The Muslims on TLC’s “All American Muslims aren’t evil enough. That’s why home-improvement giant Lowe’s pulled its ads from the show. The Florida Family Association (FFA) claims the show is “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values… the show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks.” I guess the FFA believes the Muslims on TV shouldn’t be ordinary folks. They need to be evil!
Now, to be fair to the FFA and its leaders, I can only assume they know little to nothing about Muslims, despite their best efforts to speak as experts on the subject. But I can’t blame them too much. For years, all they have seen on TV and the news are evil and scary Muslims. Maybe they’ve seen “True Lies,” where Muslims are screaming, murderous terrorists who want to kill Arnold Schwarzenegger. Or maybe they’ve seen “The Siege,” where Muslims are screaming, murderous terrorists who want to kill Denzel Washington. Or maybe they’ve seen “Back to the Future,” where Muslims are screaming, murderous terrorists who force Michael J Fox back into 1955. Or maybe they’ve seen every Chuck Norris… ever.
Or maybe they’ve simply been watching too much FOX News and Bill O’Reilly, who told us, “Muslims killed us on 9/11.” He has also said there is a “Muslim problem,” and that “for every Muslim in the world who wants democracy or human rights, there’s one who doesn’t.” I’m pretty good at math. That’s half. That’s bad. That’s definitely a scary statistic, other than the fact that it is totally untrue. Saying “Muslims killed us on 9/11” is just dumb. Imagine if after Timothy McVeigh committed his crime, someone said, “Christians killed us in Oklahoma City.” Imagine if in the wake of the scandal in the Catholic Church, someone said, “Catholics molested our young boys.” Or imagine if after watching an episode of Jersey Shore, someone said, “Italians are ruining our summer vacations.” Just imagine.
Saying sweeping, racist things about Muslims, however, is simply part of American discourse. This all happens because Arabs and Muslims are seen as threatening, menacing, and foreign. Racism against us is just different. People avoid young black men because they’re afraid they might lose their money. But people avoid young Muslim men because they’re afraid they might lose their freedom. Someone might handover is wallet, but he might kill for his freedom.
It was as a result of this environment of Islamophobia that Lowe’s pulled its ads from “All American Muslim.” As a show of my disgust with their move, I returned $2600 worth of appliances to their store. And I was totally pissed off, not because Lowe’s was being racist, but because, as a good Arab, I searched long and hard for that good deal. And now I have to do it all over again.
The truth of the matter is that Muslims and Arabs love freedom. They line up for American visas. They have been leaving their societies for decades, coming to America for freedom and opportunity. Like everyone else, they come here for the three M’s: Money, Money, and Marilyn Monroe.
There’s a possibility that the Florida Family Association might get its way in the end. Since its November 13 premiere, “All American Muslim” has been declining steadily in the ratings, most probably because it is a show about five pretty ordinary, mundane Muslim-American families. So far it has presented a young couple going through the anxieties of having their first child (just like any other young couple), the struggles of a young woman trying to open a new business (just like any other young woman), and the story of a high school football coach passionate about the growth of his young players (just like any other coach).
Now, the last episode of “All American Muslim” did show a white guy crying when he had to give up his dog. And why did he have to do it? Because of his Muslim wife! I guess Muslims don’t only hate freedom… they hate Lassie too.
“All American Muslim” was put on TV to show that Muslims might be just like everyone else. And if it gets canceled, it will be because it actually showed that Muslims are just like everyone else. And seriously, who wants to watch that?