In a rather shocking appeasement of anti-Muslim activists, Lowe’s home improvement store withdrew advertising from the reality show, “All-American Muslim,” a show featuring various Muslim families in the United States. The show is being targeted by the Florida Family Association as “dangerous” and Lowe’s Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Niblock decided to yield to such prejudices in pulling out of the advertising on the show.
The Florida Family Association (which appears to exclude Muslim families from its vision of families) has been warning Americans about the alleged hidden agenda in a show that simply follows five families in their everyday life in Dearborn, Michigan. The FFA announced that the show is “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”
In response there have been calls to boycott Lowe’s, which certainly appears willing to forego the business of Muslim Americans at a minimum in this tough economy. One of those calls has come from California State Senator Ted Lieu, D-Torrance. Lieu, however, said that he is investigating whether the company can be charged with violating state or federal laws — a highly dubious pursuit. A company is allowed to withdraw support for a program to avoid associations or themes that it deems inimical to its business interests. That does not make it right, but it is not unlawful.
While the company has apologized for “mak[ing] some people very unhappy,” it said that given the controversy over the program “[w]e believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance.” First, there was no controversy before this fringe group launched a rather raw and prejudicial campaign. Certainly many viewers might not be interested in the show or even dislike its emphasis on a religion. However, it is no more controversial than Jersey Wives with its continual boorish and crude conduct or Donald Trump doing anything. Second, “leaving it to the community” is just a new spin on yielding to a mob. The company did not leave it to the community but chose this small biased group over Muslim Americans.
Given the company’s slogan “Never Stop Improving,” I would suggest a start on this year’s improvement resolutions would be to get rid of the religious prejudices and upgrade its now tarnished image.
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