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'All-American Muslim' Reveals 9/11 Pains

Published: 30/12/2011 01:33:00 PM GMT
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NEW YORK - Exploring the painful, enduring impact of 9/11 tragedy on the lives of US Muslim minority, a new episode of TLC's show All American Muslim w (more)

NEW YORK - Exploring the painful, enduring impact of 9/11 tragedy on the lives of US Muslim minority, a new episode of TLC's show All American Muslim will experience the emotional response of American Muslims on the attacks 10th anniversary as well as the backlash they are facing from some of their fellow Americans.

"All-American Muslim offers us a unique opportunity to step into the shoes of our Muslim neighbors and experience the pain and suffering they have endured, not just once, but twice, " said Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson, President of Auburn Seminary in New York, a press release from Market Watch, Wall Street Journal, reported.

"The first time because terrorists attacked their country on 9/11 and the second time because some fellow Americans turned on them, simply because of their religion, which is absolutely unacceptable."

Suggested by the Muslim cast themselves, the episode, The Day the World Changed, is centered on the effect 10th anniversary of 9/11 had on Muslims.

Bringing a wide array of reactions and responses to the tragic events, it features Deputy Chief Mike Jaafar focusing on the safety of his officers, while reflecting on the loss of first responders a decade ago; or Lila Amen participating in a city-wide public memorial service, but without her children who refuse to go.

"You think about your guys who work for you, going into a building and not coming home," Jaafar said.Another woman, Suehaila Amen, recalled: "It was the first time I realized that people looked at me as less American.

"As a person who was born and raised in this country, it was very difficult."Another Muslim, Nina Bazzy, said that such crime would never be committed by a true Muslim.

"When I first heard it was a Muslim extremist that had done this, immediately, my thought like every other Muslim's thought was these people are not Muslim. Who are these people? Where did they come from? I've never heard of the Taliban. I've never heard of Osama bin Laden," says Nina Bazzy in the episode.

"They've labeled themselves as Muslim. But they are not Muslim. A real Muslim would never do anything like that."

The reality show, “All-American Muslim,” is an eight-part series that began airing last November.

The 9/11 episode will air on TV next Sunday, January 1.

Complex Emotions

The new episode on 9/11 anniversary was praised for shedding light on complex emotions Muslim families experienced over the past 10 years.

"At a time when perceptions of Muslims are at an all-time low, All-American Muslim has managed to flip the switch and help many Americans see the commonalities we share with one another," said Eboo Patel, president of Interfaith Youth Core and a member of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships advisory council.

"By showing the gray areas, not just the black and the white, the series has laid bare the complex and valid range of emotions that these families have experienced over the past ten years.

“And, instead of soundbites, this nuance adds value by showing very real, very human responses to the events that changed our world."

Though the show gave a glimpse into a lifestyle with which most Americans are unfamiliar, it faced the bigotry Muslims have been suffering over the past decade.

As the show premiered on November 13, the Florida Family Association led a campaign urging companies to pull ads on “All-American Muslim.”

Following fierce campaigns against the show, the FFA contended that 65 of 67 companies it has targeted have pulled their ads.

These companies included Bank of America, the Campbell Soup Co., Dell, Estee Lauder, General Motors, Goodyear, Green Mountain Coffee, McDonalds, Sears, and Wal-Mart.

Citing consumer complains, Lowe's, the national hardware chain, has also pulled commercials from future episodes.

Since the 9/11 attacks, US Muslims, estimated between 6-8 million, have complained of discrimination and stereotypes in the society because of their Islamic attires or identities.

A US survey has revealed that the majority of Americans know very little about Muslims and their faith.

A Gallup poll also found that the majority of US Muslims are patriot and loyal to their country and are optimistic about their future.

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