As most are aware, one of the largest US retailers, Lowe’s Home Improvement, decided to pull its advertising from a reality TV show about Muslim Americans. TLC’s All-American Muslim takes a look at life in the heavily Muslim city of Dearborn, Michigan from the perspective of several typical Muslim-American families. Lowe’s apparently responded to pressure from a number of groups, including some Christian organizations.
Lowe’s has incurred an onslaught of vitriol from Hollywood, liberal blogs, Democrats and CAIR. Music mogul Russell Simmons said, “This can’t happen in America; [Lowe’s] needs to fix this immediately,” as he called the move Islamophobic. “They can’t get away with that, it’s ridiculous. There are American principals [sic] at stake here…” Actually, I agree with his last comment, but the principles at stake are not the ones to which he alludes.
State Senator Ted W. Lieu, a Democrat representing Torrance, California, is calling on Lowe’s to apologize. “Lowe’s action is bigoted, shameful, and un-American,” Lieu wrote in a letter to the hardware store chain. “I call on Lowe’s to rescind its action and apologize to Americans who are Muslim. If Lowe’s continues its religious bigotry, I will encourage boycotts of Lowe’s and look into legislative remedies…”.
Rep. Chris Murphy of Connecticut criticized Lowe’s for “rubber-stamping basic foundational bigotry against a major American religious group” in a recent House floor speech. CAIR, of course, claims that Lowe’s action is sinister, and they have joined the “chorus of vicious allegations, name-calling, and outrageous demands–all intended to bully an all-American company…into submission to their radical agenda,” according to ActForAmerica in today’s blog.
For Lowe’s part, they had this to say: “We pulled the ads due to a wide range of concerns regarding the show. The program raised concerns, complaints, or issues from multiple sides of the viewer spectrum…we based our decision to pull the advertising on this research and after hearing the concerns we received through emails, calls, through social media and in news reports.”
It should be noted that the show’s ratings have tanked. According to Joseph Adalian from “Vulture,” more people may be talking about TLC’s All-American Muslim online than actually watching it. Nielsen revealed that Sunday’s episode of the unscripted series drew only 908,000 viewers at 10 p.m., with 77 other shows airing on cable Sunday night drawing a larger audience.
There are two issues at play here. First: is the show legitimately controversial, or is the entire issue a right-wing conspiracy against all things Islamic? Second: do entertainers and politicians have a legitimate right to intimidate corporations to spend their marketing budget in ways consistent with political ideology rather than for the purpose of advancing company sales?
With regard to the first issue, I happen to agree with the Florida Family Association, a little-known Christian group that put out this statement: “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…”.
Despite the fact that the vast majority of Muslim Americans are decent people, there is a minority practicing takiyya (Islamic deception-sanctioned in the Qur’an and the Hadith) through “lawfare” and other strategies with a single goal: advancing Islam in America. They have been taught that Islam is superior and that replacing the other great religions with Islam globally, and especially in America, is not seditious but rather their solemn duty.
In a world where Europe’s great nations are publicly lamenting the metamorphic Islamic transformation of their nations, where virtually all global terrorism is Islamist, where Christians are literally running for their lives from their “Arab Spring” compatriots and where violent skirmishes are the rule not the exception in scores of Islamic nations, I think it is fair to say that the world has a problem with radical Islam. At the very least it is also fair to say that we in America are justified in trying to preserve our culture under the weight of ever-emboldened and appeasement-enhanced Islamists, however non-violent.
On the second issue, it is outrageous that entertainers, music moguls and especially sitting congressional representatives would use their position to extort private companies. Trying to force corporations to purchase advertising on an ideological basis rather than a sound business one is wrong. It seems they took a page out of President Obama’s playbook. Rather than the “individual mandate,” this is the “corporate mandate.” If we can force individuals to buy things for political reasons, why not corporations?
I doubt that Russell Simmons or anyone in Congress would attack a corporation for failing to support The 700 Club or any other Christian or Jewish television show or movie. I coined a term last year that is apropos; super-tolerance. Sadly, many on the Left can’t shake their inexplicable compulsion to turn tolerance into a one-sided arrangement.