Adam L. Silverman, PhD*
The Learning Channel (TLC) has a new reality show All American Muslim, that is going to follow members of several Muslim American families. The show has been vaulted into controversy because Lowes Home Improvement has decided to participate in an advertising boycott organized by the Florida Family Association. The FFA, led by David Caton a man who likes to carry a briefcase full of pornography around with him, has a history of engaging in controversial protests throughout FL, specifically the Tampa Bay area (I was born and raised in Tampa and have been watching the media coverage of this guy since I was in high school. I can't find a link to any reporting on it, but I seem to recall him being stopped for a traffic offense and the cops found his trunk full of adult videos. I may, however, be confusing this with a traffic stop that led to the prosecution of one of the local prosecutors. Basically Hillsborough County/Tampa, FL seems to be ground zero for some really weird stuff!). In the past couple of years he's caused a stir in regards to the accidental death of a local Muslim woman, as well as boycotting light rail plans as immoral (please remember this is Central Florida where former Congressman Feeney once referred to taxes as Satanic, so there's local precedent).
While many of the usual sources have waded in in support of the boycott, Lowes, and the right to be anti-Muslim (warning these links will take you to Geller and Spencer's websites, so click at your own risk). Some of the opposition is based on the fact that TLC isn't going to show any extremist families, just normal ones. Because when I'm planning to take over the country, I just love having the reality TV crew filming me - wait, wasn't this what the Palin reality show was about?). Of course Ms. Geller also quickly concluded that the attacker in Liege today was also a jihadi terrorist, not because he's actually a terrorist (apparently he's a career drug dealer), but because he has an Arabic sounding name...To their credit the Anti-Defamation League came out and condemned both the boycott and Lowes.
* Adam L. Silverman is the Culture and Foreign Language Advisor at the US Army War College (USAWC). The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of USAWC and/or the US Army.