‘All-American Muslim’ Misleads on Islam

TLC’s much-ballyhooed All-American Muslim reality show makes its agenda clear in its opening sequences: shots of a hijabbed girl roller-skating, Muslims dancing at a wedding, an American flag waving proudly in the breeze, and newspaper clippings proclaiming “4 in 10 Americans ‘suspicious’ of Muslims,” “Outrage at Ground Zero ‘Mosque,’” and “Muslims Brace for Backlash.” The point of the show is to depict Muslims as ordinary folks just like you and me who are subjected to unjust suspicion.

And so we meet one zaftig girl who loves to have fun and go to clubs, and who is in the process of getting married. Another young woman, provocatively dressed by Muslim standards, is trying to open up a club of her own. A young hijab-wearing wife shares the joy of her pregnancy with her loving husband. They’re balancing the demands of faith and family with life’s daily pressures, just like most Americans. So why—the show implies—are non-Muslim Americans so mean to them?

Yet it is noteworthy that both the woman who is getting married and the one who is trying to open a club acknowledge that they are not all that religious. And that is the problem at the heart of All-American Muslim. The Muslims it depicts are for the most part undoubtedly harmless, completely uninterested in jihad and Islamic supremacism (although there is a notable undertone of something quite different here and there, such as when the career woman’s “friend and business partner Mahmoud” tells her, his voice full of quiet menace, that a Muslim woman is really better off tending to her family than opening a club).

But Americans aren’t suspicious of Muslims who are trying to get married, open clubs, and play football. Americans are suspicious of Muslims who are trying to blow up American buildings, subvert American freedoms, and assert the primacy of Islamic law over American law. The problem people have with Islam is not with every Muslim person. It is with Islam’s teachings of violence against and the subjugation of unbelievers. It is with the supremacist ideology and the fervent believers in those noxious doctrines of warfare and subjugation.

All-American Muslim addresses nothing of that supremacist ideology, although at times it makes an appearance despite the producers’ best efforts. The woman who is getting married is marrying a Roman Catholic, who converts to Islam in order to marry her. Her father insists on the conversion as a condition of the wedding, and at one point we are told in passing that while a Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman, a Muslim woman is not free to marry a non-Muslim man.

Left unanswered in the show is the question of what might have happened if the couple had decided to get married in the Roman Catholic Church, or to leave Islam at some later date. No doubt this non-observant woman’s Muslim relatives would have been less solicitous in that event. There are many women in the show who are wearing hijabs and many who are not, but we are not allowed to see what might happen if one of the hijab-wearing women decides to take it off. Such conflicts would not serve The Learning Channel’s agenda.

There is a spectrum of belief, knowledge and fervor among Muslims, just as there is among the believers in every religion: there are people who are very knowledgeable about its doctrines and serious about putting them into practice, and others who don’t know and don’t care about what their religion teaches but still identify themselves as members of it, and every gradation in between. It would never happen for obvious reasons, but All-American Muslim would be much more interesting if it tracked one of its secular, attractive nominal Muslims as he decided to get more serious about his faith, and ended up participating in jihad activity or Islamic supremacist efforts to demonize and marginalize those who resist that activity.

Such a show would be far more honest in its depiction of the causes of the trumped-up malady of “Islamophobia”—and of its remedies, for the best outcome would be a show in which the nascent jihadi was turned into the FBI by his patriotic and moderate coreligionists. But that is a show we will never see; instead all that All-American Muslim gives us is a denunciation of “Islamophobia” featuring Muslims who could never have conceivably inspired any suspicion of Islam in the first place. The show is a bait-and-switch.

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  • Linda Fox

    The difference is that neither circumcision nor pierced ears cause severe consequences, including difficulty in childbirth, painful intercourse, or life endangerment, unlike FGM, Female Genital Mutilation.

  • Legal Research Journal The Res

    Proving it is simple, just follow history. You will find out who were the true tyrants and barbarians that plunder through land killing and seizing property. Knights of Templars, Albert Pike, Freemasons, Vatican Church, Cezar, Hitler, so on and so on and so on.  https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B9Al57tj2jX_N2M2MzFlM2MtOWRiNC00YmFlLThmYTMtODc3NTY5YjdmNjVi    

  • Renee Nabors

    Have you ever read the Old Testament? The Bible recommends things 10X as ridiculous and weird. Look at your own religion before you take scripture from other people’s holy books out of context.  

  • martah11

     Thank you. Well written. Many Americans are ignorant about Islam. It’s a culture/religion — no separation. Even what is called a “moderate Muslim” would side with the fundmentalist or radical Muslims.  Reformed Muslim is probably the only “degree” of Islam with an open mind and accepts other faiths; they will speak out against the jihadists. But there are very few of them. They, like other “infidels,” would be slaughtered. —

  • martah11

     There’s Pamela Geller, too.

  • martah11

     It’s a little difficult to understand your message when you don’t use correct grammar nor spell the words.  Not everyone understands text abbreviations. Maybe if you simmer down a tad before you write, it would help. Questions: What do you think about a Muslim who converts to another faith or becomes an atheist?  Why can’t Christians and Jews wear crosses or the Star of David in Muslim countries? Why aren’t churches and temples allowed in Mecca or Medina? How do you defend Mohammed marrying a 6 year old girl and having sex with her when she was merely 9 years old? And why do you use “guest?” — Isn’t that the same as terrorists who cover their faces (hiding)?

  • iaclhabbo52

    Moderate Muslims are None Practice Muslims, their biggest fear from organize for change to be unfaithful to Islam and its preaching. They are the Most Dangerous one, The Fact when Islams spread they are the once that take credit and hold positions as Moderate and continue the game of Takia. These people are so Hippocrates that don’t fallow the Teaching of Islam and Sharia Lows but will defend their faith in spite off dis-obeying that Quran is the word of Allah and deny the foundation of Islam, That Allah is the only God, and Muhammad is the messenger and no law but Sharia law. These are some of faces off deceiving Islam, the
    most dangerous ideology in the history, Watch it my fellow Americans.

  • martah11

     We have “moderate Muslims” in our government & military, our schools & communities. A former FBI agent reported there are three Muslim Brotherhood members in the White House. In some of our federal, state and local courts sharia is practiced for Muslims. If we are to exist as a nation we must have only one set of laws & one official language, English. — Multiculturism & socialism does not work. Never has, never will. — For centuries Muslims have slowly & meticulously plodded along to take over the world. A Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a Reformed Muslim, warns about the perils we face. And to stop giving in to the Muslims’ demands. He warns also about CAIR. Which is actually a front for Hamas. — Too many Americans don’t want to learn truth. It’s too difficult for some.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Cox/1552353972 Elizabeth Cox

    *Sigh*  Did Jesus say only love your neighbor as yourself if they follow your same religion?  Put yourself in their place.  Who has represented Christianity?  I’ve heard very bad things about Muslims too, but I don’t think the Phelps group represents my values when they go to funerals and hold up large signs telling the grieving families that their loved one died because God Hates Fags or the USA.  How many crusades have we had where we slaughtered our own people for profit?  I might not feel this way if the current crop of Christians weren’t burning down mosques and beating to death gay men, oh, and telling those who are out of work because of other people’s decision to not hire, that they should not -eat-.  Now, imagine you were being held accountable for the Spanish Inquisition, and have some compassion for your neighbor.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001996330478 Talha Abdulaziz

    I’m muslim and all these stereotypes really irritate me. Just because the media tells you muslims are bad does NOT mean its true. all the things you mentioned are absolutely forbidden, no muslim would even think of such a thing. Raping children, killing people, stoning women, ARE YOU MAD? These are lies and it annoys me living in a country where everyone is suspicious of us and comes up with this BS. And as you mentioned “start treating others as you would have them treat you”, did you know that god commanded muslims to do so? Did you know that in islam, killing an innocent is the sin of  killing the whole world? Did you know, suicide bombing, rape, etc. will take you to hell? If americans die and they suspect it was due to muslims, they will murder us ten fold. This is the fastest growing religion and the government are afraid, so they make up stupid bs and give people the wrong idea. I don`t care if you don`t believe me, but stop talking crap about us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001996330478 Talha Abdulaziz

    No they don`t, suicide bombing willl take you to hell. And homsexuality is forbidden so you don`t get boys. idk where you guys came up with this idea. You need to work hard and be a good person to reach paradise, not kill. And if you want proof don`t go to some scam website just read the quran.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001996330478 Talha Abdulaziz

    Thank you! This is exactly what I`ve been trying to say. whydo they keep making up lies :(

  • johnfromjersey

    Brahahaha! You ask if I’m mad? I guess you’ve not read a newspaper or watched a tv news show in the last 25 years. If that’s the case, then you are forgiven, if not then you’re a liar. Islam is no more a religion of peace than poison is good for your health. You Muslims must think all Americans are as stupid as Obama, but, let me assure you that if you, or your barbarian brothers wish to try American’s patients and start sending your children to blow themselves up in America, you will find how very good we Americans are at dealing with our enemies. Don’t think for a minute that because we have a wimp in the white house that Americans are as wimpy, we will fight back, and when we do, you will lose, bet on it.
    You claim you’re a muslim, you claim that your religion is not violent? then I say, the proof is up to you, not me. Since 1979 when your people took Americans hostage, kept them for a year against their will, it has been one violence after another, ALL DONE BY MUSLIMS. I could site them here, but, you do your own homework. Islam has been since the beginning, nothing but a collection of violence every where they’ve gone. So, either you’re lying, or you’re not really a muslim. I couldn’t care less which.

  • adityan

    All American Muslim and Little Mosque on the Prairie both feature non-Muslims who converted to Islam.  How about let’s exploring the issues involved with the reciprocal situation of a Muslim converting from Islam to Christianity or some other religion?  The responses from the larger Muslim community could be quite interesting.

  • Usama Redneck

    You are telling US to read the Old Testament? That’s rich you must be an illiterate if you recommend such a thing on that basis.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenoberlin Ken Oberlin

    I have been reading through this thread, and I feel I need to speak up.  There are many differences between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  There are many similarities as well, including common ancestors, etc.  In the grand scheme of things though, Christianity and Judaism have ‘grown up’ over the past few thousand years, and evolved, UNLIKE Islam which still preaches the same hate from 1400 years ago. If ANYTHING, Islam has grown up to be MORE hateful over time, with newer verses having authority over older verses in the Qu’ran, and those newer verses being the majority of the verses filled with hateful rhetoric.

    I am a Christian.  I made a conscious choice when my wife and I were married for the both of us to BECOME Christian.  Having become Christian (specifically Catholic) later in my life gives me some perspective, that I think many don’t have.  I can admit to all that the Catholic faith specifically (and Christians in general) have committed MANY, MANY atrocities in the 2000 years since its founding.  We can UNIVERSALLY agree that such atrocities were horrible, and we have committed to trying to ensure that these things never happen again.  However, as I said earlier, we have ‘grown up’ as a faith, and new incidents are thankfully becoming less common – yes there are priests who are pedophiles, and some in the Church have tried to cover that up – but the Church still sees those as problems, that should not be accepted, and those of my faith UNIVERSALLY condemn such actions – can the same be said for Islam?  You will find NO Catholic or Christian police states ANYWHERE in the world – can the same be said for Islam? We as Christians do not FORCE our religion on anyone.  You need to want
    to become Christian, you need to feel a personal connection to God.  Can you as a Muslim say the same thing?  If
    someone turns away from the Christian faith, that is their choice –
    Christians will not hunt them down and behead them for that choice, nor
    will they become an apostate shunned by their former friends and family -
    can you say the same thing?

    I’m not going to sit here and say that ALL Muslims are bad.  That would make be a bad Christian.  But until ALL Muslims can universally condemn and prosecute the ‘bad’ Muslims, as we prosecute Pedophiles, murderers, and genocidal maniacs, there will be hatred toward them.  PROVE that you won’t stand for Islamic Terrorism.  Prove that you want education to be a universal right.  Prove that you believe in BASIC human rights – and make sure that your fellow Muslims WHEREVER they are believe the same things, and will stand up to the same things.

  • Arcadia P

    Mark James you should spend more time in learning your own faith.  It seems that you think you can defend any religion against the lies of main stream religions such as Christianity, and Judaism and others without any clear indication of knowledge of Islam.  Islam even  accepts child forced marriages, and pedophilia.  Where do you see subjugation of others taught by Christ?  Just show me where Jesus allowed the stoning of the women caught in adultry.  Islam practices and promotes the stoning and murdering of women caught in adultry but men can marry and remarry over and over again.  Has any diocese accepted the actions of pedophile priests?  Has the Church accepted this as a defensible action?  You are wrong and you are just defending non sense and your arguments are so weak I believe that you are probably a follower of no religion except your own personal point of view which has very little standing in the debate of intellect.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LYRE3ZTCTWDZZCEPH74SZU3HNY yahoo-LYRE3ZTCTWDZZCEPH74SZU3HNY

    By their fruits you shall know them. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self control are the fruits of Godliness.  I will watch people for their fruits not their words.  Your actions will speak so loud I won’t be able to hear your words.  

    Your faith and goodness are proven in what you do, not what you say, and that applies to everyone.

  • guest3950

    well, there are rare cases/stories of extremism and ignorance for every religion, you shouldnt judge a religion or a group of people based on infrquent stories that especially in this case, are condemned in Islam.

  • iaclhabbo52

    I hope that you are not challenging me to explain whats the Taqiyya uses in Islam or Takia and Kitman, Listen I have read the Quran more than you can think off, My friends were not Practice Muslims because they were not too excited about the teaching of Islam Ideology, That is destroying our countries ans set them back. You might not care about other people education and you have made the assumption that I can’t help learn the truth about Islam and it’s teaching and the fundamentals of so called Islamic faith. I would like to visit this site that explain to you The Taqiyya and Kitman and the uses of it. You owe it to your self to read more why we are concerned. Our Countries were high jacked by Islam Teaching, see whats happening in Iraq and Syria Egypt, Wake up son, Islam been at war with the world and itself. You should not lie for any reason, you should falsify your feeling for people and society that adopt you and gave you the freedom to practice your believes regardless how much hate and deceit in its teaching and allow you to practice your freedom of speech, Don’t hate for the sake of your Allah because my Allah is merciful and ask us to love each other. I will guarantee you, if I was in Iraq as Christian and publish this I would not be living another hour. Keep your mind open to the truth that can save your sol from destruction because we don’t have a problem with you, Islam is waging the war and hate every time you pray Al Fateha Sadiqi ( Friend) Let me know if you need me to help you find The Lord and we will be in haven both together with out Hurriat, Because have is not a whorehouse according to Islam Teaching.
    Do yourself a favor and visit this site, it looks you don’t know the
    diffrent between a practice Muslim and Non Practice one, and May God Bless
    you
    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/011-taqiyya.htm
    Essam