One of the things I loved the best about teaching in Queens was getting to know people of different cultures, nationalities and religions. I learned to experience the world from my own backyard. Because of this experience, I have learned to see people as they are, flesh and blood, with mothers, fathers, children and with hopes and dreams no different than mine or the ones I was brought up with.
Okay, the reason for this post. Several weeks ago, The Learning Channel starting airing The All American Muslim. Out of curiosity, I began watching and found I really liked the show. I loved listening to the little conversations between the participants and seeing how people, even those who observed differently got along. I found, what I knew, I was watching people just like the ones I grew up with and are neighbors and friends with now, living their daily lives.
Here is the thing I found disturbing. It is hard to understand why, in the twenty first century, we need a show to portray one religion as being just as American as every other one. I don't understand why anyone would think a woman with a hijab is dangerous or not as good a person as a Christian or any other person. But, listening to people around me, people I thought were open minded, I get it, but I still don't like it.
And now, Lowe's is withdrawing as a sponsor of this great television show because of pressure from an Evangelistic Christian Group. The group is claiming the show is just propaganda and is forcing religion down the throats of viewers which is baloney. Anyone who watched would see this is far from the purpose of the show. And talking about religion and television, it is impossible to turn on the set without seeing a Christmas theme right now. I wouldn't expect non-Christians to start a petition for sponsors to drop these shows. Seeing a Christmas tree does not make me want to convert to Christianity and I don't think the writers and actors expect me to. Religious freedom belongs to all, even Muslims (note the sarcasm here!)
Lowe's bowed to pressure and pulled their advertisements. I am joining the group who will now boycott Lowe's. We cannot allow a bigoted group like this stop a show because they don't like Muslims.