Arab-American and Muslim Groups Protest Lowe’s

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December 15, 2011; Source: The Washington PostThe National Network for Arab American Communities, a secular affiliation of  22 Arab-American nonprofits announced that its members will no longer accept donations from Lowe’s after the home improvement retailer yanked its ads from TLC’s “All-American Muslim.” Lowe’s had bowed to pressure from a conservative Christian group in Florida.

The head of New Jersey’s largest mosque also said that a protest will be held Friday at the Lowe’s store in Paterson, home to one of the largest Muslim communities in the U.S.  Protest organizers are expecting several hundred participants from all over the country.

Mohamed El-Filali, outreach director for the Islamic Center of Passaic County, told Bloomberg Businessweek that “it is unfortunate that in the 21st century we still have legitimate organizations like Lowe’s involved in bigotry and allowing a regular program portraying Muslim families in their natural light not to be sponsored.”

Lowe’s, which stands by its decision, cannot possibly benefit from all the backlash—not only from the Muslim-American and secular Arab-American community but also from the majority of Americans who do not tolerate discrimination and prejudice. Moreover, the company will not able to take the tact often used by repentant corporations—that is, make contributions to the offended group.

Surprisingly, the travel website Kayak announced that it will also pull its ads from “All-American Muslim” when the show returns in January.

Chief Marketing Officer Robert Birge said in a statement posted on Kayak’s website that “TLC was not upfront about the nature of this show … any reasonable person would know that this topic is a particular lightning rod. We believe TLC went out of their way to pick a fight on this, and they didn’t let us know their intentions.”

Birge also wrote, “Mostly, I just thought the show sucked.”– Erwin de Leon