All-American Muslim Nontroversy
This past weekend, home improvement megachain Lowe’s caved in to pressure from some reactionary Christianist organization in Florida to pull its advertising from a new TLC series called “All-American Muslim.” The show is especially designed to show people that the overwhelmingly vast majority of American people of Muslim faith are perfectly normal, just like any other American person of different faiths. It’s a point that’s not only true, but truly important to get out there in the face of a growing right-wing Islamophobia / xenophobia.
The Florida Christianist group is the same one that boycotts Walt Disney World over Gay Day.
Anyone who has listened to WBEN’s troubled mulleted talkmeister Tom Bauerle at any point in the last few years knows what I mean. If you are aware of last year’s Park 51 nontroversy, or know the name “Pamela Geller,” you know what I’m talking about. In bad economic times, it’s easiest to blame it all on some enemy, like Hitler blamed Germany’s post-Versailles decline on “international Jewry”. Former right-wing Islamophobe Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has reformed himself and now devotes much time exposing these neofascists for what they are.
Yes, there are very bad Muslims in the world who want to kill you and your way of life. But that isn’t the basis for an indictment of an entire religion and all its adherents. There are many bad people out there, and if you live your life in fear of them, you’re not really living much of a life at all.
In the same weekend that Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich went out of his way to assail the Palestinian people of the former Ottoman Empire as “invented”, American ignorance of Islam is on full display with this Lowe’s nonsense.
Buzzfeed posted what it considers to be the 25 dumbest comments. Wading through them, you begin to lose all hope for America. When you realize that at least one or two people you know who consider themselves to be tea partiers think the same way, you realize how pervasive this ignorant xenophobia has become. The Muslim families depicted on the TLC program are better Americans than, e.g., this guy:
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