‘Homeland’ Beats ‘All-American Muslim’


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Several weeks ago All-American Muslim debuted on TLC to a storm of publicity and high ratings, but the publicity has vanished and the ratings are dribbling away. The series had premiered to a 1.7 rating, but last Sunday’s episode had dropped to a 1.1 rating. The television ratings for this week aren’t in yet, but the news for TLC and the producers of All-American Muslim isn’t likely to be any better.

All-American Muslim had originally finished ahead of the terrorism drama Homeland which airs in the same timeslot, but last week Homeland finished ahead of it, and not because its ratings had improved. Homeland had lost viewers, but All-American Muslim had lost even more viewers making it by far the lowest rated show on TLC Sunday nights. Worse still its 18-49 demographic had been cut in half, which put it way at the bottom of the ratings pile and that made it a bad bargain for the advertisers who stuck it out with the controversial series only to be rewarded with a Halal turkey.

Despite being fictional Homeland is in some ways a truer depiction of the All-American Muslim and of the captive American audiences who yearn to identify with Muslims, much like Nicholas Brody, the enigmatic figure at the heart of Homeland whose loss of context and identity have seduced him to the other side. All-American Muslim gives Americans the Muslims that they would like to live next door to, but Homeland shows them the Muslims that they fear living next door to. Homeland confronts this ambiguity, but All-American Muslim pretends that it doesn’t exist.

Denial is the operating mode of All-American Muslim and it is caught between its guiding mission of normalization and the reality show mechanics that aim to create drama out of thin air. This week the focus is on the coach of the Fordson football team, Fouad Zaban. Zaban had already been featured in “Fordson: Faith – Fasting – Football,” a Muslim documentary dealing with the team. The documentary covered much of the same territory as the previous episode of All-American Muslim, and this episode, “A Muslim Goes to Washington,” feeds the same culture of entitlement that centered Fordson football around the Ramadan fast.

This week Zaban heads to the Iftar dinner at the White House to chat up Keith Ellison and Obama. While the reality show mechanics require Zaban to pretend that it’s difficult for him to decide between skipping practice and going off to the White House, it’s obvious all along what he will do. Zaban and the Fordson team have been the focus of more cameras than any normal high school team in America. All that has obviously disrupted practice already, but the Fordson team’s purpose is to be a showpiece for Muslims in America. And when Zaban, the coach of a high school football team, gets an invite to head to the White House, it isn’t because of how his team plays, but because he is a Muslim.

That unspoken entitlement is the whole premise of All-American Muslim, a show full of people who are there not because they’re interesting or because they do anything interesting, but because they are Muslims. All-American Muslim is a show built not on merit, but on religious identity. And that may help explain why All-American Muslim is tanking in the ratings.

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  • Ghostwriter

    That and stuff like honor killings,and other horrifying events have made many in America view Islam in a negative way. And few Muslims have ever publicly condemned those events. Maybe,if you understood where your non-Muslim neighbors were coming from,you could in some way know how they feel.

  • nunyainct

    The story TLC missed, and which I e mailed them stating they missed the golden opportunity to cover, is fundamentalist Islam. They did a "bland" show on secular Muslims who are not in power in Islam, and who are considered kafir, worse than infidels, and under strict shariah law, should be put to death because they do not fully embrace Islam and follow the Qu'ran literally. Had TLC actually done their homework and read the Qu'ran, ahadith, sura and sunna, they would have read the words of the clerics, Imams, and understood that Muhammad was clear in his belief that Islam is meant to dominate the world. It is not meant to coexist with anything, and that non Muslims are to be subjugated or slaughtered. There is no other option. TLC shamefully and shamelessly tried to trot out political correctness of Islam as "happy clappy" and anyone who thinks otherwise is an Islamophope. They made a stupid show that insults the intelligence of EVERY American who has bothered to learn, as I have, the teachings of Islam, and TLC refused to portray any dimension of Islam that was not favorable. It is a tepid show of secular Muslims the equivalent of Beverly Hills Housewives juxtaposed with Miami Housewives juxtaposed with New York Housewives. Hardly any contrast. I remind one and all, were strict shariah law followed, ALL of these "All American Muslims" would be swinging from a noose for blasphemy. TLC missed the boat and is complicit with the exact propaganda that led Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg, Theo Van Gogh and a host of others down the primrose path thinking Islam is like everything else, and not a threat. TLC has blood on their hands.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      They caught the boat they meant to catch. The SS Appeasement.

  • James

    I began watching this show, and i wasn't a regular TLC watcher, but I LOVE THISSSSSSSSSSSSSSS SHOOWWW!! :D i say screw the advertisers, just a little more promotion on other channels and this show will be good to go :)

  • non muslim

    Get rid of that TLC program, shame on TLC !!!!!!

  • Laura Falcon

    Well. If it's so "All-American" I wonder what would happen if I walk into a big ole mosque with a mini-skirt and a pork hot dawg?… lmao.. There are enclaves in Dearborn-i-stan where no infidel walks and TLC SHOULD PORTRAY THAT TOO!!!

  • Joshua

    Bismillahi Rahman il Raheem. Ashadu ana la ilaha il Allah, Muhammad Rasulallah. Islam is the ONLY religion in this world. Have some respect. I can go and tell all of you off for ur bigoted remarks, but i dont need to because at the end of the day i know i will be spending my days in Paradise while you lot will rot in hell. Enjoy while it lasts :D

  • Jim_C

    Sounds like a boring show designed to get the hapless halfwits of this country worked into a lather.

  • Daniel Greenfield

    Yep and not just

  • winoceros

    Meaning other screen names as well? We appreciate the bait. We kittens need our toys, but it's hard work tamping down the lies. That's why it's done, I suppose. Must be a sad life.

    I have truly appreciated your articles of late, especially "The Defense Contractors of Islam," which was a jaw-dropping article. It makes me look at Dakota Meyer's story a little deeper today.

  • Daniel Greenfield

    Thanks. Unfortunately even without that a lot of material get exported that shouldn't be.