I want to shop at Lowe’s! With all the recent (negative) publicity and threat of a boycott, the rebel in me wants to buy just in spite (wrong attitude I know). If you haven’t heard already, Lowe’s Home Improvement pulled advertising from TLC’s All-American Muslim reality show. Polarizing organizations on both sides of the debate are fuming. The Florida Family Association takes credit for the retailer’s advertising yank. Pro-Islamic organizations such as the Muslim Public Affairs Council are crying foul as they yell, “Boycott Lowe’s!” The MPAC is actually threatening legal action. Even more crazy – California Senator Ted Lieu informed the Associated Press that he is considering legislative action if Lowe’s doesn’t apologize to Muslims and reinstate its advertising with All-American Muslim. Makes me wonder, “Where’s my Senator when I get offended?” Where’s Ted Lieu when California Christians are offended? This whole deal is way over the top! Some folks here ought to sit in time out!
Boycotts do not work! Historically these benign efforts do nothing but fuel a retailer’s receipts. It’s actually great advertising since people seem to love controversy. Regardless of whether it’s termed good or bad press; it’s all press. Lowe’s should actually cut a check to MPAC and FFA for an outstanding marketing scheme. Additionally, advertising dollars are the sole responsibility of the retailer. Lowe’s alone is responsible on how their advertising budgets are spent. No state or national government has the right to dictate advertising campaigns or venues!
To be totally upfront, the All-American Muslim reality show is poor entertainment. I’ve watched an episode. I found the context to be less than authentic. The characters in the reality show are Muslim by culture, not by faith – it’s an identity tag. What I did find offensive in the episode I previewed was the pressure placed on a Catholic fiancé to convert to Islam in order to be accepted by his nominally Muslim future family – a classic example of proselytizing and coercion.
I’d liken the All-American Muslim reality show to an imaginary All-American Christian reality show. The cast would be made up of people who would claim to be Christian and yet rarely attend church – noticeably absent from any meaningful Christian community. Maybe they went to church at some point or attend Church at Christmas and Easter – an attendance based on tradition rather than conviction. The real problem here – there’s no demonstrated evidence of conversion, change, or commitment in terms of faith or in the following of Jesus Christ. These so called All-American Christians actually refute faith and experiment in questionable behaviors while living self-absorbed lives. That scenario would not be a true representation of genuine faith – the Christian faith. Christianity is about surrender, abandonment, commitment, faith, trust, repentance, life, love, generosity, peace, and grace – it’s about following Jesus Christ.
The All-American Muslim is basically a public relations attempt to marginalize or soften the “typical” non-Muslim American’s perspective on Islam. It’s an attempt to simple say, “We’re just like you!” The biggest problem here is that story line – it’s a false view of Islam. This is a show depicting marginal or nominal Muslims to put the American conscious at ease. I guess with the show’s poor quality and dismal performance we don’t have to endure much longer this option on TLC’s program lineup. That’s the best news of all in this story line.