January 8, 2012

TLC’s “All-American Muslim” is airing its season finale tonight. The episode follows the trajectory of most reality-show season finales — some story lines are satisfactorily wrapped up (hint: Coach Zaban’s Fordson Tractors play a seminal game against their archrivals, Dearborn High), while other cast members near a climax in their personal stories (will Suehaila Amen be leaving her parents and Detroit to pursue her career in Washington, D.C.? Did Nina Bazzy open her club?). Is it enough to leave you... Read more

January 6, 2012

This is the third in a series of commentaries regarding TLC’s “All-American Muslim,” written by Rabbi Jack Bemporad, Reverand Dr. James A. Kowalski, Professor Marshall Breger, and Suhail A. Khan. This Sunday is the last installment of “All-American Muslim,” the reality television series on TLC that was the target of fringe, anti-Muslim hate rhetoric. The show introduced five Muslim-American families to the reality TV audience, two groups who would not, in all likelihood, have otherwise met. As it turns out,... Read more

January 3, 2012

This piece was written by Rabbi Jack Bemporad, Center for Interreligious Understanding, N.J., with co-authors: The Very Reverend Dr. James A. Kowalski, Dean of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, New York City; Professor Marshall Breger, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. and former Reagan White House liaison to the Jewish community; and Suhail A. Khan, Buxton Initiative, Washington, D.C. It originally appeared in Huffington Post, and although the piece touches upon an episode of TLC’s “All-American Muslim”... Read more

December 30, 2011

As American Muslims, along with the rest of the country, prepared for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 last fall, the one sentiment that seemed to reverberate most was this: We need to tell our own narratives. This Sunday (Jan. 1), TLC’s “All-American Muslim” embraces this idea by focusing on how each cast member commemorates (or not) the tragedy and wrestles with what the American Muslim response should be ten years later – no more apologies, more interfaith dialogue, a continuing... Read more

December 18, 2011

This is a guest post by Ani Zonneveld. As a Muslim, I like watching TLC’s “All-American Muslim.” It gives me an insight into how other fellow Muslims, who are not like me, live their lives. Unlike the community in Dearborn, Michigan, I don’t live in a mostly Arab community. My community is mostly white, mixed in with straight and gay folks of Christian and Jewish faith. Some of the insights I gain from watching the show are amusing, enlightening and... Read more

December 16, 2011

This is a guest post from Rev. Carl Gregg, pastor, author, and Patheos blogger, in response to the recent controversy about Lowes pulling its advertisement from TLC’s “All-American Muslim,” after pressure from the Florida Family Association. Dear Lowe’s: Islamophobia is as equally reprehensible as anti-Semitism. Both are forms of racism and bigotry. Christians must stop confusing Christianity with Christian Supremacy. I wish I could force both the management of Lowe’s as well as the protesters to read Philip Jenkins’ important new book... Read more

December 15, 2011

This is a guest post by Jerry Park, originally published on Patheos’ “Black, White, and Grey: Where Christianty and Sociology Meet” blog. In a previous post I talked some about the non-Christian religious diversity among Asian Americans, and I mentioned some of the research that shows that since 9/11 most white Christian Americans still know little of their non-Christian friends be they Buddhist, Hindu, or Muslim. Intrepid media makers have tried to address this problem by showcasing life in one... Read more

December 15, 2011

This is a guest post from Jewish activist Anya Cordell, recipient of the 2010 Spirit of Anne Frank award. Is there a way for the storm swirling around Lowes (for pulling advertising from TLC’s “All American Muslims”) to calm, and for Lowes and Muslims and others to all be ‘winners’?  I believe there is. This idea hatched as I thought about how the Muslims I know are so gracious, generous, hospitable, and community-minded, that a boycott seems not to be... Read more

December 14, 2011

This is a guest post from Patheos contributor Wajahat Ali. This is the unabridged version of the article; the edited version originally appeared in The Guardian. The decision by Lowe’s, behemoth chain of retail home improvement and appliance stores, to pull its ads from TLC’s reality TV show “All American Muslim,” ceded to the bigotry, fear-mongering and paranoia of a deluded minority whose divisive ideology poisons America’s cherished history of inclusiveness and pluralism.  However, in doing so, they unwittingly inspired... Read more

December 13, 2011

If there are two good examples of how social networking and a strong issue/cause is a match made in heaven, then it’s the “Arab Spring” — specifically the “We are Khalid Said” Facebook and Twitter mantra leading to the extraordinary events in Cairo’s Tahrir Square (and the downfall of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak) last spring — and now the surge of support for TLC’s “All-American Muslim” and the growing anger against Lowes, who pulled advertising from the show under pressure... Read more

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