no to hate-mongering and bigotry. United, we must reach out to the corporate executives and decision-makers of these big brands – from Home Depot to T-Mobile, Amway to Stop & Shop – to get their positions on the record, while demanding that they publicly repudiate bigoted calls to stop advertising during “All-American Muslim”. We believe that a concerted effort to gain the support of these companies can force steam out of a bigoted industry – that aims to cause deeper rifts between Americans and between global citizens.
So, two action items are before us: Put your signature on the petition from signon.org, and call Lowes and express your disappointment and anger at what they have done.
But there is an important third action item: Watch the show. It airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on TLC.
A record 1.7 million viewers tuned into the first episode. Viewership dropped after that, which is to be expected (as premiere episodes always get the most viewership), but in some part it was due to the anti-Islam/Islamophobia industry’s targeting of the network’s advertisers and demanding that they pull their commercial spots from the show, says signon.org.
At the very hear t of FFA’s and anti-Islam establishment’s campaign is that such a show like “All-American Muslim” is a farce, because it doesn’t show real Muslims – you know, terrorists and extremists. Because it focuses on five Arab-American Muslim families who are about American as anyone else in this country, these anti-Islam groups believe the American public is being duped.
Americans are better than that. Don’t give in to this kind of thinking. Whether you’re Muslim or not, this is about not giving in to a fear campaign. So please do these three things:
- Sign the petition at signon.org.
- Call Lowes and express your disappointment at what they did. Exercise your buying power.
- Watch the show. Let’s bring the ratings back up.