NOTE: UPDATE BELOW, ON DEC. 16
Lowe’s this week backed out as an advertiser on the TLC network’s superior reality TV show, “All-American Muslim,” which follows the lives of five Muslim American families in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit that’s home to the largest Mulsim population in the U.S.
I visited Dearborn when I attended the 2011 convention in Detroit of the Asian American Journalists Association and was impressed with the palpable sense of community among the Muslims. We spent time at the Arab American National Museum, and felt the same sense of cultural pride alongside patriotism for accomplishments as Americans that I feel whenever I visit the Japanese American National Museum in LA.
Muslims are misunderstood by a lot of Americans who confuse anyone who’s Muslim with being a terrorist or the enemy we’ve been fighting in parts of the Middle East. That specter of hate also reminds me of Japanese Americans, and the blanket condemnation JAs faced after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, even though many of them were loyal to the United States.
I understand that Lowe’s was concerned because the show became what they called a “lightning rod” for “strong political and societal views” — the words they used on their Facebook page to defend their decision — in the emotional debate over Muslims in America.
Here’s the company’s Facebook post about pulling the ads: