Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Murphy to Lowe's on pulling ad from Muslim TV show: You're Better Than This (release)

Today, Congressman Chris Murphy delivered the following remarks in the House of Representatives regarding a decision by Lowe's to pull advertising from "All-American Muslim," a new show on The Learning Channel:
Last week, the giant home improvement chain, Lowe's, decided to pull their ads from a new show on The Learning Channel, called "All-American Muslim". Now this show depicts five Muslim-American families of Lebanese decent from Dearborn, Michigan, and highlights how their faith affects their lives and their families.  The show is aptly titled because it shows Muslim families to be exactly what they in this situation, and millions like them around the nation. They are Americans, they face problems just like the rest of us – the only difference is that they worship at a different church.
Now Lowe's pulled the ads because one right-wing anti-Muslim group in Florida said that the show hides the (quote) "true agenda" of Islam – which according to this group, is to destroy America.
Now this kind of anti-Muslim bigotry isn't new.  It seems like every month we're being warned by a new radical group about the creep of Sharia Law, or a peaceful mosque is being run out of a community, or a radical pastor is burning the Koran on television.
But it's one thing when a fringe group or a radical unhinged pastor is doing it. It's quite another when a Fortune 100 company is endorsing this nonsense.
Now, Lowe's defends itself by saying they're pulling their ads because some of their customers had "strong political and social views on this topic".  Well congratulations to Lowe's for acknowledging that there are some really bigoted people in the world.  But that doesn't mean that Lowe's, or any other company, should acquiesce to this kind of behavior.  For instance, there are unfortunately a lot of people out there who still hold racist view about African-Americans but I don't think that means Lowe's is going to be pulling its ads from television shows featuring African-Americans.

But Lowe's also says that they are sorry for walking into a "hotly contested debate". Well what debate are they talking about? Yes we face threats from a fringe sect of radical anti-
But there's no debate that the millions of patriotic peace-loving Muslims who live in this country have no connection to that movement and do nothing except strengthen the fabric of our nation.
Now maybe you think that this is just a minor sideshow, and Congress shouldn't be talking about it on this floor.  I submit to you that you're dead wrong.  This is a major American company rubberstamping basic, foundational bigotry against a major American religious group.  This nation was founded on the premise of religious freedom, and this body should never remain silent when a group of people is marginalized just because they worship a different God.
And though we've certainly got more important things to worry about, like fixing the economy- its traditionally been during bad economic times when people think they can get away with this kind of social marginalization has been at its worst because people don't speak up against it.
Now further this kind of bias, it endangers our national security. Douglas McDonough, the President's Deputy of the National Security Advisory recently said that Al-Qaida's core recruiting argument is that the West is at war with Islam. With this action, extremists can say look we're already being run out of their neighborhoods, and now we're being run off of their television sets.
This kind of anti-Muslim sentiment not only endangers our nation's soul, it endangers our national security.  And so here's my message for the folks at Lowe's who made this decision, and frankly anyone out there of sound mind who is considering getting behind this growing anti-Muslim bigotry.
You're better than this. You know that the history of this country never looks kindly on this kind of marginalization that you've endorsed with your actions. Whether it was against Irish-Americans, Jewish-Americans or African-Americans, the history books ensure that this kind of exclusionary politics becomes a stain on the reputation of anyone who takes part in it.
Today, I'm leading a group of Members of Congress calling on Lowe's to reverse their decision, and apologize for their mistake.
Personally, I've had enough.  We have a lot to fear when it comes to radical Islamic groups who seek to do harm to America.  We have nothing to fear from a TV program called All American Muslim, or from the tens of millions of peace-loving, patriotic Muslim-Americans who are just like those portrayed in that show.
This is America.  And while we've never been perfect in living up to our founding ideals, we've gotten pretty good at calling out bigotry when we see it, and stamping it out before its mark becomes indelible.
This can be one of those moment."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go Congressman Murphy! You tell 'em. Not only should Lowes be better than that, we as a nation should be better. You're right, this nation was founded on religious tolerance and American pluralism has been built up over many decades. It is one of the great strengths of our country and if we don't work to keep it alive it will die and our country won't likely survive intact without it.

December 13, 2011 at 3:01 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Muslims pray to the SAME god that Christians pray to. God in the Arabic language translates to Allah. Ask any Arab Christian what they call god and they will tell you Allah.

December 13, 2011 at 3:49 PM 
Blogger wersgold said...

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July 26, 2012 at 4:11 AM 

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