‘Homeland’ Beats ‘All-American Muslim’

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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All-American Muslim is unwilling to look at the harder questions; instead it serves up a one-sided narrative which ignores the complex realities. Though Zaban and Fordson have been a presence in episode after episode, the show has never dealt with the allegations that Fordson High School’s Muslim utopia was created when its Muslim principal forced out Christian staff members.

Gerald Marszalek, a top wrestling coach, received a settlement after being forced out of Fordson. A lawsuit filed by two teachers charged that Fordson Principal Imad Fadlallah had “systematically weeded out Christian teachers, coaches and employees.” Information such as this casts a whole different light on the “All-American” nature of Zaban’s high school team and asks how it was achieved and who had to pay the price.

In a tie-in with Homeland, one former member of the football team and brother of a current team member, was accused of buying cell phones in bulk for resale the Middle East where they are used to remotely detonate car bombs.

The rest of the episode does its best to milk the conversion of Jeff for drama, but inevitably falls into the show’s usual pattern of using the time it’s given to preach about Islam in the guise of discussing a topic. Whether it’s the hijab or the nature of Islam, this approach is tediously dishonest, but also ends up being its own punishment as the catastrophic ratings drop testifies. People may not have been tuning in for a behind the scenes look at suicide bombers, but they expected more than a tepid version of the Jersey Shore interspersed with lectures on wearing the hijab.

“A Muslim Goes to Washington” plays a trip to Washington and a birth for drama but it can’t deliver. Its goal is to get us to identify with the families on the show, but its approach is self-defeating. Like so many media productions that deal with Islam, All-American Muslim has nothing meaningful to say about the subject and gives audiences no reason to continue watching.

The innate drama of Islam is not another story of immigrants facing intolerance, as All-American Muslim would like us to believe. It is the violence and intolerance that is spread in its wake, and because it fails to address the concerns of Americans, the show fails to make an impact. Homeland does address those concerns. Its politics are often wrong, but it isn’t willing to completely close its eyes either.

Homeland asks what the consequences of bringing Islam to this country are; All-American Muslim blandly assures us that they are all good. But the question is who pays the price. Whether it is the Americans caught up in a terrorist attack or the Christian teachers and coaches purged from Fordson High School, this is the great unanswered question that hangs in the air during every commercial break. And when the show is done and the handful of remaining viewers move on with the rest of their night, that question is still there.

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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.