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Sunday, December 18, 2011

CAIR Executive Director Attempts to Defend TLC's All American Muslim

It looks like CAIR Chicago Executive Director, Ahmed Rehab, has decided to take the argument put forward by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and use it in his case against anyone who objects to Lowe's decision to pull its advertising from The Learning Channel's "All American Muslim" program. The problem with it is that it is based on a completely false premise. Here is how Rehab's article in the Huffington Post starts:
Imagine if a major American advertiser were to pull its ads off of Jersey Shore because they received objections that the show while portraying a group of Italian-Americans, made the glaring error of excluding Mafiosi. 
Imagine if the absence of characters "whacking knee caps" and "making offers you cannot refuse" was deemed as an "omission" and therefore pro-Italian propaganda, and as a result too controversial to sponsor. 
Well imagine no more. Such is the pitiful state that Islamophobia has reached in this country, and it's very real.
Ok, so Rehab is saying that those who agree with Lowe's are upset because the show didn't play to the alleged stereotypes that exist about Muslims and that because the program portrays a normal, regular Muslim family, those same people are upset.

Not quite, Ahmed. What Rehab does not tell you is that All American Muslim DOES feature a very radical imam named Husham Al-Husayni, who marries Muslim couples in the program. Al-Husayni heads the Karbala Center mosque in Dearborn, MI and has expressed support for Hezbollah.

This post isn't about making that case; it's already been made HERE.

Rehab continues:
Lowe's is putting forth a very dangerous argument: that the far right bigots and the mainstream Muslim voices with their pro-tolerance allies of all faiths are equal opposites; that those who wish to humanize a faith community that comprises 25 percent of humanity and those who wish to demonize them are equal opposites; that the forces of bigotry and the forces of anti-bigotry are equal opposites. The pervasive assumption that there is a moral equivalency between the two sparring sides is a major factor in the rise of Islamophobia in the US. But Lowe's goes further than to claim moral equivalency. It actually takes sides, the wrong side: the side of the bigots.

The running complaint used to be that Muslims are always portrayed as terrorists. But now, the message being sent is that "not portraying American Muslims as terrorists" is sufficient for complaint and controversy. It's moving the goal posts to a dangerous new "lowe."
Ok, so those who support Lowe's decision are bigots. That's his argument? Isn't anti-Semitism a form of bigotry?

Al-Husayni supports Hezbollah and refused to denounce the world's most dangerous anti-Semite, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when given the chance.

Using Rehab's logic, Lowe's is catering to bigots when it pulls its advertising from "All American Muslim." In reality, it would be catering to anti-Semitic, terrorist sympathizers if it continued to sponsor the program.

h/t Weasel Zippers

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