But after pressure from the Florida Family Association (FFA), a Tampa, Florida-based organization that reportedly consists of its one founding member, David Caton, and is unaffiliated with any national organization, Lowe’s pulled its ads from the show. The FFA’s complaint? That the show exists primarily to normalize Americans’ views of Muslims, who in the FFA’s view, are dangerous.
“The Learning Channel's new show, All-American Muslim is propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law,” says a statement at the FFA website. “The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.”
Several analysts say that although the FFA is appealing to base instincts of fear and hatred, the entire controversy has a brighter side.
“It is clear to anyone with a rational mind that a show like ‘All-American Muslim’ is helpful to our society, because it shows that Muslims living in America are as American as any other religious or ethnic group,” says Fordham University communications professor Paul Levinson, author of “New New Media,” in an email.
“Lowe's decision to kowtow to The Florida Family Association is disgraceful,” he says. “But the silver lining is that this cowardly act will only bring more attention to the ‘All-American Muslim’ show that the Florida Family Association wants to banish – and this increase in attention is good for all Americans."
“These are really, basic, ordinary people living ordinary lives like Jews, Baptists, Presbyterians and all the rest,” he says. “It seems misguided to me that this is a reason for concern.”