American Companies Accused of Joining the All-American Anti-Muslim Bandwagon - updated 12/22

American Companies Accused of Joining the All-American Anti-Muslim Bandwagon

by Sheila Musaji


TLC has a reality series called “All-American Muslim” which has aired four out of a planned eight episodes.  The program follows five Lebanese American families in Dearborn, Michigan.  Metascore has a list of all of the critical reviews for the program here, and the reviews are quite good. 

The Islamophobia network was enraged that this program only depicts normal American Muslim families, and doesn’t include terrorists, criminals, perverts, and other types that exist in the Muslim community (as they do in all communities).  According to the Islamophobes showing ordinary families constitutes “deception and obfuscation”,  an “attempt to manipulate Americans”, “propaganda”, “cultural jihad”.

Wajahat Ali provides an excellent overview of how this anti-Muslim smear campaign began.

Within days of the show’s premiere, the fear-mongering Islamphobia network complained the show is actually propaganda that promotes a “submission to Islam through the hijab” and “tries to make a religion which believes in world domination and the inferiority of women, seem normal”. The author of this article, posted on David Horowitz’s inflammatory Front Page Magazine, also goes on to compare Muslims to Nazis: “Muslims are like us [Americans]; that’s the problem. The Nazis were like us too. So were the Communists.”

Apparently, TLC is a stealth-jihadist outfit with grand schemes to brainwash American women into burning their swimsuits and tank tops and replacing them with modest, traditional Islamic clothing as a gradual means towards converting them to Islam. I’ll be waiting for their next reality TV show: “UV Radiation Fighters.”

Pamela Geller, founder of the shrill Atlas Shrugs blog and co-founder with blogger Robert Spencer of Stop Islamization of America, is convinced the show “is an attempt to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad”. Who would have thought a reality TV show could have so much brainwashing potential? Instead of mounting violent campaigns, all our enemies needed to secure victory was to produce “The Real Housewives of al-Qaida.”

If Geller, Spencer and Horowitz were producing their version of American Muslim reality, the episodes would focus on the families’ radical stealth jihadist plots. Through eight episodes, they would attempt to turn McDonald’s golden arches into minarets, transform California to Caliph-ornia, place a burqa over the Statute of Liberty, creep sharia into the Denny’s breakfast menu, and spike the elementary school eggnog with sumac and lentils.

A “real Muslim” according to many is this anti-American, extremist, violent stereotype – an image often plastered over news headlines. This myth is unsurprising, perhaps, considering 60% of Americans say they don’t know a Muslim. Furthermore, the No 1 source of information about Muslims for American is the media, and often, the images are negative. Yet, according to all the studies and evidence, the reality of American Muslims is that they are moderate, loyal to America, optimistic about America’s future, in tune with American values, well-educated, and are the nation’s most diverse religious community.

That being said, nearly half of American Muslims say they have faced discrimination. The FBI just announced anti-Muslim hate crimes have risen 50%. And a Republican presidential candidate with an alleged proclivity towards sexual harassment and unintentionally hilarious campaign videos has claimed a majority of Muslim Americans are extremists.

The portrayal of Muslims living their daily lives is not only a welcome relief from the usual tawdry caricatures of Muslims as terrorists, extremists and taxi cab drivers, but it also helps defuse the deep-seated fears and bias that unfairly lumps 1.5 billion members of a faith in with the perverse criminal actions of a few.

After a group called the Florida Family Association initiated a letter writing campaign, at least two companies cancelled their ads.  The Islamophobes take on how they see this incident is evident in the headlines on their sites - Advertisers fleeing ‘All-American Muslim’ ‘propaganda’: Sears, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, others drop support for program (World Net Daily) - Advertisers fleeing All-American Muslim ‘propaganda’ (Jihad Watch) - “All-American Muslim” Advertisers Pulling Out (Radical Islam) - Like rats off a sinking ship, advertisers on TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim’ are fleeing? (Soda Head) - Advertisers flee from All-American Muslim show after receiving thousands of emails (American Decency).

Shame on Lowe’s, and shame on every one of these companies if they really did cave in to such bigotry and hatred! 

It is possible based on past misrepresentations made by these folks that the situation may not be quite as they are advertising it.  If these companies simply had advertising scheduled for a particular week or weeks and not for others, and did not cave to this pressure, then they need to speak up.  If they are being misrepresented as agreeing with these bigots, that is a serious accusation.  I would like to see them state that publically, or even sue for slander if that is within the law.

I know for a fact that many of these corporations do business in Muslim majority countries, and if they truly have caved so easily to a concerted hate campaign, that will not do their business any good.

 

The FLORIDA FAMILY ASSOCIATION INITIATED THIS DEMAND FOR AN ADVERTISING BOYCOTT


The Florida Family Association began this whole effort, and were quickly joined by a veritable who’s who of the Islamophobia network.  Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Debbie Schlussel, Sheikh Yermami, etc. all jumped in and amplified their bigoted message. 

The FFA is very anti-everyone not like themselves.  Based on their past efforts, it is obvious that the FFA hates gays as much as it hates Muslims - and they focus a great deal of effort on attempting to marginalize these groups - they are cowards after all and are going after the two groups that are already the most marginalized - “easy targets”.  As Arsalan Iftikhar said Muslims are now treated as “the proverbial bogeyman” in America, he says. Citing a Pew study, Iftikhar says that the most despised groups in America are now gays and Muslims.

Right Wing Watch has a backgrounder on the FFA Meet The Extremist Group Lowe’s Caved To Over ‘All-American Muslim’.  It seems that they are outraged a lot.  As Tod Kelly reports The FFA is a singularly magnificent example of this industry at work. That its “good work” reads more like an Onion article only makes their success with All-American Muslim that much more baffling. For example, other boycotts they are currently managing include Snickers and Starburst candy (for promoting homosexuality), Marvel and Disney (again, for promoting homosexuality), Campbell’s Soup (for promoting Islam), and 7-11 (for selling Playboy and therefore promoting boobies pornography).

Samuel G. Freedman provides a great deal of background on David Caton, the founder and director of FFA in the article A One-Man War on American Muslims. 

A group called the Florida Family Association (FFA), initiated an advertiser boycott against what it describes as a “propaganda show,” contacting companies whose commercials appear during the broadcast and asking them to quit.  This was an attempt to force the program off the air.  So far, the organization claims, nearly 20 companies have agreed to pull their ads from the series at their urging.  **  The FFA website provided a “click here” easy action form to do this.

David Caton of FFA posted an article saying that they were responsible for over 700,000 emails collectively sent to all advertisers on the show.  In this article he has the nerve to say We have NOTHING against Muslims.  We just want to make sure that only American laws are enforced in America and that Islamic code or Sharia law does NOT change our way of life or diminish our liberty.  Mr. Caton obviously has not read the Constitution of the United States which already has such provisions. Note:  Caton is now [url=http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/12/21/2865056/lowes-stands-by-decision-to-pull.html]claiming over 1 million emails sent.

This email campaign is a lesson in the power of a very small group to create what seems like a much larger response than it really is.  Even if we take Caton’s claim of 1,000,000 emails sent out at face value, that number could have been generated by only 15,384 or fewer.  They provided a link that allowed you to click once and send out letters to all the companies they were targeting.  If that was 65 companies as they claim, then 15,384 people each sending 65 emails with one click could equal 1,000,000 emails.  FFA actually sent out the emails in waves and had four separate action alerts to all of the people on their email list.  Anyone sending out one of their letters automatically gets on their email list to be notified of the next letter writing campaign.  This means that it is possible that one individual sending letters in each of the 4 campaigns could have generated 260 letters.  This also means that it is possible that this huge volume of emails could have been generated by as few as 3,846 individuals. 

This effort by the FFA of course was touted on numerous Islamophobic sites who also encouraged their readers to join this effort and contact the advertisers.  Here is the form letter that the FFA prepared to be sent out to advertisers:

The Learning Channel’s new show All-American Muslim is propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law.  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.

One of the most troubling scenes occurred at the introduction of the program when a Muslim police officer stated “I really am American.  No ifs and or buts about it.”  This scene would appear to be damage control for the Dearborn Police who have arrested numerous Christians including several former Muslims for peacefully preaching Christianity.

Many situations were profiled in the show from a Muslim tolerant perspective while avoiding the perspective that would have created Muslim conflict thereby contradicting The Learning Channel’s agenda to inaccurately portray Muslims in America.  Clearly this program is attempting to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad and to influence them to believe that being concerned about the jihad threat would somehow victimize these nice people in this show.  I encourage you to stop supporting this show with your advertising dollars.

WHAT?  What is troubling about showing a Muslim policeman who self-identifies as an American?  Why is it “troubling” that he loves America?  Was it “controversial” that Muslims and Arabs were not portrayed as evil villains who are not “real Americans” and have no right to act as if they are normal human beings with families, mortgages, jobs, etc.?  Does every television program about any minority need to include an “appropriate” offensive bigoted stereotype?  Is there a problem with a “Muslim tolerant perspective”?  Perhaps a Muslim intolerant perspective would be more palatable to bigots.  What would be a less “inaccurate” portrayal?  Do you not realize that American Muslims are just concerned about threats to our security from extremists as anyone else?  If the Muslims in this program only “appear to be ordinary folks” does that mean that they (and all Muslims) are really something other than they appear?  Is it possible that most Muslims actually are “ordinary folks”?

Sadly according to the Florida Family Association site, these tactics are working.  They say that “25 out of 27 advertisers targeted in the November 29th email alert did not advertise again during the December 4th and 5th episodes.  And, 65 companies that Florida Family Association targeted with emails did NOT advertise again during the only two episodes of All-American Muslim that aired this past week.” 

The Florida Family Assoc. site was hacked  Marrgaret Cashill reported on 12/12 that The Florida Family Association, meanwhile, has taken down its website, and put up in its place a picture of a picture of Executive Director David Caton and a brief message stating that the group encountered an “extremely mean-spirited” attack. “Because of our real concern for the terrorism that is a way of life for some folks, we ourselves have become victims,” the statement said. “Because we urge others to be vigilant, we become the targets.”   I sincerely hope that no Muslim was involved in any sort of cyber attack on their site as that only brings whoever engages in such behavior down to the same level. 

The Examiner is reporting thatThe international Internet hacktivist collective known as Anonymous is taking responsibility for hacking the site.  According to Death and Taxes, Anonymous posted this statement “Florida Family Association feels the need to put hate at the forefront of what it stands for,” the group said in a statement posted on the ihazcAnNONz twitter account alongside some snagged data. “Your hatred, bigotry and fear mongering towards Gays, Lesbians and most recently Muslim Americans has not gone unnoticed!  Anonymous will not stand for hate and divisive vitriol to be spread across our country and whenever we can…we will stop it.”

Jillian Rayfield reports that the FFA also believes that Anonymous is responsible for taking down their site.  David Caton, executive director of the Florida Family Association, said that a hacker claiming to be from the hacktivist collective Anonymous took down the website Monday night in retaliation for the Lowe’s campaign, only leaving up the message that the group was “destroying our free speech,” the St. Petersburg Times reports.

It is clear that this hacker group Anonymous took down the site.  Why is it then that Islamophobes like Bob Unruh on the World Net Daily site can include baseless statements like this in their anti-Muslim propaganda?  There were claims on the Internet that attributed the vandalism to supporters of Islam.

The site was only down for a short time, and then back up.

COMPANIES WHO ADMIT REMOVING ADS DUE TO PRESSURE


LOWE’S WAS THE FIRST TO ADMIT TO REMOVING ADS

Here is the text of the original email from Lowe’s to FFA

Thank you for contacting Lowe’s.  We work hard to listen to our customers and respond to their concerns.  Lowe’s has strict guidelines that govern the placement of our advertising. Our company advertises primarily in national, network prime-time television programs and on a variety of cable outlets.  Lowe’s constantly reviews advertising buys to make certain they are consistent with its policy guidelines.

While we continue to advertise on various cable networks, including TLC, there are certain programs that do not meet Lowe’s advertising guidelines, including the show you brought to our attention.  Lowe’s will no longer be advertising on that program.

Our goal is to provide the best service, products and shopping environment in the home improvement industry.  We appreciate your feedback and will share your comments with our advertising department as they evaluate future advertising opportunities. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to call 1-866-900-4650, or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  You may also contact us by mailing your correspondence to Lowe’s Companies, Mail Code CON8, 1605 Curtis Bridge Rd., Wilkesboro, North Carolina 28697.

Ashley C. Woods reported on 12/12 thatKatherine Cody, a public relations representative for Lowe’s, emailed her this statement confirming that Lowe’s had cancelled the remainder of its scheduled advertising

“We understand the program raised concerns, complaints, or issuesfrom multiple sides of the viewer spectrum, which we found after doing research of news articles and blogs covering the show. We based our decision to pull the advertising on this research and after hearing the concerns we received through emails, calls, through social media and in news reports.”

Ms. Woods further reports that

... Ostensibly, Lowe’s believes that groups like the Florida Family Association or World Net Daily (who have published invective toward American Muslims that would be unthinkable if directed toward, say, African-Americans or Jews) represent a “broad spectrum” of customers and viewers. A representative from the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR) in Washington D.C. told me there is no organized boycott or petition directed toward Lowe’s. Instead, they’re asking supporters to contact Lowe’s.

Some will argue Lowe’s has the right to discontinue advertising where it deems suitable—an obvious point. But having a “right” doesn’t make it right. Caving to these groups’  intolerant, dogmatic view that any religion apart from Christianity is a threat to our country isn’t merely contrary to the beliefs of the Founding Fathers—but enabling to bigots of every cloth.

Lowe’s released this statement of “clarification” on their Facebook page

It appears that we managed to step into a hotly contested debate with strong views from virtually every angle and perspective – social, political and otherwise – and we’ve managed to make some people very unhappy. We are sincerely sorry. We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, across our workforce and our customers, and we’re proud of that longstanding commitment.

Lowe’s has received a significant amount of communication on this program, from every perspective possible. Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lighting rod for many of those views. As a result we did pull our advertising on this program. We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance.

We strongly support and respect the right of our customers, the community at large, and our employees to have different views. If we have made anyone question that commitment, we apologize.  Thank you for allowing us to further explain our position.

Inside TV reported on 12/12 that,

Lowe’s has again updated their stance saying “As you know, the TLC program All-American Muslim has become a lightning rod for people to voice complaints from a variety of perspectives – political, social and otherwise,” the company said. “Following this development, dozens of companies removed their advertising from the program beginning in late November. Lowe’s made the decision to discontinue our advertising on Dec. 5. As we shared yesterday, we have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, and we’re proud of that longstanding commitment. If we have made anyone question that commitment, we apologize.”

  According to this statement Lowe’s is claiming that dozens of companies removed their advertising.  They don’t say which companies these are, but I for one would like to know.

Absolutely unbelievable.  As Ahmed Rehab said about this way of thinking Lowe’s is putting forth a very dangerous argument: that the far right bigots and the mainstream Muslim voices with their pro-tolerance allies of all faiths are equal opposites; that those who wish to humanize a faith community that comprises 25% of humanity and those who wish to demonize them are equal opposites; that the forces of bigotry and the forces of anti-bigotry are equal opposites. The pervasive assumption that there is a moral equivalency between the two sparring sides is a major factor in the rise of Islamophobia in the US. But Lowe’s goes further than to claim moral equivalency. It actually takes sides, the wrong side: the side of the bigots.

And as Arsalan Iftikhar pointed out This argument is lunacy and is a pretext for bigotry against Muslims, plain and simple. Using this sophomoric logic, the TLC reality show “Sister Wives” is a covert campaign to promote fundamentalist Mormon polygamy across America.  ... Wait a minute, Lowe’s. Exactly what “topic” are you talking about? Are we 7 million American Muslims merely a “topic” to discuss in today’s America? In 2011, do we live in a country in which an entire minority group can be dehumanized as a “topic?”

See Lowe’s still avoiding a meaningful apology for their lack of commitment to diversity and inclusion for more on Lowe’s response


KAYAK WAS THE SECOND COMPANY TO ADMIT TO NOT RENEWING DUE TO PRESSURE

In response to a question as to whether or not the FFA claim was true Kayak sent out this tweet

We believe it had good intentions, but we also understand concerns about specific content, so we excluded it from our ads with TLC.

  Kayak has a feedback form here where you can send them a message. 

According to Johnny Diaz in an article in the Boston Globe

Travel website Kayak.com will no longer advertise on the TV show “All-American Muslim,’’ ...  The company allowed previously scheduled ads to keep running, but decided it will stop advertising on the show in January, according to a statement from Robert Birge, chief marketing officer of Kayak, which is based in Concord and Norwalk, Conn.

Birge accused the cable network of concealing the true nature of the show. “When we received angry emails regarding our decision to advertise, I looked into the show more thoroughly,” Birge said. “As I said, it’s a worthy topic, but any reasonable person would know that this topic is a particular lightning rod. We believe TLC went out of their way to pick a fight on this, and they didn’t let us know their intentions.”

Kayak has issued an online “apology” with the headline “We Handled This Poorly” .  Here it is

We would like to apologize to anyone who was offended by how we handled our decision not to continue advertising on All-American Muslim when it returns in January. We decided to advertise on it in the first place because we adamantly support tolerance and diversity. Our 150-person team includes people from all over the world, and from all walks of life. Our team includes people who are descended from early Europeans who came here escaping religious intolerance, and newer Americans who include many religions. We get what America is about.

For the record, we didn’t “pull” our ads. Our ads kept running on this program, but we have made the decision not to give TLC more money when the show returns in January.  Unfortunately, this decision comes across as bending to bigotry. It also appears that we did not support people who deserve support as people and as Americans. For that, I am profoundly sorry.

I should have communicated more clearly. We would not want anyone to think that we caved to hatred. I wish I could share some of the emails I’ve received from our team. They are also very unhappy with how I handled this.

Please allow me to explain the decision. First, our approach to advertising decisions is to choose advertising based on who watches it, not the political leaning of the program.  When we decided to give our money to TLC for this program, we deemed the show a worthy topic. When we received angry emails regarding our decision to advertise, I looked into the show more thoroughly.

The first thing I discovered was that TLC was not upfront with us about the nature of this show. As I said, it’s a worthy topic, but any reasonable person would know that this topic is a particular lightning rod. We believe TLC went out of their way to pick a fight on this, and they didn’t let us know their intentions. That’s not a business practice that generally gets repeat business from us. I also believe that it did this subject a grave disservice. Sadly, TLC is now enjoying the attention from this controversy.

I then checked the Florida Family Association website to see how this was portrayed. Besides the regrettable hatred, I also noticed that we weren’t listed. The email was a template, so people who sent thousands of emails seemed to be unaware they were sending it to us. The amount of vitriol in the emails was saddening, but I didn’t exactly feel pressured (not to mention we wouldn’t bend to such pressure). Many of the emails I’ve received expressing disappointment in our decision have been much more civil, and I applaud you for that.

Lastly, I watched the first two episodes. Mostly, I just thought the show sucked.  Based on our dealings with TLC and the simple assessment of the show, I decided we should put our money elsewhere. Apologies again.  - Robert Birge, KAYAK Chief Marketing Officer

Mr. Birge of Kayak is saying that he was tricked by the people at TLC as to the content of the program.  Here’s a quote from TLC’s press release announcing the series: ” From getting married and the birth of a first baby, to juggling busy careers while raising a family, to managing sibling dynamics, All-American Muslim shows how these individuals negotiate universal family issues while remaining faithful to the traditions and beliefs of their faith.”  That sounds exactly like what I have seen on the three episodes I’ve watched to date. 

Loonwatch dissects the statement “Our team includes people who are descended from early Europeans who came here escaping religious intolerance, and newer Americans” So basically, his team consists mostly of white people.  Oh, it also has some non-white people, who Robert Birge considers “newer Americans.”  Does his “150-person team” not have a single black, American Indian, or Hispanic person?  Apparently, Mr. Birge does not realize that black people are as old as this country (they were brought here in chains and the country was built on their backs), that American Indians were here long before Birge’s ancestors were, or that Mexicans lived on the land long before Europeans invaded their country.  Does his company not have any Japanese-Americans, who have been in this country for generations?  Even many Arab-Americans in Dearborn itself have been in the U.S. for three generations.  To Robert Birge, I suppose these are all “newer Americans.”

It gets worse.  The New York Times reports that they questioned Birge about some of these issues and he responded. The reporter e-mailed Kayak to ask why Mr. Birge believed TLC kept information from the company. In an e-mail response, Mr. Birge replied:

“When TLC pitched ‘All-American Muslim’ to advertisers, it was characterized as a fair-and-balanced look at the life of an American Muslim.  “However, what was not disclosed was the pre-existing controversy surrounding race, religion and specifically the divide between the Muslim and Christian communities in Dearborn, Mich.

WHAT?  What exactly is the “controversy” that any “reasonable person” would have foreseen?  How is representing ordinary Muslim families a “lightening rod” for controversy?  How does that representation of Muslims “go out of the way to pick a fight”?  What “intentions” did TLC hide?  The intention not to stereotype and demonize Muslims?  What was the grave disservice?  Was it not stereotyping and demonizing Muslims?  What was not “fair and balanced”?  Perhaps not including some crazed terrorist?  What exactly is “inflammatory” about this program?  Is it “inflammatory” to upset bigots?

As far as I’m concerned, Kayak’s explanation is as craven as Lowe’s and they deserve the same disdain.  I also believe that the CEO’s of both Lowe’s and Kayak handled this whole thing so badly (or poorly as Bilge said) that anyone who owns stock in those companies should consider whether or not such incompetent people can continue to lead these companies profitably.  Note:  see statement to Kayak from Trillium Asset Management under the category of “corporate and business management” who are speaking out.

FFA’s CLAIMS ABOUT NUMBER OF COMPANIES INFLUENCED BY THEIR BIGOTRY DOUBTFUL OR OUTRIGHT FALSE

Although at this point Lowe’s is taking all of the heat, we still don’t know whether or not any of the other companies are as guilty as Lowe’s and now Kayak.  It would be nice if they made a statement.

As the Rev. Dr. Katherine Henderson of Auburn Seminary said:  “American companies that are rumored to have pulled their ads from ‘All-American Muslim,’ should immediately tell their consumers whether they—like Lowe’s—have also caved into these bigoted demands, or if they are standing up for an America where people of all faiths and identities can flourish.” 

In case Lowe’s or any other company doesn’t think that such craven caving to bigotry has an effect on the level of prejudice directed towards a minority, Ben Popken reports on Adweek that the comments on Lowe’s Facebook page contain many that vie with those on the Islamophobic sites for their level of anti-Muslim sentiment.  He says As of this writing, the post has drawn more than 22,000 comments, a significant portion of which are racist and contain anti-Muslim/anti-Islamic hate speech. (Scroll down to see some of them.) So, why isn’t Lowe’s moderating its Facebook wall? 

Lowe’s has deleted the comment thread on their facebook page on 12/14 after more than 28,000 messages were posted.  Their Facebook statement on this says in part Some of the comments have been sharp and disrespectful in tone…, but out of respect for the transparency of social media, we let the debate continue. However, we have seen a large volume of comments become more pointed and hateful. As a result, we have taken the step of removing all previous posts and will more tightly filter future comments on this topic.  You will be able to respond to this post, but in the spirit of social media, please keep your comments on this Facebook page respectful. We appreciate your understanding.  Again, we offer our sincere apology to anyone offended by our advertising business decision or posts on this page.  Since they posted this statement there are already over 4,000 comments on the statement.  Hopefully they will be monitored, and there won’t be a repeat of the hateful emails.

The list of companies that the FFA claims to have succeeded in convincing to cancel their advertising based on this bigoted, hateful, anti-Muslim reasoning included 65 names when it was initially posted.  Note:  MPAC has now posted the list FFA list with links to each companies’ website.

There are a lot of numbers being thrown around, but very few actual facts.  On the Today Show on 12/13, Kevin Tibbles reported that a number of the companies listed say that they did not drop their ads, they simply did not have any other ads purchased. In the Lowe’s 12/12/ statement listed above, they said “Following this development, dozens of companies removed their advertising from the program beginning in late November.”  It would be more believable if they stated who those companies were.

TAM is also maintaining a copy of that list and marking off the names of companies who say they have been misrepresented, or who have continued advertising.

— We know that only two companies have admitted pulling or not renewing scheduled ads — Lowe’s and Kayak. 

— We know that 15 companies have said that they did not pull ads and were misrepresented— Amway, Art Instruction Schools, Bank of America, Campbell’s Soup, Cumberland Packing, The Gap, Green Mountain Coffee, Home Depot, Ikea, Pernod Ricard, Radio Shack, Sears,  Toyota,Walmart,  and Whirlpool. 
—  We also know that the FFA site has removed the names of 3 companies that were on their original list without any explanation at all (Lowe’s, McDonald’s, and Whirlpool).  I am certain that there is a story in this quiet removal of names, and particularly the removal of Lowe’s name since Lowe’s has already admitted that it cancelled ads, and Whirlpool had said it was misrepresented. 
—  We also know that 6 companies they claim pulled ads were still advertising after they made this claim (Campbell’s Soup, Conagra, Honda North America, Hershey’s, HTC Phones, SC Johnson, and Signet (Kay Jewelers)). 

And yet, the FFA site still claims to have influenced “65 companies”  - they need to reduce that number by 22 at least as definitely they can claim no more than 43.  I believe that the FFA is making false claims, and that the number of companies legitimately on their list will continue to be reduced.  The facts that we know at this point are that FFA can only claim a .003% (that’s less than 1%) accuracy for their claim about the number of companies they have influenced.  This would earn a “pants on fire” rating from Politifact.  They are not only bigots, they are liars.

12/17 Update:  Despite the evidence just listed, The FFA site now has this postedSEVENTY FIVE (75) companies that Florida Family Association targeted with emails did NOT advertise again during the December 11th and 12th episodes of All-American Muslim.  Florida Family Association will NO longer post the names of the companies that pull off the show because of intense scrutiny by opponents.  Additionally, no email addresses will be posted for advertisers.  Why are they concerned about scrutiny of their list?  Perhaps, because it is a deceptive list.  The real number has gone down from 65 to a possible 43, and they are now claiming an increase from 65 to 75.  No shame, and no integrity.

Most companies are not likely to have given in to this sort of pressure, and the ad spaces for the program are sold out.  Russell Simmons offered to buy all the open ad spaces there might be due to cancellations, but all of the spots were already sold out.  As Reza Aslan from BoomGen Studios said “What I don’t think is getting enough attention is the overwhelming support of advertisers who have rallied around the show”

Pamela Geller also claims that “64 Companies to Pull Ads From ‘All-American Muslim’” saying in her article lede Every company is to free to choose where they put their ad dollars. 64 companies have now pulled their ads. And rightly so. It’s is not that the show about Muslims. It is that the show was predicated on a lie and the relentless propaganda of Islamic supremacists.  She obviously doesn’t keep up with what is actually happening.  Based on facts, her article should be titled “43 companies are alleged to have pulled ads”.  Who exactly is engaging in “relentless propaganda”?  Geller, like the Florida Family Association has a tenuous grasp on truth.

Robert Spencer also claims 64 companies have pulled ads. 

Note:  12/20 Zach Ford at Think Progress reports that misrepresentations by FFA are not something new.  Think Progress investigated claims by the organization’s head David Caton that FFA had convinced Macy’s and Target to drop their advertising from Teen Nick’s Degrassi after the group raised objections to the show’s portrayal of LGBT teens and its support of The Trevor Project suicide hotline for LGBT youth. It turns out that these were no victories at all.  Macy’s had never run a single ad on the program, and Target says that FFA’s campaign had no impact on their advertising.

It really is time for all of the other companies that the FFA claims to have influenced to make a statement, as their silence can only be seen as acknowledgement that they did cave to bigotry.

COMPANIES WHO SAY THEY HAVE BEEN MISREPRESENTED

Omar Sacirbey reports that “A spokeswoman for Amway, also cited by the Florida group, denied the company pulled advertising from “All-American Muslim,” and said those reports were “misleading” and “falsely named” Amway.”

Entertainment Today reports Florida Family Association also suggested Home Depot and Sweet’n Low have been scared off, but emails posted from the companies say they only bought one ad each in the first place. All told, the organization claims its email campaign has convinced 65 companies to stop advertising with the show.  There is still some question about exactly what happened with Home Depot.  An Associated Press article by Mae Anderson which includes this paragraph Atlanta-based Home Depot, which was cited by Florida Family Association as a company that stopped advertising, said Monday that it never intended to run any ads during the show. But spokesman Stephen Holmes said one commercial ran “inadvertently and without our knowledge.”  If this statement is accurate, then while Home Depot may honestly have not cancelled any ads, and only aired one ad, this statement seems to be expressing disappointment that that ad had run.  How it could have run “inadvertently and without our knowledge” is difficult to understand. 

Green Mountain Coffee has sent out a twitter @GreenMtnCoffee:  We didn’t modify our advertising. We do not discriminate and welcome different opinions with mutual respect.

I received this from the Customer Relations Department of The GapThe reports are not true.  We did not pull ads from TLC’s “All-American Muslims”.

I received this from the Media Representative for Art Instruction SchoolsPlease be advised that Art Instruction Schools listed on your web site has never bought time on your program or any programs with TLC.  They had no ads, had no intention of airing!  They do not buy TV time

Stuart Elliott reports on three more companies who deny the FFA allegation that they pulled ads: “We didn’t pull” commercials from “All-American Muslim,” John W. Faulkner, a spokesman for the Campbell Soup Company in Camden, N.J., said on Tuesday.  Other Campbell Soup commercials “could run in subsequent episodes,” he added.  The appearance of Campbell Soup spots during the series was part of a purchase of commercial time on TLC “between 7 and 11” p.m., Mr. Faulkner said, rather than a specific request to be in that show.  “We certainly support diversity and inclusion,” he added, “and we market to everybody here in the United States, including Dearborn, Michigan.”

Sears Holdings, which owns Sears and Kmart, also took issue with the contention that it had withdrawn from the show.  “Any claim that we pulled our advertising in response to concerns about this show are inaccurate,” Chris Brathwaite, a spokesman for Sears Holdings in Hoffman Estates, Ill., wrote in an e-mail.  “The company’s commercials previously appeared during “All-American Muslim,” he said, “as part of a general media buy that was not specific to any particular programming.  Sears Holdings is proud to serve a diverse customer base which represents a true cross-section of America.”

A third company, Bank of America, also disputed the characterization of its ad plans for “All-American Muslim.” Bank of America was scheduled to run a spot in one episode, on Nov. 27, said Ernesto Anguilla, a spokesman in Boston, and it ran as planned. We had a schedule all along,” he added, “and it was set to expire when it did.”

I received this from a public relations firm regarding Whirlpool/MaytagThe information circulated by a Florida family association related to Whirlpool /Maytag advertising is untrue. Whirlpool Corporation has not pulled advertising from any programming based on pressures of this organization. We have reached out to this group and requested they remove the Whirlpool and Maytag names from their website and other communications. They have assured us as of Monday that they have done so. Kristine Vernier, Whirlpool Corporation Spokesperson

Pernod Ricard says it made its ad-buying decisions months ago, and that it never planned to run additional ads

I received an email from the External Communications Dept. of Radio Shack which says they didn’t cancel any scheduled ads. 

INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS WHO ARE SPEAKING OUT AGAINST BIGOTRY

Market Watch reports that Meanwhile, a growing number of high-profile Americans, such as music mogul Russell Simmons; Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN); actress and human rights activist Mia Farrow; actor and comedian Kal Penn; Newark Mayor Cory Booker; actress Heather Graham; model, designer and producer Kimora Lee Simmons; The Daily Show’s Aasif Mandvi; CNN anchor Erin Burnett; president of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding Rabbi Marc Schneier; Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy; actress Reagan Gomez; and California State Senator Ted Lieu are among the growing list of outraged Americans who have appealed to the show’s sponsors to reverse their decisions and continue to advertise on the groundbreaking series.

This is encouraging, as are the specific examples listed below.  However, the truth is that I am very much disappointed that we are not hearing from the national interfaith groups, from various faith denominations, from civil rights groups, from more of our elected representatives, etc.?  How long exactly does it take to come to an agreement to say at least - we are concerned about the bigotry?


NATIONAL ARAB & MUSLIM ORGANIZATIONS, SCHOLARS, AND COMMUNITY LEADERS

The American-Arab ADC has also issued an action alert and said “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 ADC Legal Director Abed Ayoub pointed out: “The Muslim-American community has nearly $200 billion dollars in spending power — one of the highest totals for any minority group in the United States. At a time when many corporations are courting the American-Muslim market, it makes absolutely no sense at all that any corporation, including Lowe’s — that have multiple locations in metropolitan areas with high Arab and Muslim American populations.”

MPAC and CAIR have also sent out action alerts. The American Muslim Consumer organization ]is also working on this issue.

On 12/14 the The American-Arab ADC sent the following letter to Lowe’s CEO

On behalf of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the nation’s largest Arab American civil rights organization, I am writing to express our extreme disappointment at your decision to pull advertising from TLC’s “All-American Muslim.”

At its best, the United States is a country that upholds the ideals of tolerance, diversity, community, and interfaith understanding. As Americans, we express these ideals every day as citizens of different ethnicities, nationalities and faiths live and work together, and learn about each other’s distinctive beliefs, traditions, and challenges. In so doing, we move our nation ever closer to being what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the beloved community” in which people from different backgrounds live in peace and harmony. By highlighting for Americans the circumstances of some of our country’s American Muslim and Arab American citizens, “All-American Muslim” advances these important ideals and helps to unite our nation.

Unfortunately, some citizens who still suffer from and spread the disease of bigotry attempt to divide our nation into conflicting factions. And so, in the case of “All-American” Muslim, a fringe group from Florida with no credibility or legitimacy, but instead a history of bigotry and intolerance, called upon advertisers to boycott the show.

The response of Lowe’s – and indeed every advertiser – should have been even prouder sponsorship and indeed moral leadership to make clear that Lowe’s stands for the beloved community, not naked bigotry, in America. Such leadership would have earned Lowe’s customer respect and a stronger brand. By taking the opposite course and pulling your ads, Lowe’s has demonstrated moral cowardice rather than courage. In so doing, you have lost countless customers and have irrevocably damaged your brand among millions of Americans.

To begin to undo the enormous damage that your indefensible decision has produced and to remedy the hurt that you have caused millions of American Muslims, ADC demands that Lowe’s (a) issue an unequivocal public apology for your decision to pull ads from “All-American Muslim” and (b) take serious action to demonstrate your commitment to diversity and religious tolerance in America.

Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) issued a press release which included Fairness, truth and understanding have been heralded as core American values. Yet, with the recent withdrawal of advertisements by Lowe’s during the airing of the TLC series “All-American Muslim” we become acutely, and painfully, aware that with enough coercion from bigots in our society the demonization of Muslims in America is just too easy. The fact that an American company such as Lowe’s pulled its advertisement under the pretext that “…there are certain programs that do not meet Lowe’s advertising guidelines…” is equivalent to insisting that Lowe’s employees cannot wish their customers a “Merry Christmas” in deference to “political correctness”.

The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) issued a statement of disappointment at Lowe’s decision.

The Arab American Institute posted a statement commenting on this positive outcome of this situation Guess what? We’re about to talk about Islamophobia, and we’re not just going to complain about yet another outrageous statement; we’re actually reporting on the fight back.

On 12/16 the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) posted a statement on their site which includes these passages

...  ISNA has been working with our partners in the Shoulder-to-Shoulder campaign to develop a broad and comprehensive interfaith response.  Russell Simmons and Rabbi Marc Schneier, co-founders of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU), one of ISNA’s long-time partners and member of Shoulder-to-Shoulder, have been very active on responding to this.  ISNA also partners with the FFEU on the annual Weekend of Twinning and other projects. ...  Although the show, which follows five Lebanese American Muslim families living in Dearborn, Michigan, has been met with mixed reviews from the American Muslim community over whether or not it is actually a culturally “diverse” representation of American Muslims, it is still groundbreaking.

“Regardless of whether the show accurately portrays the cultural diversity of Muslims in America, the stories of these families accurately represents all of our commitment to live faithfully, uphold American values and live the American dream just as every other American tries to do.  The show is a stepping stone in the right direction to break down negative and discriminatory stereotypes lodged at our community on a daily basis,” states ISNA Secretary General Safaa Zarzour.

ISNA thanks everyone who has stepped forward against bigotry this week and reminds our community that this is another opportunity for us to reach out and educate the public about how being American and Muslim is not only compatible but also something to be proud of.

Sheikh Yasir Qadhi spoke against the FFA boycott in a “My Fellow American” video.

Imam Suhaib Webb has created a section on his site called The Campaign to End Islamophobia which is introduced by this statement:

The recent controversy surrounding TLC’s “All-American Muslim” has shone a harsh light on some of the bigotry and racism that unfortunately still exists in our country.  As ugly as the situation is, a truly beautiful opportunity has emerged as Americans from all sectors of society have risen up and united in the effort to put an end to hatred in America, once and for all.

In speaking with supporters of this effort across all different faiths, races, orientations, and political leanings, a single recurring concern kept being brought to our attention, no matter whom it was coming from.  This is the need for forming a broad united coalition against fear, racism, and hatred.  Below, please find the text of this powerful and poignant mission statement for the Coalition to End Islamophobia.

Dr. Ingrid Mattson said  “Freedom of religion is a hallmark of this country,” she said. “It is time to decide whether or not we are going to live up to our values.”

Salam al Marayati, President of MPAC wrote

Yes, religious freedom for the Muslim American is under threat. Fear-mongering toward America’s Muslims and their faith is very clear. The Center for American Progress issued a report this year concluding that anti-Islam groups are financed by a $43 million industry. This garrison of Muslim-haters views Islam as either a theological or political threat in the United States, and their work is reminiscent of the pre-Nazi propaganda produced by Wilhelm Marr that regarded Judaism as a threat to Germany.

Recently, a reality TV show called “All-American Muslim” was aired on TLC, and it became a controversy because it did not include a terrorist. Advertisers are being pressured to pull their support because the show was “offensive.” In other words, Islam cannot be defined by the mainstream in America. It must be defined through the lens of extremism. Popular books about Islam in bookstores are “The Trouble With Islam Today” and “Why I Am Not a Muslim.” Law enforcement officials are being trained by anti-Muslim bigots so that profiling of Muslims is the norm. Hate against Muslim children in elementary and secondary schools is on the rise.

There is an inquisition mentality toward America’s Muslims. Muslims have to prove their patriotism to the United States, a very unpatriotic approach. Republican debates have included questions about candidates’ views toward Islam, and many of them indicated they would not consider a Muslim for any appointment. Only Mitt Romney stated that Muslims are God-loving and America-loving people, perhaps because his Mormon background gave him a clear understanding of religious persecution.

I love my faith and I love my country. The fact that some readers still question which country I am referring to indicates a serious level of distrust toward Muslim Americans.


INTERFAITH ORGANIZATIONS - LEADERS, AND CLERGY

Rabbi Marc Schneier, President of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding has issued this statement

“We are each morally responsible for every wrong we have the power to prevent and fail to prevent.” He added, “For high-profile advertisers to accede to pressure to pull their advertising from a program that accurately portrays Muslim-Americans as loyal and productive American citizens would be to cravenly surrender to a highly sophisticated campaign aimed at demonizing all Muslims.  The hate campaign launched against “All-American Muslim violates basic American values of tolerance and inclusiveness and represents a threat to the well-being not only of Muslim-Americans, but of all Americans. If one group can be successfully marginalized today simply because of its faith, the same tactics can be employed tomorrow against other religious and ethnic groups.”    Urging all people of good will to sign an on-line petition at http://www.signon.org which already has received thousands of signatures appealing to advertisers on All-American Muslim not to pull their advertising, Schneier said, “As the 18th Century philosopher Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. This is a moment when people of conscience should come together and say, “We will not stand idly by and allow the merchants of hatred and bigotry to take over the public square through tactics of intimidation. America is better than this.”

Rev. Chuck Curie has posted a request for people to contact Lowe’s and let them know that their decision was wrong  

Faithful America, an interfaith group has released a statement and prepared a petition We need to show Lowe’s that the overwhelming majority of the faith community won’t tolerate big corporations kowtowing to religious bigotry and xenophobia.  Sign the petition to Lowe’s: “We’re standing with Muslim Americans. Don’t give in to religious bigotry!”  During the last few years we’ve seen anti-Muslim bigotry rise to new levels as professional fear mongers have exploited public ignorance about Islam to create a climate of fear and suspicion.  These anti-Muslim extremists have created a series of baseless controversies (the “Ground Zero mosque,” “creeping Sharia” law overtaking the Constitution, etc.) to get airtime for their radical conspiracy theories that Muslim-Americans are part of a secret global plot to destroy our country.  Having been rewarded with funding, media coverage and political influence by mainstream conservatives, they’re now lashing out at anyone who debunks their ridiculous, hateful views.

The Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson, President of Auburn Seminary. Auburn is leading a multifaith effort to stand up for religious freedom through its social action initiative, Groundswell “We are disappointed to see religion used as a tool to create division and foster fear. Efforts by hard-line religious organizations to scare American national companies from advertising on ‘All-American Muslim’ are fueled by fear and bigotry.  American companies that are rumored to have pulled their ads from ‘All-American Muslim,’ should immediately tell their consumers whether they—like Lowe’s—have also caved into these bigoted demands, or if they are standing up for an America where people of all faiths and identities can flourish.”

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center wrote to Lowe’s We are writing to urge you to clarify the rationale of your decision to pull your ad campaign, as your reported decision was vaguely based on ‘strong political and societal views on this topic.’ We hope you will make clear your commitment to religious liberty in the context of this matter by reconsidering your decision to pull advertising in the face of anti-Muslim sentiments and establish clear policies related to your advertising practices when issues of religious tolerance and liberties arise.”

The National Council of Churches, issued a statement drafted by the NCC’s Interfaith Relations Commission, urged Lowe’s home improvement chain to resume advertising on TLC’s “All-American Muslim” television program.The statement included ” Lowe’s is in the business of providing building supplies for the construction of homes.  We wish the company were also concerned with the construction of a sound society and the building of a more peaceful nation.  ...  Misrepresentations of Islam insult millions of Muslims and contribute to the spread of Islamophobia in our society.  Certainly, one would hope that a major US corporation would support a television program that portrays members of a community in a way that goes beyond stereotypes.  ...  Unfortunately, Lowe’s explanation, issued on Facebook, doesn’t go far enough to address this matter.  In it, Lowe’s claims to “have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, across our workforce and our customers, and we’re proud of that longstanding commitment.”  The NCC hopes that Lowe’s would embody this commitment by speaking out against bigotry and ignorance and by countering efforts to perpetuate the kinds of discrimination, most likely experienced by many in their workforce and customer base among countless others, that result from them.”

The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA) has issued a statement on 12/16 which includes

The treatment of American Muslims by the media has reached a new low.

It has been clear for a while that there seems to be a concerted effort to demonize the Muslim community, and now corporate America is caving in to pressure from anti-Muslim groups to pull their ads from a reality TV show on the TLC cable network.

...  As a Jewish organization that has been partnering with Muslim organizations for more than 10 years to protect civil liberties and civil rights, we are asking you to take a stand against Islamophobia. A country founded by those who fled religious persecution should not and cannot tolerate bigotry of any kind.  ...  As a Jewish community, we will not stand idly by and witness discrimination and prejudice against a people because of their religion.  Someone’s faith cannot be a tool for oppression. We stand in solidarity with Muslim-Americans in confronting Lowe’s and other companies’ bigotry.

Rev. Charles Williams, pastor of the Historic King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit and head of metro Detroit’s African American Ministers Leadership Council, will lead a demonstration by fellow clergy in front of the Lowe’s in Allen Park.

Rabbi Jack Bemporad Director, Center for Interreligious Understanding (NJ) and of the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue (Rome), Professor Marshall Breger, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, Suhail A. Khan, Buxton Initiative, Washington, DC, and The Very Reverend Dr. James A. Kowalski, Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, New York co-authored a very positive article ‘All American Muslim’ Celebrates All American Values

Rev. Thomas W. Goodhue, executive director of the Long Island Council of Churches wrote an article Boycott Florida, not Lowe’s! in which he said:

There are bigoted people everywhere, of course, and tragic examples of bias here on Long Island. But Florida seems to have generated more than its share of intolerance lately. Maybe what we should object to would be a television series that presents Floridians as normal Americans. Maybe those conspiracy theorists are right, and they really are putting something in the water down there!

The irony is that Muslims have been in the United States longer than the ancestors of David Caton, the brains behind the Florida Family Association. Residents of the Sunshine State like to point out that St. Augustine was founded before Jamestown, but the first European colony in what is now the U.S.A. was San Miguel de Guadalupe—a short-lived effort by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in South Carolina in 1526, a century before my Puritan ancestors landed in Massachusetts. He brought African slaves, many of them Muslims, to build his colony, but the Africans soon rebelled. The rebels drove their masters back to Hispaniola and joined the Cofitachiqui, one of the era’s most powerful and advanced native societies, who apparently preferred the Africans as neighbors over their former masters.

Even in the British colonies, the number of Africans brought to the British colonies in chains during the 200 years after the founding of Jamestown was three times greater than the number of Europeans who emigrated voluntarily. At least a quarter of these Africans, it has been estimated, were Muslims.  When did your ancestors land here?

Valerie Kaur, Director of Groundswell at Auburn Seminary issued a statement which included

Mr. Hafner, you say that you want to avoid a “political or moral agenda,” but in fact, your decision makes a strong political and moral statement.  We hear it loud and clear: It shows that you find a portrait of everyday Muslim American families “controversial.”  It implies that any media that shows Muslims as ordinary people, not terrorists, has a “political or moral agenda.”  Worse, it tells fringe hate groups that mainstream companies will cave into bigoted demands, even if they don’t admit it publicly.

... I am a Sikh American woman who has watched her community targeted in beatings, bullying, profiling, and killings since 9/11.  The stereotype of the “Muslim terrorist” still dominates the media and seizes our nation’s imagination.  It makes some see my family and community—people with brown skin or turbans—as automatically suspect, perpetually foreign, and potentially terrorist.  I am not even Muslim, but I bear the brunt of that bigotry and I want it to end.

And I am not alone.  There is a groundswell of people out there who are tired of the politics of fear.  People of faith are tired of their religion being used as a tool of oppression.  What’s more, a new generation of young people—the largest, most diverse and open-minded in the nation’s history—can’t stomach hate groups.  Most of us don’t like decisions that give into their bigotry, no matter how you cover it up.  And a whole lot of us use Kayak.com.

Mr. Hafner, you say: “We’re not bigots.”  I don’t think you are. You just committed a moral failure that allows bigotry to win the day.  In the end, I’m not sure there’s much of a difference.

Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA; Rabbi Marc Schneier, Founder and President, Foundation for Ethnic Understanding; Imam Mohamed Magid, President, Islamic Society of North America issued a statement on behalf of Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Standing with American Muslims; Upholding American Values, which included

Withdrawing advertising support from All American Muslim due to pressure from an organization espousing anti-Muslim motivation is far from neutral. These demands send a chilling message to American Muslims that both their religious and non-religious practices are un-American and should be shielded from public view. The success of these demands has revealed again the outsized power of a relatively small group whose fear-based messages are amplified socially, in media and, at times, by Members of Congress against American Muslims.

We stand by the principle that to attack any religion in the United States is to do violence to the religious freedom of all Americans. Efforts like that against All American Muslim perpetuate the serious anti- Muslim discrimination that has grown in recent years, and our religious communities cannot sit by idly while American Muslims’ freedoms are compromised, or their day-to-day activities played down or covered up.

We challenge those invested in this controversy in any outlet – politically, online, in media, or in business – to cease propounding an exclusionary narrative, presenting it as normative or expressive of American values. We challenge you never to pull your support from any religious community in the face of discriminatory ideologies.

We urge those companies which have withdrawn their advertising from the show to publicly apologize and reinstate their advertising.

As national faith leaders, we bear a sacred responsibility to honor America’s varied faith traditions and to promote a culture of mutual respect and the assurance of religious freedom for all. Our society will be strengthened by confronting this challenge to the continued inclusion of American Muslims in the United States. We celebrate the valuable contributions they have made to our society through their service, family, worship and vocation.


CIVIL RIGHTS & ANTI-DEFAMATION ORGANIZATIONS

The ADL has issued a statement of disappointment.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed disappointment at Lowe’s Home Improvement for removing its advertising from The Learning Channel’s reality show “All-American Muslim” after the company received anti-Muslim complaints from a Christian conservative group.

“We are disappointed with Lowe’s decision to pull advertising from TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim’, since it appears that they took this action in response to an appeal that was rooted in anti-Muslim prejudice,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  In a letter to Robert Niblock, Chairman & CEO of Lowe’s Companies, Inc., ADL expressed disappointment that the company listened to an appeal by the Florida Family Association, a Christian evangelical advocacy group whose views are rooted in anti-Muslim sentiments.

Mr. Foxman said in the letter to Lowe’s, “While there is reason to be concerned about some Americans motivated by radical interpretations of Islam, it is profoundly unfair and misguided to tarnish all Muslims in the United States with that brush. Most American Muslims are peace-loving, law-abiding citizens who cherish their life in America just as much as Christians, Jews, and followers of countless other faith traditions.”

The Asian American Center for Advancing Justice issued a statement which included “Advancing Justice believes that Lowe’s reaction gives credence to these anti-Muslim sentiments and contributes to a negative atmosphere of intolerance towards minority communities and may incite hate crimes and related violence.

“Lowe’s really couldn’t have gone any lower,” said Justin Ruben, Executive Director of MoveOn.org, which is promoting the petition through its massive membership. “There is no place for discrimination in America, and no American company should cave to the demands of an extremist group spouting bigotry against American citizens. Lowe’s should reverse their decision to withdraw their advertising from ‘All-American Muslim,’ and issue an apology immediately.”

The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the nation’s oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization, condemns the Islamaphobic fervor that has surrounded the TLC television program All American Muslim. In particular, the JACL deplores the craven decisions of several companies to pull their advertising from the program due to pressure from anti-Muslim groups.  Shows like All American Muslim support the American value of religious tolerance by countering the misinformation and bigotry faced by Arab and Muslim Americans.  By pulling their advertising based on controversy generated by anti-Muslim sentiment, companies are condoning the continued fear- mongering and discrimination against Muslim Americans.  The JACL is deeply troubled by the backlash against All American Muslim and by the actions of companies that chose to cave to bigotry rather than stand up for what is right.  Instead of condemning the show by withdrawing commercial support, companies should see it as an opportunity to advance a greater understanding about a group of fellow Americans.

Benjamin Jealous, President and Chief Executive Officer for the NAACP  said We are deeply concerned that the media reports that (Lowe’s) admitted this was a part of their decision making process will just encourage some more of this kind of Islamophobic behavior from more extremist groups. For us, this is part of a line of work that goes back to our first engagement of Hollywood in 1915 after the release of the movie Birth of a Nation.  ...  Right now we are seeking for media to get to the bottom of things. We are in the middle of trying to gather the facts.  But if the media reports are true then not only should they apologize, but they should get back to advertising on the show. If indeed they bowed to pressure from such an extremist organization, then they have made a great mistake and they need to reverse course.  ...  It is too early for us to call for any specific actions, but we are extremely concerned and are pleased that GlobalGrind and Russell Simmons and the world takes notice of this controversy.  Our contribution is to do what we have been doing for 100 years and that is to get to the bottom of the facts. Once those facts are done we will take the appropriate steps.

Michael Keegan, President of People for the American Way published a letter  to Kayak CEO Steve Hasner requesting a clarification of their position.


ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES

Rep. Keith Ellison [D-MI] has just issued a statement

“Lowe’s Corporation has chosen to uphold the beliefs of a fringe hate group and not the creed of The First Amendment, which guarantees the free exercise of religion. This is disappointing since the success of ‘All-American Muslim’ shows how ready the country is to learn about Muslims as Americans. This probably makes hate mongers uncomfortable—as they should be. Our nation’s history is full of examples demonstrating how we have repeatedly torn down false divisions hate groups choose to create. But the struggle against bigotry and hatred must continue so we never give in to intolerance like Lowe’s Corporation has done. Corporate America needs to take a stand against these anti-Muslim fringe groups and stand up for what is right because this is what it means to be an American.”

Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-MI, said Lowe’s “should unequivocally apologize to the Muslim and Arab American community” for its decision.  Over the past 10 years, the Muslim and Arab American community in this country has faced a growing level of discrimination, which threatens their quality of life,”

State Sen. Ted W. Lieu, D-Torrance released a letter he sent to the chief executive officer of Lowe’s, the nationwide chain of home-improvement and appliance stores, in response to the company pulling its advertising from a TV show about Americans who are Muslim.  Here is part of what he said

I am writing regarding Lowe’s action of pulling its advertising from Discovery Channel/TLC’s show “All-American Muslim” because of complaints from the Florida Family Association that “All-American Muslim is propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”  Lowe’s action is bigoted, shameful, and un-American.  I call on Lowe’s to rescind its action and apologize to Americans who are Muslim.  If Lowe’s continues its religious bigotry, I will encourage boycotts of Lowe’s and look into legislative remedies. 

Lowe’s action is profoundly ignorant.  Islam is a peaceful religion practiced by over 1.5 billion people, including Americans across our great nation and Lowe’s own employees.  As President Bush declared, and President Obama reaffirmed, America is not at war with Islam. 

...  Lowe’s religious discrimination is the equivalent of a company asserting that it is pulling advertising from the Christian Broadcast Network’s 700 Club because the program somehow “riskily hides” the agenda of Christian radicalized groups such as Aryan Nation.  That assertion would, of course, be utter nonsense and religious bigotry.  The fact that some people commit murder or other extreme acts in the name of a peaceful religion—whether Christianity or Islam or Hinduism—does not somehow give that religion an “agenda” that would be a “danger” to “American liberties and traditional values.”  In fact, it is Lowe’s bigotry that poses a danger to American liberties and values.

One of America’s main founding principles was religious freedom.  Many early Americans fled Europe because of Europe’s religious intolerance at the time.  Another principle that makes us Americans is the protection of minority rights, and the abhorrence of discrimination based on protected classes such as race, national origin, and religion.  I find it unsettling that I need to remind Lowe’s of our nation’s deeply held principles.

Rep. Chris Murphy D-CT accused Lowe’s, the nationwide home improvement chain, of giving weight to anti-Muslim views by pulling their ads.  “This is a major American company rubber-stamping basic foundational bigotry against a major American religious group.  Lowe’s pulled these ads because one right-wing anti-Muslim group in Florida said that the show hides the ‘true agenda of Islam,’ which according to this group is to destroy America.  It’s one thing when a fringe group or a radical, unhinged pastor is doing it. It’s quite another when a fortune 100 company is endorsing this nonsense. Congratulations to Lowe’s for acknowledging that there are some really bigoted people in the world.  That doesn’t mean that Lowe’s or any other company should acquiesce to this kind of behavior.  For instance, there are, unfortunately, a lot of people out there who still hold racist views about African-Americans, but I don’t think that means Lowe’s is going to be pulling its ads from television shows featuring African-Americans.”  Murphy also said Congress should not remain silent when any group of people is “marginalized” because they worship differently, and indicated he and other House members would be sending a letter to Lowe’s on the issue. “

Mayor Cory Booker is also encouraging people to sign the petition @CoryBooker:  Cory Booker Stand for tolerance, please consider signing this petition: http://bit.ly/rPQVeu #signon

Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) said Lowe’s decision “runs contrary to our American ideal of combating expressions of hate and division while defending those oppressed by intolerance.”

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. D-NJ said “I am disappointed in the Lowe’s Companies’ shortsighted and impulsive decision.  They have hurt and offended many patriotic Muslim-Americans, and all Americans, in my district and across the country.”  Pascrell said Lowe’s had done a lot of good over the years, citing its charity work. He called on the company “to make it right as soon as possible.”  Pascrell plans to sign a letter circulating in the House of Representatives that calls on Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock to reverse his company’s decision and stand up against religious intolerance.

Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) introduced a Senate resolution today in opposition to the recent decision of retail home improvement chain Lowe’s Companies, Inc. to terminate advertising during TLC’s program, “All-American Muslim.” “It is especially disconcerting to learn that Lowe’s reached its decision in response to complaints by the Florida Family Association, a group that in the past has targeted other minorities, most notably, the LGBT community,” said Buono.  “The only thing that distinguishes our Muslim neighbors is the shocking disrespect that Lowe’s has shown them through its indefensible advertising boycott.”  While Senator Buono acknowledged the privately-held company’s right to direct advertising dollars as it sees fit, she likewise emphasized the right of private citizens to exercise discretion in their purchasing patterns.  “My husband and I have determined to do our part by boycotting Lowe’s until the company takes corrective action, and we will encourage our friends, neighbors and supporters to do the same,” said Buono.  “All-American Muslim” is a television program that follows five American Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan, site of the largest concentration of American Muslims in the country.  The show premiered in November.  The Florida Family Association is an evangelical Christian group founded in 1987.  Its executive director, David Caton, believes “ … Islam and those who practice some of its deviant rules have been doing so for thousands of years and are a threat worldwide.”

Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), released the following statement:  “I am deeply disappointed that Lowe’s Home Improvement considers a reality show about peaceful American families a ‘lighting rod’ for ‘strong political and societal views.’ “All-American Muslim” is the type of programming that we should encourage because it shows how rich and diverse American life really is. Lowe’s should understand that their customers come from all walks of life and a wide range of cultural backgrounds. As a corporate citizen, they should not condone the false and misguided narrative that Muslim-Americans are a threat to our country.  To question the motives and patriotism of an entire group of Americans based solely on their religious beliefs is unfair, unjustified and un-American.”

Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Bergen/Essex/Passaic) joined the litany of Americans dismayed by the decision of Lowe’s home improvement chain to pull its advertising from the TLC show All-American Muslim due to pressure from fringe groups.  Schaer, the legislature’s first Orthodox Jewish member, took umbrage with Lowe’s lack of respect for religious freedom, sending a letter to the corporation’s CEO asking them to reconsider their decision to pull support from the show.  “Unfortunately, Lowe’s decision appears to have been made in response to pressure from a fringe group and the questionable values which they espouse, values which, at best, are antithetical to the founding principles of our nation. I commend Lowe’s for having originally sponsored television programming acknowledging and celebrating America’s commitment to tolerance and diversity. Your decision to end sponsorship due to pressure from extremist fringe groups is a matter of deepest concern and personal regret.  “Americans will soon be joining together in their respective houses of worship in celebration of their particular religious traditions, and our nation will be enriched by our diversity, tolerance, respect for one another and shared acknowledgment that America’s future as the world’s leader depends upon those core values. In that spirit, I call upon your board to immediately reconsider its ill advised position and reaffirm Lowe’s Companies as an example of corporate responsibility,” Schaer noted in his letter.

Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) as well as Rep. John Dingell of Dearborn, Rep. Hansen Clarke of Detroit, and some 29 others who signed a letter to the chairman and chief executive officer of Lowe’s, calling on him to reconsider a decision to cancel advertising from a show on The Learning Channel that features Dearborn Muslim-American families.  “I am concerned with Lowe’s decision to pull advertising on a show that depicts the lives of five Metro Detroit Muslim-American families,” said Peters, a Bloomfield Township Democrat. “This action is unacceptable and it appears the decision was made out of intolerance for Muslims. Metro Detroit is home to one of the largest Muslim communities in United States and I’m proud of our diverse culture.”

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer issued a statement I am outraged by the decision of Lowe’s to withdraw advertising from the TLC show “All American Muslim” in response to anti-Muslim bigotry. Muslim Americans and all religious, racial and ethnic communities are entitled to an equal place in our nation, and I urge Lowe’s—a home improvement chain with locations in Brooklyn and Staten Island—to embrace diversity and societal responsibility in its corporate practices. New York is the most tolerant city on earth—and whether we’re protesting a neighborhood vandalized by swastikas in Midwood Brooklyn or deploring hate crimes against the LGBT community, we must be vigilant in our opposition to bigotry of any kind.  The holiday season is a time when New Yorkers weigh where to spend their hard-earned income. During this time, I ask all New Yorkers and Americans to be conscientious of corporate practices which undermine our core constitutional and moral values of equal justice and religious freedom.

Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA ) issued a statement

“Muslim-Americans currently face a proverbial catch-22.  When they serve in our military, failed leaders and fear mongers accuse them of being insurgents – a religious enemy within.  Such is the case with Rep. Peter King during his recent “homegrown terrorism hearing” on Capitol Hill.  When Muslim-Americans are shown to have traditional all-American family values, as depicted on the reality T.V. show All-American Muslim, they are attacked for misrepresenting the “dangerous and radical truth” of their religion.  Such is the case with the Florida Family Association’s coercion of a major American company, Lowe’s Home Improvement, to pull advertisements from All American Muslim.  These misguided actions perpetuate a culture of fear and hysteria that tragically tears America’s social fabric and precipitously damages our national security.
Placing value judgments on the morality and patriotism of a large group of people, based on the actions of a few, is a nonsensical juxtaposition.  Not only is Rep. King and Florida Family’s anti-Muslim Islamophobic sentiment laughable, it is also a backwards, narrow-minded assault on basic American values.  Rather than learning from our nation’s past mistakes, from the exclusion of people of color and women from voting rights, to the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II, we now have companies such as Lowe’s undermining our nation’s core, cherished value of inclusion by rubberstamping hatred. It’s tragic that the words of a radical, right-wing Florida group are being used to darken the faith, contribution, dedication and patriotism of all Muslim-Americans.

Most worrisome is the fact that Rep. Peter King and Florida family’s ignorance and hatred are spreading.  Most, recently, Kayak.com, the online travel site, pulled their advertisements from All American Muslim.  The fear mongering and hatred must stop now.  Fair-minded Americans everywhere must stand up for the immutable truth that the protection and promotion of all cultures and religious beliefs is a precious cornerstone of the American way of life.  We must fight intolerance and ignorance wherever and whenever it appears.  Doing so is the most American thing any one of us can do.”

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Detroit Democrat and the first Muslim woman elected to the Michigan Legislature, said it was “disgusting” for Lowe’s to stop supporting a show that reflects America – the conservatives, liberals and even “the Kim Kardashians” in the Muslim community

State Rep. George T. Darany (D-Dearborn) said “As a longtime Dearborn resident, I know firsthand how important the Muslim community is to Dearborn.  They have contributed greatly to the success and well-being of our hometown and it is very disappointing that a business would give any sort of standing to a group that bases their claims on misunderstanding. However,  it has been encouraging to see so many individuals throughout, not only Southeast Michigan, but the entire nation, come together to stand up against outsider attempts to mislead and create fear surrounding our Muslim neighbors. This unfounded bias should not be tolerated and in order to move forward, we need to work together despite our differences.”

Commissioner Michael Yaki of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has written a letter to Lowe’s CEO expressing concern about their decision. 


CORPORATE AND BUSINESS LEADERS

A very interesting development was reported on 12/16 by Mark Miller of BrandChannel As for Lowe’s, it’s still catching flak from various sources, including from one of its investors, Trillium Asset Management. Trillium, which prides itself on steering its wealthy clientele to ethically sound investments, wrote a letter to Lowe’s, which it posted on its website, expressing its concern over the pulling of the ads and the way the company handled the aftermath.  The Trillium statement includes this As Lowe’s shareholders, we found the company’s decision and subsequent handling of the controversy abhorrent and failed to live up to its commitment to diversity and inclusion.  Trillium also posted a PDF copy of a letter they sent to Lowe’s CEO which included these passages

We find the action and the company’s later handling of the controversy to be extremely poor business decisions and completely inconsistent with the values of equality and religious tolerance that are a foundation of a just society. ...  Pulling advertising in response such extreme religious hatred invites questions about the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Lowe’s website states “Lowe’s is committed to treating each customer, employee, community, investor and vendor with respect and dignity.” 

Rather than maintain that commitment, the company has said: “We did pull our advertising on this program. We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance.” This explanation flies in the face of the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion; indeed, the existence of the company’s stated commitment to diversity and inclusion is an explicit acknowledgement that the consequences of bigotry are not best “defer[red] to communities” beyond the corporation’s walls. Lowe’s shrugging off of its responsibility not to yield in the face of bigotry ignores the societal consequences of perpetuating religious prejudices.

...  But as I am sure Lowe’s leadership would strongly agree, bigotry and religious intolerance has no place in our society and economy. It is wrong and must be actively resisted out of respect for basic human decency. Having worked with the company in the past on social justice and equality issues, we have seen how the company can respond in a positive fashion. We trust the company will do so again.

Brad Lander.Member, NY City Council said It’s a shame that such a large and influential company, which claims to be “strongly committed to diversity and inclusion,” would bend to the will of an intolerant group set on undermining the religious freedoms that this country was founded on.

 

CELEBRITIES & JOURNALISTS

Russell Simmons slammed Lowe’s for its decision to pull its ads from TLC’s All-American Muslim reality show and warned the company could face outrage from civil rights groups beyond the Muslim community.  He said

“This can’t happen in America; [Lowe’s] needs to fix this immediately,” Simmons said, calling the move Islamophobic. “They can’t get away with that, it’s ridiculous. There are American principals at stake here. I can’t imagine the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, the National Urban League, or any organization that fights for their own rights will allow this to happen to any other group because they know they’re next.”

The Def Jam founder is chairman of the The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, which promotes racial and inter-faith harmony — particularly among Muslim-Jewish relations. He notes his organization consists of “hundreds of imams and rabbis who work together to promote harmony around this country.”

“If I go to work on this,” Simmons said, “they’re not even going to believe it. This is not going to be a Muslim fight. I don’t want to take my time and start a boycott — don’t make me do that.”

There is a twitter circulating from Russel Simmons @UncleRUSH Russell Simmons:  Just purchased remaining spots for #allamericanmuslim for next week The show is now sold out! keep your money @lowes and we will keep ours.  Some sites are reporting that he offered to buy any open advertising slots, but that they were sold out.

The Enquirer reports that Kal Penn took to Twitter on Monday morning to personally condemn the decision of Lowes deciding to pull advertising for the upcoming TLC reality show All-American Muslim. The celebrity took to Twitter to ask people to support the petition and shared is personal opinion of not shopping at Lowes. The actor of the films in the Harold & Kumar series has people talking about Lowes decision to remove advertising from the upcoming show.  “Our next movie: ‘Harold & Kumar Do Not Go To @Lowes,’” writes Kal Penn. “Please take a sec to sign & support an all-American show.”

Meghan McCain condemned Lowe’s for pulling advertising from TLC’s “All-American Muslim,”

Actress Mia Farrow also participated in the protest, taking to Twitter herself writing: ‘Big effort on Twitter to hit Lowes where it hurts, Let’s all #boycottLowes.’

Deepak Chopra tweeted @DeepakChopra Please have a look at Arsalan Iftikhar’s @TheMuslimGuy column “TLC show ‘All-American Muslim’ & All-American Bigotry” http://ow.ly/7XoCJ

Keith Olberman named Robert A. Niblock, chairman of the board and chief executive of Lowe’s “worst person” on his Countdown program on 12/13.

Glenn Greenwald has been tweeting about this.

Comedian Maz Jobrani tweeted @MazJobraniMazJobrani Advertisers pull ads off @allamericanmuslim b/c of pressure from anti-muslim grps. Pls sign this petition against this http://signon.org/sign/defend-our-american-values

Comedian Ray Hanania wrote about the issue.

Perez Hilton  tweeted and wrote an article.

Comedian D.L. Hughley tweeted Lowe’s faces backlash over pulling ads from ‘All-American Muslim’ http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-lowes-muslim-20111213,0,5909694.story hmm do they think Muslims don’t like home improvement

Ryan Penagos of Marvel Comics tweeted @lowes Your decision to pull support from All American Muslim leads me to pull support from Lowe’s. Cheers.

Spencer Ackerman of Wired tweeted @attackermanattackerman Solidarity, Russell Simmons & All-American Muslim http://bit.ly/uh8qrP

The GlobalGrind published an editorial stating that If Niblock doesn’t apologize by tomorrow GlobalGrind will call for a boycott of Lowe’s

WHO IS SUPPORTING FFA IN THIS BIGOTED CAMPAIGN?


Who has supported David Caton and FFA’s effort?  Brigitte Gabriel and ACT for America, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and their SIOA have been the main promoters of this effort, although the online Islamophobia echo chamber magnified and spread their bigotry far and wide.  What sort of individuals and organizations allied with the FFA? 

According to the ADL, Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, and Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and these folks are featured prominently in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  They also feature prominently in the Center for American Progress “Fear Inc.” report on the Islamophobia network in America.  Geller is featured in the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism, and in the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State, and the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  These folks are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred, and in our TAM Who’s Who of the Islamophobia Industry

Here are a few of the reader comments from one of Pamela Geller’s articles on this issue:  — Islam is deceptive to it’s followers, who in turn look to deceive the masses into the same deceptive doctrine. Seems like a pathogen 2 me. — al taquiah,  a faithful follower of islam is allowed to lie to the infidel, how do you know when a muslim is telling the truth? his mouth is closed. — She can start erasing the hatred by ripping up the Koran and while she’s at it, she might as well rip up her hideous shrouds… Ah, wait a minute: if she did that, her completely ‘normal’ hubby might just have to kill her to cleanse his ‘honor’. (spit)  I ain’t buying any.  They are not “normal”. Far from it! — Pam - don’t fall for this so-called ‘sincerity’ - this is what they are good at. They are ALL tarred with the same brush. — Don’t blame Pamela, she is just the messenger, the evil which is Islam is out there, enacted by Islam, by muslims, not Pamela, you dumbasses. — Islam is a terrorist organization. — This couple has been brainwashed. they have swallowed hook, line and sinker the LIE that IS “islam”. — Never, ever believe anything a muslim says.  Never trust a muslim. — Pamela is NOT deceived. Neither should any of the rest of us be deceived.  There is no truth in Islam. There is no hope in Islam. Human beings are merely the tools used for the spread of Islam.  Islam would like to use you. Islam would like to use me. People are for loving. Islam is for exterminating. Islam is disease and TRUTH is the cure.  Love the Muslims - hate the taqiyya and the Islam. If the two beautiful young people in the video want to “fight the hate and extremism” they will fully and publicly renounce Islam. There is no “moderate” Islam. There is no middle ground. — The biggest mistake we’re making, is only targeting radicals. By doing this, all we’re doing is allowing the enemies to “peacefully” grow their forces. If this couple truly wanted a religion of peace, and equality for women, they would leave Islam. — Don’t fall for it, Pam. The koranimals are only buying time but tell them it’s not for sale.

Lowe’s posted a statement on their Facebook page “clarifying” why they had withdrawn their ads, and within days 22,000 people had posted comments. A significant portion of these comments were racist and contained anti-Muslim/anti-Islamic hate speech.  After articles were written about this raising the question of why Lowe’s didn’t moderate it’s Facebook wall, Lowe’s deleted that comment thread.  In their statement about removing the thread Lowe’s said However, we have seen a large volume of comments become more pointed and hateful. As a result, we have taken the step of removing all previous posts and will more tightly filter future comments on this topic.

At a protest in Michigan on 12/17, about 15 counter-protestors showed up, among them members of the Michigan Militia, who displayed the fact that they were carrying guns in holsters, in what seemed to be an effort to intimidate the peaceful demonstrators. 

Lynn Torgerson tweeted “Go Kayak. Go Lowe’s”. Torgerson is the bigot who ran a congressional campaign against Keith Ellison based on religious hatred

Zuhdi Jasser, Rep. Peter King’s favorite Muslim and “ideal Muslim leader”  supports Lowe’s position. And, as Loonwatch reports, so does Asra Nomani.

Walid Shoebat doesn’t think the program is realistic because “The show is a fantasy really made up of a few families that speak English, when I’ve never met an Arab-American family that speaks English in their households who are first generation from the Middle Eas,” .

These are the sorts of disreputable individuals and organizations that the FFA was able to attract to aid them in this bigoted effort.  And, this is the sort of bigoted response they instigate.

CALLS FOR A BOYCOTT OF LOWE’S AND COMPANIES WHO GAVE IN TO BIGOTRY

The Star-Ledger, the largest newspaper in New Jersey, has called for a boycott of Lowe’s in an editorial titled “Retailers like Lowe’s must withstand hate group’s intolerance”.  They said For as long as Lowe’s continues to “defer” to discrimination, let’s boycott this chain. 

Russell Simmons and Mia Farrow have called for a boycott of Lowe’s

There is a Boycott Lowe’s Facebook page with 4,429 members https://www.facebook.com/lowesboycott?sk=info

ORGANIZED RESPONSES

The ONLINE PETITION to some companies encouraging them not to drop their ads has only been online for a couple of days, and already has reached over 13,996 signatures.  [Note:  12/12— 6,500 signatures in the a.m.  12/13 — At at 9 a.m. there were 20,000 signatures.    12/14 — At 6 a.m. there were 31,795 signatures.  12/15 At 9 a.m. there were 37,053 signatures.  12/16 At 5 a.m. there were 38,589 signatures.  12/17 — At 5 p.m. 40,000 signatures.  Please post the petition url on your facebook, twitter, whatever and help make this a really successful effort.] See “what you can do” below for more information on this and other petitions. 

There is now a Twitter hashtag #LowesHatesMuslims with info about this incident.

People for the American Way today called on Americans to “boycott hate” and stop shopping at Lowe’s.

There is a Boycott Lowe’s Facebook page which has 6,000 fans - join https://www.facebook.com/#!/lowesboycott

There is now a National Lowe’s Boycott Network is a grassroots effort and campaign started by activists across the country in wake of the Lowes decision to pull advertising from the TLC show “All American Muslim.” Those involved in the campaign come from a broad spectrum of religious, ethnic and professional backgrounds – one thing they do have in common is their united stand against hate and bigotry.  http://lowesboycott.com/

People for the American Way has a site called Boycott Bigotry http://boycottbigotry.tumblr.com/  a Tumblr (like a photo blog) where you can submit a photo of yourself outside a Lowe’s holding up a sign that reads “Boycott Bigotry”—or any other message you choose.  They also have a Boycott Bigotry Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BoycottBigotry?sk=wall


CREATIVE AND HUMOROUS RESPONSES

Jon Stewart and Aasif Mandvi who aired a segment on The Daily Show about this issue.  As usual, what Stewart calls a “fake” news program understands the issue better than most of the “real” news.

Singer Stephan Said released his song “What Is America?” from his new album for free download http://stephansaid.com/portfolio/what-is-america/ ]here[/url]  in response to the Lowe’s Islamophobia scandal.

Kal Penn has also produced a brilliant satirical video about Lowe’s decision.  Three young filmakers Gregory Bonsignore, Parvesh Cheena, and Rizwan Manji created a hilarious short film called the “unaired Lowe’s commercial for All-American Muslim.”

The Arab American Association of New York Youth respond to the controversy in a short video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quRCeN5WbcY

Daniel Tutt and a group of filmakers is working on a short PSA in response to this controversy.  They are doing this independently and attempting to raise the money from individual contributions http://www.indiegogo.com/All-American-Muslim-PSA

There is a satirical video Lowe’s Addresses Pulling Ads from TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim’

Amer Zahr posted a video of him returning $2,600 worth of merchandise to Lowe’s http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ewrqzFhuhL0&noredirect=1

Members of the South Asians for Justice Bay Area Chapter, Bay Area Solidarity Summer and Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA) organized a flash mob at a local Lowe’s http://www.care2.com/causes/american-muslims-use-flash-mob-to-occupy-lowes-video.html#ixzz1hNbkqGQv This is creative, but they should have done it inside to remain within the law.

See Florida Family Association’s Anti-Muslim Campaign’s Unintended Positive Consequences for more on creative responses.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

PETITIONS

There are six petitions developed by different groups. 
— The first petition was Repudiate Calls to Stop Advertising on TLC’s “All-American Muslim”.  This now has almost 42,000 signarures and is asking companies not to cave to pressure. 
— A second petition by Credo Action has a different focus.  It is calling on Lowe’s to reverse its decision.  It is here 
— A third petition by the interfaith group Faithful America online here also calls on Lowe’s to reverse its decision. They have 9,300 signatures. 
— A fourth petition by Groundswells at Auburn Theological Seminary is online here and calls on companies to reject bigotry.  They have 20,000 signatures. 
— A fifth petition by People for the American Way is online here.  They collected over 42,000 signtures. 
— A sixth petition is on Change.org called Apologize and Reinstate advertisements on TLC’s “All American Muslim” .  They collected 25,000 signatures.

Sami H. Elmansoury who is one of those who organized the petition provides some background on the importance of this effort in an article on Patheos:

So if there was ever a moment to say “enough” to those who continuously question how “American” you, I, or your neighbor is – I believe that this can be it. Now is the time to throw un-American, hate-mongering bigotry back into the hole from which it disturbingly emerges every few decades. We are all in this together as Americans — whether we are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist – whomever we are, and whatever belief system we espouse. And, while we must strive to protect the homeland, together, we are one country. Personally, I will continue to work throughout my life to see that we remain that way.  This petition and the surrounding activism are only the beginning of an end, God willing, to this continuing absurdity. The next step will be upon our leaders, upon our politicians, upon our media, and upon all of us who continue to seek peaceful coexistence and American unity, to take back the microphone — and to put the bigots on notice.

On 12/20 a group of clergy took the signatures collected on petitions by People For the American Way, Faithful America, Change.org, CREDO, SumOfUs, and Groundswell.  The petitions they delivered represented over 200,000 signatures.  These 200,000 signatures are separate from the SignOn.org petition that has gone viral, and now has 42,000 signatures.This means a total of 242,000 signatures have been collected.

Brigitte Gabrielle’s ACT for America had started a counter petition in support of Lowe’s and FFA’s original bigoted reasons for demanding an advertising boycott of this program.  As of 12/20, and after promoting this widely on many sites and in emails, they have collected 32,000 signatures.  Although, they do not list any names, they just put a number at the top of their petition page.  I have no reason to believe their claim.  .

As Deena Douara noted Lowe’s and Kayak did not kowtow to a fringe extremist group. They did a simple calculation: Are we likely to increase our customer base by advertising on a show about ordinary Muslim Americans, or are we going to lose customers who do not even watch the show because the Muslims portrayed are too ordinary? Are there more Muslims and progressives, or bigots and racists? In Lowe’s calculation, the greater risk was in losing the bigots.    Which is not an unreasonable assumption.    When politicians, networks, and journalists are comfortable airing their fears about Islam and presenting them as fact, then bigotry is normalized, rationalized, and acceptable.

In this case Lowe’s and Kayak miscalculated.  Even if ACT’s claims are true, 200,000 versus 32,000 signatures shows that there are a lot more Americans who want to end bigotry than there are Americans who want to perpetuate bigotry


WRITE LETTERS, CALL, WATCH THE PROGRAM

CAIR has provided the information to contact Lowe’s:  1-866-900-4650, or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Or mail your correspondence to Lowe’s Companies, Mail Code CON8, 1605 Curtis Bridge Rd., Wilkesboro, North Carolina 28697.  You can also post comments directly on Lowe’s Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/#!/lowes

There is also an online form specifically to send a letter directly to Lowe’s CEO at http://sumofus.org/action/lowes/?akid=10.80641.ZW5uA_&rd=1&t=1

Contact the marketing or public relations departments of any of the companies listed and ask if it is true that they have caved to this bigotry.  Perhaps, like Amway, they have been misrepresented.  Please contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with contact information and what you were told.

MPAC has now posted the list of the companies listed above that the FFA claims have caved to pressure.  The MPAC list has entered the url’s for the websites of each of these companies, so that all you have to do is click on the name of a company, and then go to the “contact us” section to send them a message. 

The Florida Family Association is now having their members write to advertisers who still have ads coming up.  Here is the information from the FFA site about who they are sending these emails to, so that you can also write to them encouraging them not to cave to bigotry:

Amazon .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Big Lots .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Citi Group .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 
Dyson .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Disney .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Discover Financial .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Farmers .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Kimberly Clarke .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Kraft .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Merck .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Microsoft .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Motorola .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Prestige Brands .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Verizon Wireless .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 
Welch’s .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

PROTESTS
— A PROTEST was held in front of Lowe’s in Paterson, NJ  This store has a large number of Muslim employees and it caters to the largest concentration of Muslims in NJ.  Here is an article about the protest
— An interfaith PROTEST was held in Allen Park MI on 12/17.  Here is a news video
— There is a PROTEST planned in front of Lowe’s in Kentlands, Maryland Sunday 12/18 at 1:30 p.m.
— There is a PROTEST planned Sunday December 18, 1pm-4pm at the Brooklyn Lowes, 118 2nd Ave between 9th and 10th in Brooklyn
— There is a PROTEST planned Sunday 12/18 at 1:00 p.m. at the Lowe’s in Alexandria VA
There is now a page listing all protests planned across the country at http://lowesboycott.com/join-a-protest/

Note:  At the protest in Allan Park, about 100 protestors showed up to peacefully and quietly express their disappointment at Lowe’s decision.  A small group of counter demonstrators showed up.  Richard Weaver reports During the demonstration a smaller group of Lowes supporters gathered across the street, displaying handguns in holsters. The group, identifying themselves as Michigan Militia, was carrying the guns legally according to the Allen Park Police Department, which had been called to the scene.

There is another online poll where you can vote yes or no as to whether or not you support Lowe’s decision http://www.vizu.com/poll-vote.html?n=246166&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Lowes&utm_nooverride=1 — NPR now also has an online poll http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/12/12/143576220/lowes-ignites-controversy-by-pulling-ads-from-all-american-muslim?ft=1#pd_a_5752875

You can click on this link http://corporate.discovery.com/contact/viewer-relations/ to send a note of support to TLC for airing All-American Muslim.

Kayak has also admitted pulling its ads.  They have a feedback form http://www.kayak.com/feedback/form  where you can send them a message. 

According to the Hollywood Reporter the TLC show fell below a million viewers this past Sunday, for the first time.    -  1.74 mil viewers 1st show -  1.17 mil viewers 2nd show (the day after the Lowe’s story broke) - this Sunday will be the test of whether or not the publicity will help or hurt the show.  Please check it out and remind your friends and family.  It is on TLC at 9 p.m. EST on Sunday.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO RESPOND

The Muslim and Arab communities must respond to this issue, and hopefully more interfaith, civil rights, and anti-defamation organizations will join in the effort to oppose this bigotry.  Whether they do so or not, we still must fight back against this bigotry. 

Prior to this demonization effort, there were Muslims who had reservations about the program.  Some thought it was focused on only one small group of Muslims, i.e. Lebanese, Arab, Shia’s living in Dearborn, and wished that it included a more diverse sample of Muslims.  Some thought that the particular people selected did not represent their particular view of Islam, etc.  Wajahat Ali provided a good overview of the various responses.  The titles of many of the articles listed at the bottom of this page also reflect that internal discussion. 

However, once this became an issue not of whether or not the television program itself was worthwhile, but instead an issue of whether or not Muslims - any Muslims - could be represented without including demeaning stereotypes, then it became an issue for all American Muslims to be concerned about.

As Imraan Siddiqui said

... No matter what your view on the show may be, the Muslim community now has a call to action – and this will definitely serve as a litmus test for the community.  There is no doubt that we are living in a time of great challenge and turmoil as Muslims in America.  Although we are 10 years past the attacks of 9/11, the level of Islamophobia in the U.S is at its highest and most well-established level.  The Learning Channel took a bold step by introducing a show that featured Muslims, living a normal – middle-class, well-entrenched American life.  As soon as the show launched, it was met with fierce opposition, by the usual Islamophobic cast of characters ...  So now that the facts are in front of us, what is the Muslim community going to do?  With the rise in anti-Islam sentiment, we have seen a dichotomy in the community; on one hand we have seen a great increase in activism – led by groups such as CAIR and MPAC, among others.  On the other side, there remains a disturbing amount of apathy when it comes to issues such as this.  Many think the best way to react to a hostile environment is to ride the situation out, and that this will all pass.  Will ignoring these issues help the cause of the Muslims and the entire nation in the long term?  The answer is no.  For those who think that groups like FFA are just a flash in the pan, and that Pamela Geller has used up 14 of her 15 minutes, it’s time to think again.

Racism has manifested itself in many eras and in many different ways throughout history.  There were times when racism was institutionalized, as in the case of the post-slavery and Jim Crow era toward African Americans.  There have been times where the racism or anti-religious sentiment has hovered beneath the surface –as in the case of the attitude toward Catholics, throughout much of America’s history.  As we zoom out and examine the timeline of this relatively young country’s history, there has been a relatively unbroken chain of racism or religious discrimination that has manifested in some way, shape or form.  There has always been small, yet vocal minority who have latched onto these movements and who have attempted to fear-monger against a perceived outsider group.  This has shifted at one point or another from Catholics, to blacks, to Jewish people, to Asians.  The focus is now squarely upon the Muslims.  When multi-billion dollar firms such as Lowe’s are allowed to make moves such as this, the threat of institutionalized racism becomes that much more of a reality.

Those at the Florida Family Association hide behind a false sense of morality, trying to build a connection to what they perceive as “traditional American values.”  In the course of their faulty logic, they completely ignore the rights of all religions (including specifically Muslims) to enjoy the same freedoms under the First Amendment of the Constitution, that they claim to cling to so dearly.  The reality is that the Thomas Jefferson’s, John Adams’ and Benjamin Franklin’s of the world were much more sophisticated in their worldview and more accepting of all peoples centuries before there was any television or Internet.  Past precedent shows us that these hate groups would have likely been on the side of segregation and the marginalization of the aforementioned race and religious groups, had they been present during those times.  We must ask ourselves if we are truly at a crossroads when it comes to how Islam is perceived moving forward in the U.S.

...  The answer is simple:  If we sit back and do nothing, we lose.  If we continue to ride this thing out, and wait for someone else to write a letter, or for someone else to call, or for someone else to boycott Lowe’s, then chances are that nobody will.  We have great organizations that work for our civil rights on a day to day basis, but they can only do so much.  Groups like CAIR have the same annual budget to handle hundreds of staff and operations as does a single anti-Islam blogger – as in the case of Bridgette Gabriel or Robert Spencer.  These people receive all kinds of funding from corporate interests and foundations in order to spread the fear of Islam – and sadly, they are successful in doing so.  All of us can do a small part to contribute to this cause – whether it is writing a letter to Lowe’s executives, calling them to express your dissatisfaction, or to just shop elsewhere in an act of conscientiousness.

As Eboo Patel noted, there is one glimmer of hope in this:

It took Muslims a full three months to figure out a strategy to counter the campaign against Cordoba House, otherwise known as “the Ground Zero Mosque.” This time around, it took about three hours.  ...  All American Muslim generated a lot of controversy amongst Muslims, a good deal of it from more traditional believers who didn’t like the community represented by people sporting tattoos and hanging out in clubs. But once Lowe’s pulled its advertising, even high-profile orthodox Muslims like Yasir Qadhi showed their outrage at the hardware chain, and thus their implicit support for the show.

Muslims, like every religious community, have a dizzying number of internal differences - theological interpretations, political persuasions, levels of observance, etc. These differences have long dominated discourse amongst Muslims, causing ugly divisions and an unhealthy blindness to the gathering storm from without. But now that the storm is upon us, we are banding together. Muslims of one sort who might otherwise actively denounce Muslims of another sort are now finding themselves supporting one another, all under the canopy of what I call ‘Big Tent Islam.’ There is a blessing to the forces of prejudice being so brutal and blatant: it’s uniting Muslims.

That this is an issue of concern not only to Arabs and Muslims, but also to all Americans who are concerned about stopping the spread of Islamophobia, homophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, or open bigotry towards any group is obvious from the fact that:

Many knowledgeable people outside of the Arab and Muslim communities see that this issue is a “clear and present danger” to all Americans, especially in light of the widespread Islamophobia that is going unchallenged.

 

APPEAL TO THE COMMUNITY - A CALL TO ACTION!

We ask that if you are one of those who haven’t gotten involved in this issue to date, either because of reservations about the program itself, or because you just didn’t see this as a critical issue - you reconsider.

We would hope to see strong statements by every Arab and Muslim national organization, and by Muslim scholars, imams, and community leaders.

Sign the PETITION Repudiate Calls to Stop Advertising on TLC’s “All-American Muslim”

The petition went online on 12/11.  The petition now has 39,000 signatures.  Based on the population of Arabs and Muslims in the U.S., and the fact that perhaps half of these signatures are from non-Muslims, this is a disturbingly low number.  We would hope to see this petition reach at least 500,000 in the next few days.  And, that could be done if the Arab and Muslim communities just took this issue seriously.  If YOU sign, post to your Facebook or forward to your friends and ask them to sign and do the same, the power of social networking seen to be so effective in the “Arab Spring” could be put to work in defense of our communities.

The Islamophobes are serious, to get out their hateful anti-Muslim message they mobilized over 70,000 letters to companies.  And, their counter petition has managed to secure 24,000 signatures in just two days. 

After you sign and forward the petition, go to the “what you can do” section of this backgrounder article on this situation and see if there are any other responses you can work with, or start your own.

Watch the next episode of “All-American Muslim” on Sunday night at 8 p.m. CST.  If there aren’t viewers, the producers may rethink considering any more programs about Muslims.

As Wajahat Ali notes

That being said, nearly half of American Muslims say they have faced discrimination. The FBI just announced anti-Muslim hate crimes have risen 50%. And a Republican presidential candidate with an alleged proclivity towards sexual harassment and unintentionally hilarious campaign videos has claimed a majority of Muslim Americans are extremists.

The portrayal of Muslims living their daily lives is not only a welcome relief from the usual tawdry caricatures of Muslims as terrorists, extremists and taxi cab drivers, but it also helps defuse the deep-seated fears and bias that unfairly lumps 1.5 billion members of a faith in with the perverse criminal actions of a few.

We know that our law enforcement agencies and personnel have been fed a steady diet of anti-Muslim propaganda.  We know that many of our elected representatives have expressed anti-Muslim views including the possibility that Muslims are not protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.  We know that the Senate passed a bill that would allow military indefinite detention for American citizens.  We know that there is a push to outfit FEMA and U.S. Army camps around the United States.  All of this makes these developments particularly alarming as they might relate to the American Muslim community.  All of these issues are important and we need to maintain vigilence on all of them.

All of this together should make us realize that we cannot allow the demonization of the Arab and Muslim communities to continue, and that we must put aside petty differences and work together while we are still able to do so.


SEE ALSO

A benign — and useful — ‘All-American Muslim’, Joanna Weiss http://bostonglobe.com/opinion/2011/12/18/benign-and-useful-all-american-muslim/mlmoXXN4Vtci0sETkSlX3N/story.html

A Litmus test for the All-American Muslim community, Imraan Siddiqi http://www.suhaibwebb.com/society/domestic-affairs/a-litmus-test-for-the-all-american-muslim-community/

A One-Man War on American Muslims, Samuel G. Freedman http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/us/on-religion-a-one-man-war-on-american-muslims.html?_r=1

All-American Mess, Jonah Goldberg http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/285629/all-american-mess-jonah-goldberg

All-American Muslim and the struggle for American values, Robert Salaam http://www.theamericanmuslim.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1995:all-american-muslim-and-the-struggle-for-american-values&catid=246:society

‘All-American Muslim’ Draws Over a Million Viewers http://www.eurweb.com/2011/12/all-american-muslim-draws-over-a-million-viewers/

All-American Muslim: Kayak Executive Robert Birge Issues World’s Worst “Apology” Ever http://www.loonwatch.com/2011/12/all-american-muslim-kayak-executive-robert-birge-issues-worlds-worst-apology-ever/

‘All-American Muslim’ is Action Packed Again, Casey Holley http://entertainment.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474980857375

All-American Muslim is Just TV, Folks, Zeba Iqbal http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/culture/5408/all-american_muslim_is_just_tv,_folks/

All-American Muslim Meets an Un-American Advertising Pullout, By James Poniewozik http://entertainment.time.com/2011/12/12/all-american-muslim-meets-an-un-american-advertising-pullout/#ixzz1gMD9mwyq

All-American Muslim TLC site http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/all-american-muslim

All American Prejudice, Sarah Wildman http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/opinion/all-american-muslim-faces-un-american-bigotry/12636/

All-American Shame: A Wake Up Call from This Week in TV, Ilyse Hogue   http://www.thenation.com/blog/165118/all-american-shame-wake-call-week-tv

Backlash Mounts Against Un-American Bigots Who Targeted All American Muslim http://www.politicususa.com/en/bigots-all-american-muslim

‘All-American Muslim’ review: Varied lives shine through on TLC, Robert Lloyd http://articles.latimes.com/2011/nov/12/entertainment/la-et-1112-all-american-muslim-20111112

America’s dark age of Islamophobia, Tony Norman http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/inquirer/20111216_America_s_dark_age_of_Islamophobia.html

An all-American reality show, Tuqa Nusairat http://www.altmuslim.com/a/a/r/4528

Anti-Muslim Activists Attack TLC’s All-American Muslim As “A Little Taqiyya On The Prairie”  http://mediamatters.org/research/201111290001

Backlash to Lowe’s Low,  Harris Zafar http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harris-zafar/backlash-lowe_b_1150262.html

Becoming All-American Muslims, Eboo Patel http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/becoming-all-american-muslims/2011/12/14/gIQAYZV8tO_blog.html

Boycott against Lowes misses real goal, Ray Hanania http://rayhanania.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/boycott-against-lowes-misses-real-goal/

Boycotting the All-American Muslim, Tod Kelly http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/blog/2011/12/10/boycotting-the-all-american-muslim/

David Caton of FFA Says He Had to Stop All-American Muslim Because It Was “The First Show of its Kind”  http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/david-caton-says-he-had-stop-all-american-muslim-because-it-was-first-show-its-kind

David Caton: Evangelical Zealot Who Got Ads Pulled From All-American Muslim Is A Recovering Porn Addict http://jezebel.com/5867750/evangelical-zealot-who-got-ads-pulled-from-all+american-muslim-is-a-recovering-porn-addict

David Caton:  He Just Makes Stuff Up, Nadine Smith http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nadine-smith/david-caton-gay-rights_b_1155710.html

David Caton: If One Man Can Take Down Lowe’s and Kayak, What’s Next?, Scott Goodson http://www.forbes.com/sites/marketshare/2011/12/17/if-one-man-can-take-down-lowes-and-kayak-whats-next/

David Caton: Singlehandedly trying to bring down All-American Muslim, Andre Tartar http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/12/florida-man-gunning-for-all-american-muslim.html

David Caton: Stoking Prejudice and Fears, Joe Henderson http://www2.tbo.com/news/opinion/2011/dec/14/1/menewso1-caton-stoking-prejudice-and-fears-ar-334562/

Christian Right’s Anti-Muslim War Targets Wholesome TV Series, Michelle Goldberg http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/12/12/christian-right-s-anti-muslim-war-targets-wholesome-tv-series.html

Corporations Pulling Ads From All-American Muslim Are Engaged in Jim Crow-Style Discrimination, Abdulrahman El-Sayed http://www.huffingtonpost.com/abdulrahman-m-elsayed/lowes-commercials-all-american-muslim_b_1143586.html

Dearborn A town with a past: Anti-Lowe’s demonstration in Dearborn, Mich., brings out demonstrators from both sides http://current.com/shows/countdown/blog/a-town-with-a-past-anti-lowes-demonstration-in-dearborn-brings-out-demonstrators-from-both-sides

Florida Family Assoc. has a history of protests http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/articles/2011/12/13/fla_group_in_lowes_flap_has_history_of_protests/

The Florida Family Association: A Faux Outrage Generation Factory http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2011/12/13/388710/meet-the-florida-family-association-a-faux-outrage-generation-factory/

The Florida Family Association’s One-Man Outrage Machine   http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/florida-family-associations-one-man-outrage-machine

Hateful campaign targets “All-American Muslim” , Matt Zoller Seitz http://www.salon.com/2011/12/12/hateful_campaign_targets_all_american_muslim/singleton/

How Christians Should Respond to Our Muslim Neighbors   http://www.blackchristiannews.com/news/2011/12/how-christians-should-respond-to-our-muslim-neighbors.html

How Lowe’s Walked Into the Morality War Against Sex, Gays and Muslims http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/12/how_lowes_walked_into_the_morality_war_against_sex_gays_and_muslims.html 

How to Respond to Our All-American Muslim Neighbors, Margot Starbuck http://blog.christianitytoday.com/women/2011/12/how_to_respond_to_our_allameri.html

In defense of ‘All-American Muslim’, Souheila Al-Jadda http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2011-12-12/muslim-reality-show-american/51836318/1

The Increasingly Fraught Position of American Muslims, Conor Friedersdorf http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/12/the-increasingly-fraught-position-of-american-muslims/249939/

Islamophobes Protest Show for Depicting Muslims As Normal People, Adam Serwer http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/12/islamophobes-protest-show-depicting-muslims-normal-people

Join the Fight Against Islamophobia, Cord Jefferson http://www.bet.com/news/national/2011/12/16/commentary-join-the-fight-against-islamophobia.html

Let’s Face it: It’s the Radical Right, not Islam, that is the Greatest Threat to the American Way, Ahmed Rehab http://www.ahmedrehab.com/blog/2011/12/lets-face-it-its-the-radical-right-not-islam-thats-the-greatest-threat-to-the-american-way/

Looking Beyond “All-American Muslim”, Rose Aslan http://www.stateofformation.org/2011/12/looking-beyond-%E2%80%9Call-american-muslim%E2%80%9D/

Lowe’s Among Companies That Have Pulled Ads From TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim’ Reality Show, Omar Sacirbey http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/09/companies-ads-all-american-muslim_n_1140066.html

Lowe’s and All-American Muslim, Munira Syeda http://www.huffingtonpost.com/munira-syeda/lowes-and-allamerican-mus_b_1152433.html

Lowes Folds To Bigotry And Pulls Advertising From TLC’s All-American Muslim, Perez Hilton http://perezhilton.com/2011-12-12-lowes-pulls-advertising-from-all-american-muslim-reality-show?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#.TuaSuq6ltiI

Lowe’s pulls ads from ‘All-American Muslim’ after ‘ordinary’ portrayal protested http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/12/09/ads-all-american-muslim/

Lowe’s Pulls Ads from TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim’ for Portraying Islam POSITIVELY http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/64995832.html#ixzz1g8diDtJo

Lowe’s Retail chain pressured into pulling advertising from reality show about Muslims http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/09/retail-chain-pressured-into-pulling-advertising-from-reality-show-about-muslims/

The madness over All-American Muslim, John L. Esposito http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/post/the-madness-over-all-american-muslim/2011/12/16/gIQAquwtyO_blog.html

Media Matters notes that Anti-Muslim Activists Attack TLC’s All-American Muslim As “A Little Taqiyya On The Prairie”

Muslims Helped Legitimize Lowes’ Decision to Pull Ads From All-American Muslim, Hussein Rashid http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/husseinrashid/5503/muslims_helped_legitimize_lowes%E2%80%99_decision_to_pull_ads_from_all-american_muslim/

My Take: ‘All-American Muslim’ doesn’t speak for this Muslim, Aman Ali http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/15/my-take-all-american-muslim-doesnt-speak-for-this-muslim/

My Take: Defending TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim’ against Muslim complaints, Khurran Dara http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/28/my-take-defending-tlcs-all-american-muslim-against-muslim-complaints/ 

My Take: Is ‘All-American Muslim’ begetting all-American bigotry?, Arsalan Iftikhar http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/12/my-take-is-all-american-muslim-begetting-all-american-bigotry/

Now this is ‘reality’ TV I’d like to see, Shelina Zahra Janmohamed (satire)  http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/culture-comment/now-this-is-reality-tv-id-like-to-see

NPR discussion about All-American Muslim with Wajahat Ali http://www.npr.org/2011/11/30/142950262/ali-calls-all-american-muslim-a-welcome-relief

The Reality of “All-American Muslim”, Wajahat Ali http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/the-reality-of-all-american-muslim

TLC defangs Islam, hate groups can’t stand it http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=InOurOpinion&article=5050

TLC premieres ‘All-American Muslim’ reality TV show, Niraj Warikoo http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/story/2011-11-13/american-muslim-tv-show-tlc/51170778/1

TLC show flawed, crucial step, Noor Mir http://www.miscellanynews.com/2.1577/tlc-show-flawed-crucial-step-1.2681245

TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim’: A Step in the Right Direction, arsalan Iftikhar http://www.patheos.com/blogs/allamericanmuslim/2011/12/tlcs-all-american-muslim-a-step-in-the-right-direction/

TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim’: A Step in the Right Direction, Dilshad Ali http://www.patheos.com/blogs/allamericanmuslim/2011/12/tlcs-all-american-muslim-a-step-in-the-right-direction/

TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim,’ Shot in Dearborn, Getting Attacked on Multiple Fronts, Jim McFarlin http://blogs.metrotimes.com/index.php/2011/12/tlcs-all-american-muslim-shot-in-dearborn-getting-attacked-on-multiple-fronts/

The trials of ‘All-American Muslim’, Arsalan Iftikhar http://sentinelsource.com/opinion/columnists/guest/the-trials-of-all-american-muslim-by-arsalan-iftikhar/article_b2a36f9b-0d73-5ecf-8182-d84229096a55.html

Turning up the heat on Lowe’s and anti-Muslim bigotry, Greg Sargent http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/turning-up-the-heat-on-lowes-and-anti-muslim-bigotry/2011/12/14/gIQARVrAuO_blog.html

What Lowe’s pullout really means, Deena Douara http://open.salon.com/blog/deena_douara/2011/12/19/what_lowes_pull-out_of_all-american_muslim_really_means 

Why ‘All-American Muslim’ Should Have the Right to Be Boring, Layla Lalami http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2011/12/19/why-all-american-muslim-should-have-the-right-to-be-boring/

 


Originally posted 12/7/2011


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