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Florida Family Association sparks religious debate, possible boycott

admin | 12/21/2011, 5:20 a.m.

With Islam one of the fastest growing religions in America and the world, it seems fitting that a show highlighting the life and concerns of those who practice the Islamic faith would be produced soon. All-American Muslim, which follows the lives of five families in Dearborn, Michigan, premiered on The Learning Channel (TLC) last month. Many praised the show for being one of the first to fairly shed light on what the average Muslim in America really experiences and believes. The eight episodes of the season will show how a football player still manages to play while fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan; career women and why some women decide to cover their hair; and interfaith marriage. Yet other organizations believed All American Muslim had a more malevolent agenda. One of the more vocal efforts was led by the Tampa-based Florida Family Association, a conservative Christian group. Sending out hundreds of thousands of emails to corporations that advertised during the reality TVs time slot, it warned that the show is propaganda.advancing Islamic fundamentalism. David Caton, the executive director of FFA, issued a statement saying, We just want to make sure that only American laws are enforced in America and that Islamic code or Sharia law does not change our way of life or diminish our liberty. One of the corporations to pull their advertisements in response to FFAs campaign was the retail home improvement company, Lowes. According to a statement issued by Lowes, the North Carolina-based corporation apologized forhaving "managed to make some people very unhappy." "Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lightning rod for many of those views. As a result we did pull our advertising on this program. We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance," the statement said. Their decision to withdraw ad support has drawn outrage from several different groups. In an interview with the Christian Post, Kamal Nawash, president of the Free Muslims Coalition, said I think Lowes decision was unjustifiable and a complete shock. All-American Muslim was able to capture the similarities of Muslims to the general American population while capturing their uniqueness. Other groups have called for actions as varied as simply asking Lowes to reverse their decision to an all out boycott of the retailer. By Kaila Heardkheard@miamitimesonline.com