All-American Muslim – Threats, Intimidation and Hate

Is blackmailing Lowe’s the only way to keep All-American Muslim on the air?

For the first time in weeks All-American Muslim is back in the news, not for anything on the show, but over the commercials. A number of sponsors have stopped advertising on the show, including Lowe's. Muslim groups and their supporters have taken this development in stride by trying to blackmail the home improvement chain into advertising on the failing TLC series.

Is blackmail the right word? California State Senator Ted Lieu threatened boycotts and more disturbingly "legislative remedies" if Lowe's doesn't submit. Lieu, who clearly doesn’t believe in the separation of mosque and state, is shamelessly pandering to his Muslim constituents but his thuggery is fundamentally un-American and dangerous. No advertiser should be compelled to sponsor any television show.

Ignorance is also in the mix. Lieu and a dozen media outlets have chosen to take the word of the Florida Family Association that its complaints caused Lowe's to pull its ads. That may be the case, but there is a more probable explanation.

Lowe's is not the only major company to stop running ads on All-American Muslim. There's a long list of companies that have pulled out, and while it might be nice to think that they woke up to the creepy agenda of a series which has promoted a dishonest view of Islam and has featured an imam who called marital rape legitimate, the real story is in the numbers.

All-American Muslim started out strong with 1.7 million viewers and a 0.9 share of adults 18-49, the demographic most coveted by advertisers. Advertisers will pay money for low-rated shows so long as they have a high 18-49 share. But by the second episode it had lost 600,000 viewers and its 18-49 share was down to 0.5. The week after that it was the lowest rated cable show on the top 100 for the night. And last week's episode was bad enough that it appears to have fallen out of the top 100 completely.

The question then is why would Lowe's or any other company want to pay good money for that? And why should a political thug like Senator Lieu be able to abuse his office by threatening a company that if they don't advertise on a particular show then he will target them with "legislative remedies," an Orwellian term for punishing a company that has chosen not to keep buying ad time on the worst rated show of the night.

The best proof of all this is that the media, after briefly paying attention to the premiere, stopped reporting on All-American Muslim, until this week when they began running a smear campaign against Lowe's for not advertising on a show that even they don't want to watch. The hypocrisy is astounding.

No one in the media has anything to say about All-America Muslim's ratings because that would destroy their entire case in an instant. Their goal is to score a coup by intimidating Lowe's into putting its ads back on and dumping money on some Sharia-friendly consultants, and then they can go back to ignoring the series. That is why CAIR, Lieu and the media are taking the Florida Family Association's claims at face value.

The facts have not stopped the media vultures from thrusting their cameras at local Muslims, encouraging them to put on their best sad faces to complain about how bigoted the country is because Lowe's refuses to keep losing money by subsidizing Islamist propaganda.

CAIR already has a press release accusing every company that no longer advertises on the show of joining an "Anti-Muslim bandwagon." And the only way for a company to prove its innocence is to begin advertising on a failing show. "Guilty until bribed innocent" is the motto here. Lowephobic Muslims have condemned the company as Anti-American, but what could be more Anti-American than their own behavior?

Russell Simmons, a hip hop mogul and acolyte of Louis Farrakhan who described the Nation of Islam hatemonger as his second father, has jumped into the campaign, warning, “They can’t get away with that, it’s ridiculous… I can’t imagine the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, the National Urban League, or any organization that fights for their own rights will allow this to happen to any other group because they know they’re next.”

But no other group has a TV show dedicated to promoting its religion. Nor does any group have a TV show that advertisers are forced to give money to or face boycott threats. That’s the essence of freedom of religion. And that’s the point.

Freedom of religion means the freedom not to believe. That’s not the case in the Muslim world where no such freedom exists. Freedom of religion means that people are free to dislike Islam and that companies cannot and should not be compelled to advertise on shows that promote Islam. What Simmons and CAIR are up to is an assault on freedom of religion, compelling advertisers and their customers to support a cable television program on religious grounds.

If All-American Muslim was not a show about religious identity, Lowe’s would not be facing threats from Simmons, Lieu and CAIR. It is only because it is a show about a particular form of religious identity which they seek to endorse, that they also seek to compel Lowe’s to advertise on All-American Muslim.

Back on the show, which the media outlets fuming at Lowe's are not actually watching, Jeff, who converted to Islam, to make his Muslim wife and in-laws happy, discovers that his new religion does not exactly have a positive view of dogs. Including his own best friend. Naturally this is presented in the most positive way possible, without any of the real life consequences. Consequences that include Muslim cabbies refusing to offer rides to the blind and a horrific history of animal abuse in their home countries.

“Muslims Moving On,” the fifth episode of All-American Muslim, packs in more of the same old family drama, which was so exciting that All-American Muslim has lost most of its audience. The fake controversy stirred up by CAIR and the media may bring a few viewers back, but they will quickly discover why they stopped watching.

All-American Muslim tries to promote Islam while defanging its image, but there isn’t anything interesting about the end result. TLC has aired some poor propaganda, and the only time the media will agree to cover it is when it can find a negative angle. Since a negative angle on Islam isn’t permitted, it has to be a negative angle on non-Muslims.

And so a show that might have been interesting had it honestly tackled the real issues in the Muslim world will instead live on by taking companies like Lowe’s hostage for their ad dollars.

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