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Bigotry Drives Ads from US Muslim Show

Published: 10/12/2011 01:33:56 PM GMT
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CAIRO - US advertising companies have pulled their commercials airing during episodes of TLC's All-American Muslim after pressure from right-wing and (more)

CAIRO - US advertising companies have pulled their commercials airing during episodes of TLC's "All-American Muslim" after pressure from right-wing and Christian groups, the Washington Post reported.

“‘All-American Muslim' is propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia`h law,” the Florida Family Association, a Tampa Bay group, asserted in a letter it asks members to send to TLC advertisers.

“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 the liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish,” the Florida group added.

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

The idea of the show was first suggested by Mike Mosallam, director of film initiatives for Wayne County, to follow the lives of a group of Muslims and their friends in the area.

Focusing on Muslims in Dearborn, the producer said the program is a glimpse into a lifestyle with which most Americans are unfamiliar.

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.

“We understand 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,” said Katie Cody, a Lowe's spokeswoman.

The FFA isn't the only group taking aim at the TLC program.

The website American Decency has also sponsored a campaign to target every company who has or will advertise on the show, calling "All-American Muslim" a work of propaganda.


The pull of ads was criticized by US Muslims as driven by anti-Islam bigotry.

“Shame on Lowe's, and shame on every one of these companies if they really did cave in to such bigotry and hatred,” wrote Sheila Musaji, who blogs at

If the FFA and other reports are misrepresenting these companies, she added, “then they need to speak up.”

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee also criticized Lowe's and companies move to pull commercials.

“Sadly corporations, such as Lowe's, have succumbed to the idiocracy of such garbage campaigns, which are orchestrated by groups and organizations which lack credibility, legitimacy, and are founded on the basic notions of bigotry and racism reminiscent of a shameful era in this country's history,” the organization said in a statement.

A TLC spokeswoman, Laurie Goldberg, said the network could not comment about the alleged advertising defections, but that the show maintained “strong” advertising.

“There are no plans to pull the show. The show is going to continue as planned,” said Goldberg.

Although there are no official figures, the United States is believed to be home to between 6-8 million Muslims.

According to a report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the University of California, Berkeley's Center for Race and Gender said that Islamophobia in the US is on the rise.

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

A recent Gallup poll, however, found 43 percent of Americans Nationwide admitted to feeling at least “a little” prejudice against Muslims.

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