Florida Family Association attacks TLC show for portraying Muslims as normal; advertisers pull out
December 12, 2011 | 3:15 pm
(Updated: February 25, 2013 | 6:19 pm)
TLC reality TV series All American Muslim features Muslim-Americans’ everyday lives – five different families face relatable problems dealing with identity, community, conflicts over assimilation and perceptions of prejudice.
The Florida Family Association is concerned, however, that it portrays Muslims as regular people. “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,” the organization said.
In other words, a conservative group that probably doesn’t interact with many Muslims is pretty sure it knows American Muslims better than American Muslims do – and thinks the best way to combat what it perceives as intolerance in the Muslim community would be to insist Muslims are widely intolerant. So the FFA is campaigning against the show.
The LGBT community is familiar with this kind of intervention from groups like the FFA, which has also attacked Modern Family and Degrassi for portraying gay or lesbian characters as normal. And maybe you’d think the FAA – called a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – is just doing what it always does, an obscure group with an obscure cause, easily ignored. But the conflict is having a real effect, causing a long list of companies to pull their ads from the show.
(The FFA also previously took credit (PDF) when Toys R Us pulled its ads from ABC’s Modern Family.)
The FAA concerns seem to center around stories like this one from the All American Muslim webpage: “Suehaila wears a traditional headscarf and follows daily prayer rituals, while Shadia, her outspoken sister, is decorated with piercings and tattoos and recently married Jeff, an Irish Catholic who is converting to Islam.” Portraying Muslims as complex and diverse people like everybody else is unacceptable to the FAA.
Lowes spokesperson Katie Cody said the hardware store pulled its ads because of “concerns, complaints, or issues from multiple sides of the viewer spectrum.” [Racialicious]