December 2011

All-American Muslim is TLC's bold new reality TV show that follows Muslim American families in Dearborn, MI. It has all the features of reality television – funny, dramatic, sensational, addictive – but it also tackles real-world struggles: family and marriage, racism, religious conflict, and how life changed after 9/11. It made me excited – the first truly mainstream portrait of Muslims in America. Last week, fringe anti-Muslim groups pressured American companies to pull their advertising dollars from the show – and it worked! Lowe's Home Improvement caved in.

For the last decade, we have heard demands for mainstream Muslims to come out of the shadows, to speak out against terrorism, and reclaim their faith.  What better way to tell one's stories than though film and television?  And what is more quintessentially American these days than telling one's story through reality TV? This fall's new TLC show All-American Muslim takes on the daring project of depicting Muslim families as real people.  Anti-Muslim groups selected the show as its most recent target, calling upon advertisers to pull ads