By Dashiell Bennett | The Atlantic Wire – Mon, Dec 12, 2011
A Christian family group has called for a boycott of advertisers supporting a reality show about American Muslims, leading others to call for a boycott of the advertisers who caved to the pressure.
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The Learning Channel show, called All-American Muslim, centers on families in Dearborn, Michigan, one of the largest Muslim communities in the United States. A group called the Florida Family Association has attacked the show, calling it “propaganda,” that “is attempting to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad” by “excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties.” In other words, because the show is about Muslims who aren’t terrorists, it’s clearly pro-terrorism.
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The group is targeting the show’s advertisers and claims that 65 of the 67 sponsors it has contacted have pulled their ads, although there is no proof the FFA campaign had any influence. (Some advertisers only bought one week’s worth of ads and simply used up their allotment.) Only one company, Lowe’s Home Improvment stores, has admitted to pulling its ads because of the non-existent controversy. Now others are turning their wrath on Lowe’s. A state senator is California has called for a boycott of the chain and many others have taken to Facebook and Twitter to denounce them. (The company issued a typical “sorry, you’re mad at us” apology, but is not reinstating the ads.)
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Clearly, the FFA’s protest is ridiculous and if Lowe’s had simply ignored it, their campaign would have gone mostly unnoticed. Instead, they’ve given attention and influence to a little-known group that otherwise didn’t earn it. (Their previous targets included the Teen Nick show, Degrassi, because it has a transgendered character.) It would be tempting to continue to ignore them, but it occasionally helps to be reminded that it’s still profitable to attack Muslims for political gain.
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The one positive that could come out of this whole story, however, is that some of that attention will now fall on the show, gaining it more viewers, which is the exact opposite of the FFA’s intent. People are now standing up for the show and the “radical” notion that most American Mulisms don’t hate America.