Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wingnuts Outraged Normal Muslims Exist

I'm usually not a big fan of using the term "wingnut" to describe people who hold extremely conservative political beliefs. I'm not a conservative myself, but I can nonetheless see that all too often the term is used as a smear that communicates little real information besides vehement disagreement with its target. However, the group behind this latest controversy really worked hard to earn the name. It's not just that they're very conservative, but also that they're at the same time unbelievably stupid, ignorant, or both.

So here's the story. The Learning Channel recently began running a series called "All-American Muslim" about Muslim families living in the United States. The biggest takeaway from the series is that just like American Christians, American Muslims are actually pretty normal. This simple fact completely incensed a conservative group called the Florida Family Association, which went on to successfully lobby many companies including the Lowe's Hardware chain into pulling their ads from the show. The basis of the complaint appears to be that since Muslims are terrorists, none of the people on the show are real Muslims. The stupid, it burns.

Lowe's pulled the advertising after groups including the Florida Family Association complained to the company. In its letter, the family group wrote that the show was not portraying Muslim Americans realistically. The letter also stated: "Clearly this program is attempting to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad and to influence them to believe that being concerned about the jihad threat would somehow victimize these nice people in this show."

The idea that all Muslims are inherently terrorists, which is what this letter clearly implies, is so dumb that it barely merits a response. However, the success of the Florida Family Association's campaign unfortunately demands one. Nobody is denying that Muslim terrorists exist, but there is a huge difference between liberal American Muslims and followers of the Taliban or Al Qaida. Furthermore, as with most religions Muslim extremists represent a small but admittedly determined minority. I might as well declare that all Christians share the beliefs of Hutaree, which would be equally ridiculous.

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Hypnovatos said...

Sadly, i am not surprised... disgusted... but not surprised.

Anonymous said...

The West Wing TV show put it best:

Al Queda is to Muslim as KKK is to Christian

I hadn't heard about the "normal american muslim" show until now. I'm not surprised it's come under attack, but I'm saddened that companies are pulling ads instead of telling the bigots to shove it.