Lowe’s Pulls Ad From TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim’

TLC’s All-American Muslim is a reality show depicting five Lebanese-American families in Dearborn, MI. I haven’t seen it, but this review from Entertainment Weekly‘s Ken Tucker sure makes it sound harmless:

These “characters” are all reasonably appealing, either charming or entertainingly irritating in the tradition of reality TV, though the show is edited at a snail’s pace. All-American Muslim centers on explaining customs and beliefs, and how the people the producers have selected either follow or ignore their religion’s dictums.

Despite that, The Florida Family Association — a group promoting “traditional, biblical values” — sees a darker purpose behind the series:

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 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 group called for an e-mail campaign pressuring the show’s advertisers pull their spots. At least one company caved under the pressure.

Lowe’s acknowledged pulling commercials from “All-American Muslim” following consumer complaints, but denied they came from one group.

“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 Lowe’s spokeswoman.

The denial that Florida Family Association was the primary influence behind the decision seems dishonest, considering that Lowes sent an e-mail to the group’s Executive Director informing him of the decision.

But I can understand why Lowe’s wants to avoid the taint that any association with FFA would produce. In addition to their annoyance at any show of tolerance towards Muslims, they also freak out about the growing acceptance of homosexuality. Right now, they are particularly disgusted by Gay Day at Disney World and the Teen Nick show Degrassi, which features LGBT characters. But the backlash is happening anyway. As of this writing, the #LowesHatesMuslims Twitter hashtag is attracting multiple messages every minute.

Though Muslims and atheists certainly have some stark disagreements, I think it’s important for us to take stands against sectarianism in all of its forms. The fears FFA are expressing are irrational and contrary to the evidence that American Muslims (who represent less than 1% of the population) tend to be moderate and participate positively in American life. And the type of rhetoric used against them is largely the same as that used against against gays and secularists.

About Bentley Owen

Bentley Owen reads books and lives in Tulsa, OK. He's on twitter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    I wonder if the FFA would object to a show profiling 5 regular American Christian families “while excluding many Christian believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish” or “designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Christians who are advancing Christian fundamentalism.”

    • Anonymous

      Of course they would object. The FFA wants to be on t.v. too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-Porter/100001075278352 Ben Porter

    Here is a song for the people who believe that all the Muslims in the world fall into the extremist category. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2011/12/the-cognitive-bias-song/

  • Yukimi

    This is riddiculous… They are such jerks. “You can’t show that there exist good people who are muslims because then you might get the idea that muslim people are human beings and mosnters out to get you so we are boycotting you… but be warned, we aren’t being intolerant or doing anything bad  because we are christians” Arghhh. The publicists are puppets letting temselves be controlled and the directives a bunch of … I’m too pissed off to write naything coherent.

  • m1kesa1m0ns

    Let’s try this on for size:

    All-American Christian is propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Christians who are advancing Christian fundamentalism and Biblical law.  The show profiles only Christians that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Christian believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of thinking humans cherish.

    • Semipermeable

      You mean just about every past and present sitcom on TV?

    • Anonymous

      In fact Christians are the only ones who constantly try to make laws based on religion in the US. Typical hypocrisy

  • http://cafeofthecosmicdance.blogspot.com/ Paul Sunstone

    I’ve got an idea! Let’s lynch all the Muslims!  Oh…wait…I forgot: I’m not a Christian.  Nevermind.

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine

    Oy *facepalm*

    “The show’s focusing too much on the real Islamic people. We want to scaremonger some more, so show the radical insane Muslims who want to kill people and convert them by the sword! You’re trying to convince people that Muslims can be real, ordinary people!”

  • Ronlawhouston

    Damn!  Now where am I going to buy home improvement supplies?  The founder of Home Depot is tea party crazy and now this?  Ace hardware is too small to make it my store.

  • Denis Robert

    So the Duggar’s and Kate+8′s exploitation of their uterus for financial gain wasn’t an issue, and we’ve got “sister wives” on the TV, and that’s ok, not to mention “Toddlers and Tiaras”, which is child sexual exploitation made into a large-scale commercial enterprise; that’s all hunky-dory for these morons. But seeing muslims as normal people??? OH THE HUMANITY!!!!!

    I feel sick.

  • Trace

    I knew it. You atheists are all crypto-Muslims ;)

  • Drumlab

    Are we talking about Lowe’s food or Lowe’s home improvement?

    • Conspirator

      Home improvement I’m pretty sure.  

      • Drumlab

        Thanks, just curious since I already boycott Lowes food around the holidays for constantly playing overtly Christian music, some of which isn’t even Xmas music.

        • Conspirator

          I just double-checked another article and it says it’s the home improvement company.  http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/lowes-pulls-ads-tlc-show-271983

          But never fear, a Lowe’s spokesperson said “We did not pull our ads based solely on the complaints or emails 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’s all good now, right?  I’m guessing another “family” group joined in the e-mail campaign.

    • Anonymous

      Home improvement.

  • As

    I hate the Muslims. We have a lot in my town. The men took over one of my favorite coffee joints. They are loud, obnoxious, jerks. They treat women like shit. Sorry Im not a good liberal. I don’t trust these fuckers. I’ll take the Christards any day.

    • Agreyworks

      You really don’t know much about them do you…

    • Psychas

      I know how you feel! I hate white people. We have a lot of white people in my town. The men took over my gym. They are loud, obnoxious, jerks who treat the females like sex objects. I don’t trust them. So yeah, I hate all white people everywhere in the world, even the females for some reason. Not sure why. Just learning from your logic.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t hate every Muslum, most, but not all. I live in Dearborn. I see how the men treat their women. Do any of you Arab men do any manual labor? Your race is by far the laziest bunch I have seen. Sure, you will open a donut shop/grocery store/liquor store/cell phone shop/etc. but I have yet to see ONE doing any hard labor. Your sons are the rudest POS I have ever met. I guess it is the entire first born birth right thingy you all worship so much in your boys. See, if I were you all I would shut up and just continue to collect SS that you never worked for, get your free Bridge Cards, Food Stamps, and drive your Caddys while sucking the teat off of us working class people. I have started my own, privately paid for investigation into the how you all are able to collect the benefits you do and not contribute. Feel free to drop me a line at olderthanheck@yahoo.com. Thanks.

        • Rationality

          So your basis for ALL muslims is based on a group of Lebanese shiites in one town?  No Arab country is even in the top 10 for nations with muslim populations.  Heck, I think if you took the muslim populations of Bangladesh and Indonesia (both are muslim democratic nations who have elected females as head of state at some point) that amounts to more muslims than the entire middle east put together.

        • Psychas

          Your ignorance is too apparent here. For one thing, you’re assuming I’m an Arab. I’m not. I’m an Indian Muslim born and raised in the U.S. Secondly, all the manual labor during the infancy of the U.S. was performed by Africans and Chinese. Does your race do any manual labor? Thirdly, most of the Muslims I know are engineers, IT professionals, doctors, and lawyers. Fourthly, to hate most Muslims you’d have to hate at least 51% of us. That would be about 750 million people. I’m sorry that you are filled with hate for people you’ve never met. I’m sorry that you were raised to believe that people of a group are “all the same”.  You really need to travel more and I don’t mean a drive over to Chickasaw County. Open your mind.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anthony-Okafor/1759887752 Anthony Okafor

      Really? The Christards are about equal in being obnoxious jerks to them…

  • Punkylove04

    I am bothered by reality TV yo begin with but seems to me that thus show has more morals and less harm then Jersey Shore

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Sweet/1280927267 James Sweet

    It should be remembered that American Muslims in particular tend to be very moderate.  It’s generally the case that immigrant groups assimilate, as well as that those who chose to immigrant tend to self-select to be the more moderate assimilation-friendly sorts of people.  For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, that’s not happening quite as much as we’d expect in terms of Muslim immigration to Europe, which is one reason there are so many concerns about it there (and why extreme nativist and Islamophobic political movements have been able to gain traction, unfortunately).  But in the US?  US Muslims tend to be pretty moderate, relatively speaking.

    • p4ul47

      I feel like generalising Europe is not clever. In Spain there’s not much problem with Muslims and, even if discriminations still exists, they are in general pretty well adapted.

      • Anonymous

        It’s not a great idea to generalize anywhere, including Spain. Sure some are very well integrated, but plenty are not. Though we don’t have the same proportion of super-extremist Muslims (I’ve only ever seen a few women with a Niqab, and they were wives of Saudi diplomats) there are still plenty of problems. There are neighborhoods where young women brought up here are mistreated by the men for choosing a western lifestyle. And all you have to do to get a Spaniard to talk about Muslim integration is to pronounce the words “El Ejido” (some very ugly riots).

        However I see the problem as being more economic than religious. In Spain and elsewhere in Europe we get disproportionately poor (and thus, sadly uneducated) immigrants who are much more religious. American Muslims are traditionally more prosperous and hence much more secular. National origin also counts. Britain gets Pakistanis, who are MUCH more conservative, wheras Spain’s Muslims largely hail from more moderate Morrocco.

        • Anonymous

          While it’s hard to separate religion and culture in most Islamic countries, I think the clinging to tradition isn’t because they are religious fundamentalists or anything, but because they try to adhere to their culture. It’s less about “The Koran commands me to do to this” than “This is how it was at home and how it should be done”.

          I agree that the difference is that most immigrants who come to Europe do so for economic reasons. There are noticeable differences between ones who are better off and the ones from the real rural, backwards areas

    • notfromvenus

      Absolutely.  I’ve had Muslim friends and coworkers, and it seems like a lot of them (or their parents) came here to *get away from* stuff the Taliban or the Iranian Revolution.  They want freedom and democracy, to have their daughters go to school and not to have to worry about terrorists.  They shop at Walmart and Safeway, eat turkey at Thanksgiving and watch fireworks on July 4th.

      I’m sure there are some extremists here, but I haven’t met them.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Let me see if I understand what the Florida Family Association is saying. A show about Muslims in America is bad and cannot be aired, because it portrays a few of them positively, while the show does not also portray some of them negatively … and because of that, the show might deceive other Americans into thinking there is no such thing as radical Islamism?

    Seriously?! Don’t we already have enough object lessons on the extremes some Muslims will go to, e.g. the September 11, 2001 attacks? Does the FFA honestly think no one is aware of that rather stark and unforgettable example?

    What’s happening here is that the FFA thinks that an appropriate response to violent Islamism is to be militantly Christianist right back at them. Maybe it’s just me — going by the old adage that “two wrongs don’t make a right” — but somehow that doesn’t appear a valid tactic.

    I’d have preferred that Lowe’s grew some cojones and told these backwater Christofascist rednecks what they could do with their Neocrusading fervor. But clearly the country’s major corporations are far too cowardly to take on the militant Christianists.

  • Rich Wilson
  • Conspirator

    Are there any organizations with family in the name that aren’t evil?

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    All-American Muslim Christian is propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims Christian who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism dominionism and Sharia law  theocratic dictatorship. The show profiles only Muslims Christians that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic Christian believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.

    • Philbert

      …is probably exactly what would be posted here if TLC made All American Christians

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        Philbert, if someone posted that here, which I doubt, I would object to it just as loudly as the Florida Family Association’s bigotry. We have to stop blanket attacks in any direction, neither accepting them nor perpetrating them ourelves.

        In order for you yourself to not be practicing prejudice, don’t assume beforehand that people here would be so bigoted. Wait and see.

    • Anonymous

      But TLC already has that show, only it’s called 19 Kids and Counting.  No one seems to complain that it doesn’t show the negative aspects of the Quiverfull movement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eukota Darrell Ross

    So… I went to the Florida Family Associations website. They have a page set up so you can fill out an e-mail and send it to numerous people at Disney. But they allow you to edit both the subject AND the message… *grin*

    My subject read “These so called “Family” associations which are e-mailing you are full of bigotry and hate. Please ignore them.”

    The form is here: http://florida-family.org/take_action_form.php?message=1

    Please feel free to use their page to fight against them. :P

    When you finish, it informs you it emailed these people:Tom.Staggs@disney.com   sent …marsha.reed@disney.com   sent …investor.relations@disneyonline.com   sent …robert.a.iger@disney.com   sent …Al.Weiss@disney.com   sent …Jim.Hunt@disney.com   sent …kevin.mayer@disney.com   sent …Zenia.Mucha@disney.com   sent …

    • Politisis

      Did it! Thanks for the link (though now I feel like I need a shower after being on that site). Here is how I altered their message:

      The Learning Channel’s new show All-American Muslim is no better or worse than any other reality
      show.  The show profiles Muslims that are ordinary folks – which is great! One of the best scenes
      occurred at the introduction of the program when a Muslim police officer stated
      “I really am American. No ifs and or buts about it.”

      Many situations were profiled in the show from a Muslim tolerant perspective.
      The Learning Channel helps to
      accurately portray Muslims in America. I encourage you to ignore the hate-filled
      people at Florida Family and their followers. After all, Muslim-Americans shop
      in our stores too.
       

      P.S. for whatever it is worth and not that
      it should matter, but I am not a Muslim.

  • Anonymous

    I sometimes wonder why the Christianists are so afraid of the Islamists. I mean, consider their values:

    - There should be no separation between religion and the state. Laws should be based on holy rules.
    - Women are to take a subservient role to men in society. Females are primarily there to provide children and care for them and the home.
    - Women have the sole responsibility of being “modest” and are provoking men (who apparently are like untamed horny monkeys) if they dare to dress in an “unsuitable” manner.
    - Homosexuality is a sin condemned by God.

    These values are shared by both groups. It seems to me that fundamentalist Christians should be allied with fundamentalist Muslims against moderate and liberal Christians and Muslims, who hardly share their values at all.

    • JimG

      For the same reason Lowe’s is afraid of Home Depot. They’re peddling the same stuff to the same market.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    I suggest these xtians try looking in a mirror.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    UPDATE: Check out this corportatese statement from Lowe’s facebook page. Please anyone feel free to point out if they actually address any actual issue:

    It appears that we 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. We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, across our workforce and our customers, and we’re proud of that longstanding commitment.

    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. We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance.

    We strongly support and respect the right of our customers, the community at large, and our employees to have different views. If we have made anyone question that commitment, we apologize.

    Thank you for allowing us to further explain our position.

    I think the last sentence is actually hilarious, since they do not explain their position at all. Uh yeah guys, so we got into a controversy, and we pulled ads from a show because some people complained, but that doesn’t mean we’re siding with those people, not that there’d be anything wrong with that. We totally respect the right of everyone to think anything, and it’s in no way a statement of any position to have removed financial support from any show, unless you think it should be, in which it totally is. PleasekeepbuyingourstuffOK?

    How craven can you get?

    • Rich Wilson

      Any apology that contains the word ‘if’ is not an apology.

    • Anonymous

      They could have saved themselves a TON of words by saying what they really meant:  “We want money from everyone so we are going to tuck our tail between our legs and do nothing.  Thank you.”

  • Guest

    Muslim Americans don’t just translate for the United States, they die for it. Here are a few examples of true Muslim-American heroes who have given their lives to protect our nation and help curb the terrorist threat:
    • Capt. Humayun Khan was killed after a terrorist vehicle packed with explosives drove into the gate of his compound while he was inspecting soldiers on guard duty.
    • After serving the military for more than 18 years, Major James “Jimmy” Ahearndied in July 2007 in a roadside bombing in Iraq, leaving behind his wife and young daughter.
    • Another well-known American hero is the recipient of the Purple Heart andBronze Star, Kareem Khan, who was “ spurred by the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center [and] wanted to show that not all Muslims were fanatics and that many, like him, were willing to lay their lives down for their country.”
    Upset by the Islamophobic treatment of Muslims in America, former Secretary of State Colin Powell cited Kareem’s ultimate sacrifice and asked, “ Is there something wrong with being Muslim in this country? No, that’s not America.”

  • Ndonnan

    shock,supprise,finally friendly athiest has a post on another religion than christianity.but wrong again….the poor oppressed muslims now instead of the athiest.go to the middle east,,then you will appriciate your christian foundations

    • Anonymous

      I appreciate the pluralistic foundations of the United States, and all the progress made from enlightenment and secular ideas. Would I want to live in a country where the laws are based on an ancient religion? Of course not- whether it’s Islam or Christianity.

    • Rich Wilson

      The fact that this country is about 80% Christian has nothing to do with it I’m sure.

      I’m not interested in a Theocracy of any flavor, which is why I appreciate America’s mostly secular government.

  • Richard

    Thank you LOWE’s for your stand for American values! We are not muslims. Our country was not founded by a pedafile but their religion was! We believe in the freedom to choose, their religion does not! They have the right to live the way they want BUT they do not have the right to make others live the way they think others should! My grandmother also said, “paper stands still and you can print anything on it”. The quran proves that, FUBAR!

    • Rationality

      And this rant has anything to do with law-abiding American Muslims how?  What you said sounds akin to ‘yay murrika! giterdun!’
      If I asked you who the first president of the united states was would you respond ‘apple pie! yay murrika!’ ?  Because that’s how logical your post is.  Go ahead, feel free to criticize me for believing that being intelligent is patriotic.

  • Trackermom

    Well I have A LOT of writing to to do.  To all the companies that pandered to this “organization”.  Already sent one to Lowes.  Who’s next?

  • Zeinabalshemery

    Low’s can kiss my ass.  I will never buy a thing from them. if there was anything wrong about being a muslim we wouldn’t be making almost half of the world’s population. but if people choose to be ignorant then too bad you can rotten in hell for all I care.

  • Sbwaldron

    The FFA can’t seem to comprehend the fact that not everyone is as interested as they are in pushin religious exteremeism…


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