As I've been reading through the Quran for Advent, I've also been watching the TLC show All American Muslim which follows the lives of 5 families in Dearborn, Michigan. I've been impressed with this program because it shows America: vibrant Muslim communities exist in the US and have for sometime, Muslims are diverse, and they are in many ways normal Americans, just like us Christians. One Muslim on the show is a football coach that holds practice at night during Ramadan and attends Iftar at the Whitehouse with Obama. Another woman doesn't where a hijab and marries a Christian (who converts) and attends a Kenny Chesney concert.?? Another man works for the local police department.?? Dearborn is highlighted in the show and celebrated for its wonderful Muslim community, the most concentrated in America, a true treasure of our heritage of religious diversity and an example of why we are the most religiously diverse nation in the world.
All American Muslim is a great opportunity to raise awareness of Muslim/Christian dialogue and interfaith cooperation and reduce the bigotry of post-9/11 America.
But instead, the hyper-consrvative Florida Family Association wrote companies like Lowes urging them to remove advertising during the show in hopes to force TLC to cancel it.?? The article us below.?? Notice how Florida Family calls this show that really promotes the truth and heritage of religious diversity in America, "propaganda."
And the most appalling part of the story is that Lowes and others listened to these bigots and gave into the radical rights pressure and power. The adds were pulled. Shame on Lowes. Shame on America.
I've also attached the boycott Lowes Facebook page.?? Like it. Spread awareness.?? Call and write Lowes. Tweet for justice.?? Hold them accountable.?? We must have a louder voice for justice and interfaith cooperation than they do for bigotry.??
I was hoping that this show symbolized a turning point for American acceptance of Islam.?? Instead it identifies the deeply embedded Islamaphobia still present.?? I'm ashamed to live in a country where this happens. But it doesn't have to be like this.?? Let us use this opportunity to speak louder than hatred.?? Let us speak up for our Muslim sisters and brothers.?? Let us silence the bigots.?? And let us gather together around the ideas of religious diversity and interfaith cooperation that has made this country great for generations.?? Let us summon the power of Abraham Heschel and MLK during the civil rights movement, marching on Montgomery arm and arm, praying for justice with our legs.?? Because as MLK wrote in his letter from the Birmingham jail, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."