We will be focusing on how Muslims are portrayed on the TLC television show All- American Muslim. We will also be looking at how women particularly are portrayed in this television show. The controversial problem with Lowes will also be discussed on this presentation.
This show was produced by the television network TLC. The network first premiered the TV show on November 13, 2011. The show features lives of 5 Lebanese Muslim American families. The show was shot in Dearborn, Michigan.
Suehaila and Shadia Nader and Nawal Aoude Samira Amen-Fawaz and Ali Fawaz Mike and Angela Jaafar Fouad Zaban Nina Bazzy
These families look and act like every other typical American family. Meaning they go through struggles, they work, they are into sports, and own their own businesses. However, many people look at Muslims differently since 9/11. They treat them like terrorists and assume the worst just based on appearance. The families practice their Muslim religion in ways such as, performing rituals and prayers.
The women on the show do normal things that American women do. They enjoy shopping and hanging out with friends like average women. However they differ from them because of their strict religion. Some wear traditional Hijabs and cover their entire body at all times, completely by choice. In one episode, there are two out of the three women who do not wear the traditional Hijab.
Nina Bazzy describes what it’s like to be an American-Muslim woman. “I am an All-American Muslim. It’s true. Despite what people might say or think, I value both of those identities. I was born in the United States. I voted in the last 3 presidential elections; I pay my taxes; and I love apple pie. Also, I was born into a faith that I hold near and dear to my heart. Part of what I love about being an American is that I have the freedom to practice my faith and believe what I choose to believe. And although, I don’t fit the stereotypical view of a “Muslim woman,” nothing or no one can shake my beliefs or love of God.”
The Hijab is referred to as a head covering or style of dress for most Muslim women. In the Qur’an, it is known as a headdress or veil that is typically warn by Muslim women. The hijab is required to be worn in Iran and Saudi Arabia, but is banned in schools in France. In America, wearing the hijab is completely optional. The veil is much like the hijab. The hijab covers the head and hair, while the veil covers the face.
All-American Muslims only lasted one season due to much controversy from viewers. The Florida Family Association urged people to stop watching and advertising the show. They argued that, "propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agendas clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values." Lowes, which does a lot of advertising for many different things, followed this argument and stopped advertising for the show. This became very controversial.
Another source explains this controversy as Lowes dropping it’s sponsorship following complaints by a Florida based conservative group that accused the show of “glossing over Islamic extremism.” The Florida group called the Florida Family Association, campaigned against the show. The group approached sponsors and urged them to drop their support of the show. They claimed All-American Muslim was biased because it didn’t deal with topics such as Americans concerned about Muslim Sharia La. Lowes stated, shortly after making their decision, that the program had become “a lightning rod” for “strong political and societal views.”
Lowes explained that they knew there were many different people watching the show and took into consideration all of their perspectives. They stated, "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.“ However, with all of these concerns, there were still many supporters of the show signing petitions to keep the ads, yet Lowes remained cancelling their advertisements.
In this presentation, we focused on the TLC television show All-American Muslims. Particularly how Muslims are portrayed, how others view Muslim women and how they view themselves, traditional hijab of women both wearing the headdress and not wearing it on the show, and the controversial issue with Lowes advertisements of the show.