Last week, the final episode of The Learning Channel’s “All American Muslim” aired. The program became much more popular than it ever would have been after North Carolina-based company Lowe’s dropped their advertising sponsorship of the program. The move came after they received a number of complaints about the program – enough to cause them to consider this a controversial field of land mines that they, as a business, did not wish to traverse. Unfortunately for the company, this move brought even more controversy, including 200,000 signing an online petition and a congressman from California threatening litigation (while never actually explaining what laws Lowe’s broke by deciding where they should spend their own advertising budget…)
In the week preceeding the final episode’s airing, Lowe’s officials met with Jibril Hough, a representative from the Islamic Center of Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer reported Hough as saying, “I was fairly pleased … I’ve got commitments from them that if anything like this comes up again, the lines of communication are open.” One might suggest that since Lowe’s was willing to meet with Hough, the lines of communication were never closed. Hough also asked Lowe’s officials to make some donations to local Islamic organizations to show that they support diversity, but was told that Lowe’s does not make donations to religious organizations.
TLC describes “All American Muslim” as a program that, “takes a look at life in Dearborn, Michigan–home to the largest mosque in the United States–through the lens of five Muslim American families. Each episode offers an intimate look at the customs and celebrations, misconceptions and conflicts these families face outside and within their own community.” It has been described by more fundamental Muslims as featuring an extremely watered down, Westernized version of Islam, not at all representative of the religion as a whole. Some Christian organizations took this as a sign that the whole idea was to try to pull the wool over the public’s eyes … to present Islamic culture as “less dangerous” than it really is.
In Christianity, such followers might be called “Sunday Morning Christians” … those who are in the pews going through the motions on Sunday morning, but devoid of Christian living the rest of the week. These are the hypocrites that those who criticize Christianity point to, saying, “I won’t become a Christian because I don’t like hypocrites.” Someone should let those who make such statements know that, should they continue such a stance they need to learn to like hypocrites, seeing as they will be in the same place for eternity (Matthew 24:45-51). Relegating one’s spiritual life to one special day a week, rather than living it as a lifestyle, will eventually show one to have no spiritual life whatsoever (Luke 6:46).