(Photo: Reuters/Fred Prouser)
Major retailer Lowe’s Hardware Store has pulled their ads from a Muslim reality TV show after pressure from a conservative Christian group.
Lowe’s pulled its advertising from the TLC reality program “All-American Muslim” in response to the efforts of the Florida Family Association.
“Clearly this program is attempting to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad and to influence them to believe that being concerned about the jihad threat would somehow victimize these nice people in this show,” said the FFA in an article on its website.
“I think Lowe's decision was unjustifiable and a complete shock,” said Kamal Nawash, president of the Free Muslims Coalition, in an interview with The Christian Post.
“Muslims are a diverse population and people often disagree within the same family. All American Muslim was able to capture the similarities of Muslims to the general America population while capturing their uniqueness.”
The backlash to Lowe’s decision has included efforts by Muslim organizations to get Lowe’s and other businesses who may have also decided to withdraw advertising to repudiate their stance.
Among those calling for Lowe’s to reverse its decision and apologize to the Muslim American community is California State Senator Ted W. Lieu.
In a letter sent to Lowe’s CEO Robert A. Niblock, Lieu demanded that Niblock “rescind Lowe’s bigoted action” and “to apologize to Americans, especially those who are Muslim.”
Lieu compared Lowe’s decision to “a company asserting that it is pulling advertising from the Christian Broadcast Network’s 700 Club because the program somehow ‘riskily hides’ the agenda of Christian radicalized groups.”
“As a veteran, I find Lowe’s action not just ugly, but intensely anti-American. As a Catholic, I find Lowe’s religious intolerance to be dangerous. As a consumer, I find Lowe’s bigotry to be nonsensical,” wrote Lieu.
The controversial move by Lowe’s has led many to call for a boycott of the hardware business until they reconsider their position.
“As to boycotting Lowe's, it may work if a representative sample of America's diverse population participate in the boycott,” said Nawash.
But Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, president of American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) and an American Muslim who often publicly criticizes radical Islam, was more critical of organizations who demanded Lowe’s to reverse its decision.
“Advertisers have the right of free speech,” Jasser told CP.
Jasser also said that he felt the backlash to Lowe’s decision “demonstrates an inappropriate set of priorities” on the part of Muslim organizations.
“There are some good issues brought about in the show,” said Jasser, adding that he believed “most of the issues” brought up in the show are “low under the radar” of crucial issues that are facing Islam and America.
In addition to Lowe’s Hardware, the FFA encouraged supporters to email or call the other companies that advertised during the first three weeks of the program’s duration.