All-American MuslimOur jaws hang slack as we contemplate this story.  A month ago we told you about a new series on TLC called All-American Muslim, worrying aloud that the show might not be sensitive and nuanced enough in its portrayals of American Muslims, but hoping for the best.

Apparently other people were simultaneously worried about the opposite: that the show would be too humane, not filled with enough fearmongering for their satisfaction.  A group called the Florida Family Association took the lead in starting an advertiser boycott of the show, because (from their website)…

 

TLC’s “All-American Muslim” is propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.  

Click here to send your email to the companies that advertised during the December 4 and 5 episodes.

Please forward this article to friends who are concerned about this issue.

The Learning Channel’s new show 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.

 

We’d rather not give their site a link from ours, but to give you a sense of what they’re railing about beyond All-American Muslim, here’s a screenshot of their front page from today.  (No surprise, but prepare to be disturbed by their agenda.)

 

Florida Family Association site screenshot

 

So far the group has met with success in scaring off such weak-willed advertisers as Sweet and Low, Home Depot, Pernod Ricard (makers of Seagram’s gin, Havana Club rum, Chivas Regal Scotch, Jacob’s Creek wines, Jameson Irish whisky, and Martell cognac) … but the impending loss of ads from hardware chain Lowe’s seems to have been a last straw of sorts, drawing hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons into the fray.  Here’s a nicely reported Entertainment Weekly article on the controversy:

UPDATED: Hip-hop mogul and social activist Russell Simmons slammed hardware giant Lowe’s for its decision to pull its ads from TLC’s All-American Muslim reality show and warned the company could face outrage from civil rights groups beyond the Muslim community.“This can’t happen in America; [Lowe’s] needs to fix this immediately,” Simmons said, calling the move Islamophobic. “They can’t get away with that, it’s ridiculous. There are American principals at stake here. I can’t imagine the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, the National Urban League, or any organization that fights for their own rights will allow this to happen to any other group because they know they’re next.”

The Def Jam founder is chairman of the The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, which promotes racial and inter-faith harmony — particularly among Muslim-Jewish relations. He notes his organization consists of “hundreds of imams and rabbis who work together to promote harmony around this country.”

“If I go to work on this,” Simmons said, “they’re not even going to believe it. This is not going to be a Muslim fight. I don’t want to take my time and start a boycott — don’t make me do that.”

Simmons was traveling on business in Australia on Saturday when he heard that Lowe’s pulled its ads from All-American Muslim. The move followed extremist groups protesting the show for its positive portrayal of ordinary Muslim families. In addition to his music career and social rights work (he’s currently supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement), Simmons executive produced MTV’s Run’s House, a reality show about his younger brother’s Christian family. Muslim launched last month and airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on TLC.

Lowe’s says it pulled the ads due to a wide array of concerns about the show. “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,” a Lowe’s spokesperson said. “We based our decision to pull the advertising on this research and after hearing the concerns we received through emails, calls, through social media and in news reports. It is certainly never Lowe’s intent to alienate anyone. Lowe’s values diversity of thought.”

But Simmons says pulling the ads was “a stupid thing to do” and called on the company to reverse its stance and support the show.

“This is a press nightmare for them,” Simmons said. “This country is built on religious freedom. This is the kind of hate that tears this country apart.”

UPDATE: California state senator Ted W. Lieu, a Democrat representing Torrance, is calling on Lowe’s to apologize. “Lowe’s action is bigoted, shameful, and un-American,” Lieu wrote in a letter to the home-improvement chain. “I call on Lowe’s to rescind its action and apologize to Americans who are Muslim. If Lowe’s continues its religious bigotry, I will encourage boycotts of Lowe’s and look into legislative remedies … Lowe’s religious discrimination is the equivalent of a company asserting that it is pulling advertising from the Christian Broadcast Network’s 700 Club because the program somehow ‘riskily hides’ the agenda of Christian radicalized groups such as Aryan Nation.”

UPDATE II: Lowe’s issued a new statement to clarify its position a bit more and apologized to any who are offended by its decision: “As you know, the TLC program All-American Muslim has become a lightning rod for people to voice complaints from a variety of perspectives – political, social and otherwise. Following this development, dozens of companies removed their advertising from the program beginning in late November. Lowe’s made the decision to discontinue our advertising on Dec. 5. As we shared yesterday, we have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, and we’re proud of that longstanding commitment. If we have made anyone question that commitment, we apologize.”

According to Reuters, Simmons is now trying to buy ad time on the show, putting his money where his mouth is (as he often does).  Between Simmons’s taking up arms against the bigotry shown by the All-American Muslim haters — people who, remember, are complaining that the show should be boycotted because its portrayal of Muslims is too positive! — and the activism of progressives willing to speak up (here’s a petition to sign), maybe good-hearted Americans can beat back the cowardly intolerance and bigotry of the right-wing regressives trying to kill the show.

Oh, and Kal Penn encourages you to do the same.  From examiner.com:

Kal Penn took to Twitter on Monday morning to personally condemn the decision of Lowes deciding to pull advertising for the upcoming TLC reality show All-American Muslim. The celebrity took to Twitter to ask people to support the petition and shared is personal opinion of not shopping at Lowes. The actor of the films in the Harold & Kumar series has people talking about Lowes decision to remove advertising from the upcoming show.

“Our next movie: ‘Harold & Kumar Do Not Go To @Lowes,’” writes Kal Penn. “Please take a sec to sign & support an all-American show.”

The entertainer is directing people to the online petition expected to be delivered to the executives at Lowes, Petsmart and other retail establishments that have decided to not advertise or are considering not advertising due to consumer concerns. The petition outlines the anti-Islam message that companies send when they don’t support all types of Americans.

Enough reading for now.  Click here to fight back — sign the petition.

 

ADDITIONAL INFO: We found this story out of Iran, from an English-language news site, on an Anonymous hacking of the Florida Family Association’s website.

A little known Christian group that’s been leading a boycott of a reality television show about American Muslims saw their website hacked and defaced last night by an unknown person claiming to be part of the hacker activist group “Anonymous”.

The hacker said they had obtained all of the Florida Family Association’s (FFA) donor information, including credit card numbers, but weren’t releasing them because it would hurt members of the 99 percent.

The hacker also said that a further investigation was underway into the group’s supporters, threatening, “[I]f I find information such as anyone being a part of other hate groups such as the Klan or anything similar all bets are off for those people.”

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