California Legislator Threatens Business for Free Speech


The Learning Channel (TLC) has been broadcasting a reality show called All-American Muslim that presents the Allah people as just like any other immigrants, with no reference to annoying terrorism, the 9/11 attacks or the Fort Hood massacre, to name a few Islamic behaviors.

Of course, not all Muslims are active blasters, but we don’t know how many would prefer a sharia America either. No pollster wants to ask, apparently. Forty percent of Muslims residing in Britain say they want sharia law in the UK, so it’s not unreasonable to assume a similar portion in this country.

Objections from traditional Americans about the show’s Islo-propaganda has caused a number of sponsors to pull their advertising.

But a California Democrat, Senator Ted Lieu, has threatened to pursue unspecified “legislative action” if one advertiser who pulled advertising — Lowe’s home improvement stores — doesn’t apologize to the sensitive Muslims and reinstate its ads.

As an immigrant, perhaps Sen. Lieu hasn’t yet heard of the First Amendment which protects free expression by both individuals and businesses. Whatever the reason, his authoritarian meddling is unwelcome and completely improper. Contact info for Lieu is here.

Below, the characters in TLC’s “All-American Muslim” are presented as bomb-free, diverse and wholesome.

Calif. senator threatens boycott over Lowe’s ads, Associated Press, December 11, 2011

A state senator from Southern California was considering calling for a boycott of Lowe’s stores after the home improvement chain pulled its advertising from a reality show about Muslim-Americans.

Calling the retail giant’s decision “un-American” and “naked religious bigotry,” Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, told The Associated Press on Sunday that he would also consider legislative action if Lowe’s doesn’t apologize to Muslims and reinstate its ads. The senator sent a letter outlining his complaints to Lowe’s Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Niblock.

The retail giant stopped advertising on TLC’s “All-American Muslim” after a group called the Florida Family Association complained the show was “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”

The program premiered last month and chronicles the lives of five families from Dearborn, Mich., a Detroit suburb with a large Muslim and Arab-American population.

“The show is about what it’s like to be a Muslim in America, and it touches on the discrimination they sometimes face. And that kind of discrimination is exactly what’s happening here with Lowe’s,” Lieu said. 

The Florida group sent three emails to its members, asking them to petition Lowe’s to pull its advertising. Its website was updated to say that “supporters’ emails to advertisers make a difference.”

Suehaila Amen, whose family is featured on “All-American Muslim,” said she was disappointed by the Lowe’s decision.

“I’m saddened that any place of business would succumb to bigots and people trying to perpetuate their negative views on an entire community,” Amen, 32, told The Detroit News on Sunday.

Lowe’s issued a statement Sunday apologizing for having “managed to make some people very unhappy.” The North Carolina-based company did not say whether it would reinstate advertising on the show.

The apology doesn’t go far enough, Lieu said. The senator vowed to look into whether Lowe’s violated any California laws and said he would also consider drafting a senate resolution condemning the company’s actions.

“We want to raise awareness so that consumers will know during this holiday shopping season that Lowe’s is engaging in religious discrimination,” he said.

In addition to an apology and reinstatement of the ads, Lieu said he hoped Lowe’s would make an outreach to the community about bias and bigotry.

A call to Lowe’s headquarters seeking comment about the boycott threat was not immediately returned Sunday.

“Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lightning rod for many of those views,” the company’s statement said. “As a result we did pull our advertising on this program. We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance.”

Lieu’s office said a decision was expected Wednesday or Thursday on whether to proceed with the boycott.

Dawud Walid, Michigan director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said his group felt “extreme disappointment” at Lowe’s “capitulation to bigotry.”

Walid said he has heard expressions of anger and calls for a boycott by Muslims but said a key to resolving the Lowe’s advertising controversy will be how non-Muslim religious leaders and others react to Lowe’s decision.

“I will be picking up the phone tomorrow to some of our friends and allies to explain the situation to them,” Walid said Sunday.