Sheila MusajiPosted Dec 20, 2011 •Permalink • Printer-Friendly Version
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 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 [url=http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/blog/2011/12/amid-controversy-lowes-florida.html]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 placem• Permalink