PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lowe’s Faces Backlash Over Decision To Pull Ads From Muslim TV Show

Nawal Aoude, a pediatric respiratory therapist, left, and her husband Nader go for a walk in a scene from the TLC series, "All-American Muslim." (AP/Discovery)

There are more than 22,000 signatures on an online petition calling for advertisers not to follow Lowe’s Home Improvement in pulling ads from The Learning Channel show about Muslims called “All American Muslim.”

Lowe’s removed their ads after the conservative Christian Florida Family Association called for a boycott. The group’s president, David Katon, explained his call on NPR’s “Morning Edition”:

“Our concern with ‘All American Muslim’ is that it does not accurately represent the term Muslim, which is a follower of Islam and a follower of Islam believes in radicalization, the use of Sharia law, which provides for honor killings, mutilation of women and numerous other atrocities to women.”

Show fans say the series does represent real Muslim life in its depiction of five Arab-American families in Dearborn, Mich., including a newlywed couple, a police officer and a high school football coach.

Kari Ansari, a Muslim and a fan of the show, wrote on the Huffington Post that Lowe’s pulling its ads is a “new Lowe.”

“I’m very disappointed that a major American retailer would respond to a small group of people who are essentially saying that another group in our country shouldn’t be trusted,” she told Here & Now‘s Robin Young.

Lowe’s responded to the backlash on its Facebook page:

It appears that we managed to step into a hotly contested debate with strong views from virtually every angle and perspective – social, political and otherwise – and we’ve managed to make some people very unhappy. We are sincerely sorry. We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, across our workforce and our customers, and we’re proud of that longstanding commitment.

Ansari says that Lowe’s needs to acknowledge “that they fell for something that is a very bigoted and hateful request.”

Ansari says that she won’t be shopping at the store anymore and she thinks Lowe’s action will cause other Muslims to think hard about where they shop.

“Muslims in America are starting to realize that they need to mobilize in ways that will have an effect and that is voting with their dollars — to make it clear that we will buy with the fact in mind if a company respects our business or not,” she said.

Ansari also hopes the Lowe’s controversy pushes some people to watch the show and see what regular Muslims are like.

“People will go ‘Wait a minute, let me see what those people are about.’ And a lot of people are gonna go ‘Wow, I didn’t know that about them. That’s a lot like my family,’ ” she said.

Guest:

  • Kari Ansari, a Muslim who watches “All American Muslim”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

May 27 2 Comments

How Trump, Clinton And Sanders Change Their Voices To Win Over Voters

Charisma is a crucial component of a politician's appeal to voters. But there's more than one way to inspire confidence.

May 27 53 Comments

New York Considers A Ban On Declawing Cats

Some pet owners have routinely had their cats declawed. But opponents say the procedure isn't so simple.

May 27 4 Comments

New Drug-Resistant Bacteria Seen In U.S. For The First Time

The CDC's director has expressed concern, saying it shows that we're close to the "end of the road" for antibiotics.

May 26 7 Comments

As Lethal Heroin Overdose Numbers Rise, Families Find Solace In Organ Donation

Organ banks around the country have noted an increasing number of organs from donors who have died of overdoses.