Just last week, mega retailers Lowe’s Home Improvement decided to pull their advertising spots from TLC’s newest show, “All American Muslim,” an eight part reality t.v. series which follows the lives of five Muslim American families in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan.
After advertising on the first episode, Lowe’s began to hear criticisms from conservative Christian group, Florida Family Association. The Association had urged its members to call Lowe’s and complain that “TLC’s ‘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 liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish. 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.”
While Lowe’s certainly cannot be held responsible for these ignorant and bigoted views, their decision to cater to and uphold these views is incredibly disappointing and offensive. Lowe’s response to pulling the ads was, “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 lightning 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.”
Although Lowe’s claims that they are refraining from the public debate, their decision to pull advertising from “All American Muslim” is making a clear statement. We will not remain silent and “refrain the the discussion”. As American- Muslim women, we find Lowe’s decision to pull their advertising very offensive and ignorant. How can we begin to combat outdated and marginalized views of Muslim Americans when a giant mega retailer like Lowe’s does not have the decency to stand up to racists views? We are calling on Lowe’s Home Improvement to publicly apologize for its decision to pull advertising from TLC’s “All American Muslim.”