All-American Muslim Says Advertisers Are Right to Boycott 'All-American Muslim'

Asra Q. Nomani in The Daily Beast:

As an American Muslim consumer, I can say that I’ll likely buy the lumber for my son’s treehouse at Lowe’s, and I’ll switch from Expedia to Kayak. I like the company’s common sense. “We get what America is about,” Birge wrote, adding, “We would not want anyone to think that we caved to hatred.” But, as he concluded, the show didn’t pass his personal Gong Show, the 1970s TV talent show that banged the gong on stage acts that didn’t pass muster.

To me, the issue of Islam-bashing has become a straw man in this debate. This isn’t a referendum on whether a person hates on Islam or not. It’s about TV–and what makes for good TV and what doesn’t. For example, I made it through only two episodes of TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras, because how many times can we watch Princess Penelope throw a temper tantrum? If Lowe’s or Kayak didn’t advertise there, would we argue that they were trashing prissy little girls and their mom? No, we’d say that they don’t want to spend their ad dollars on bad TV. …

Some of the moderates who have jumped on the All-American Muslim bandwagon will come after me. They’ll accuse me of being “Islamophobic,” despite the fact that I’m Muslim. It has already happened, when I argued that including religion in threat assessment–or that dirty word, profiling–is a smart way to do airport security.

But is it possible to not go along with groupthink in the community and also not be a hater? I think so. My mother, a woman who wears shirts over her bottom to make sure she practices her definition of hijab, watched one episode. She wasn’t interested in watching anymore. “It’s not very deep,” she said.

While there is real anti-Muslim sentiment out there, there is also an equal and powerful Muslim movement trying to pin this manufactured word, “Islamophobia,” on anyone with anything critical to say related to Islam. This movement takes a typical collectivist perspective: if you have a critical word to say about one aspect of Islam–from this bland series to the Ground Zero mosque debacle–you hate on all of Islam. For many of us, that’s actually an insult to sweep our ideas with such a broad brush, but it’s strategic. To me, this reactionary Muslim movement stifles debate.

Full story here.

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