Monday, December 12, 2011

Lowe's and Bigotry

If you haven't heard about the latest religious bigotry (and I'm not talking about Gingrich's otherwise inexplicable lead over Romney, although that's certainly interesting in and of itself), look to the major hardware chain Lowe's.

Apparently there's a reality show about Muslims in Michigan. They're pretty normal Americans, doing American things. Like almost all Muslims in America.

Apparently this made certain people mad (specifically, the Florida Family Association--another reason to distrust any group that has the word "family" in its name). The FFA believes that Muslims are dangerous, and that the show was misleading because it portrayed Muslims as being normal people. The group sent complaints to all the companies who advertised during the show, and then claimed they'd influenced those companies when those same companies failed to advertise during the show for next two weeks. Obviously, making such a claim is silly since most companies don't advertise repeatedly on the same show--but FFA claimed victory anyway.

Unfortunately, one company did cave in, and even admitted to doing so on Facebook.

I've known several Muslims during my lifetime, some of them American and some not. I taught a discussion on my mission to a room full of Muslim men, and taught additional discussions to other Muslims. I have a friend from law school who is Muslim. And guess what? They're all normal people.

I can imagine the FFA complaining about a hypothetical show about Mormons, based somewhere in the Mormon corridor, because it didn't show extremist Mormons (otherwise known as polygamists). The complaint would be equally as silly. Their bigoted ideas about American Muslims is disappointing. Even more disappoint is that a major company, Lowe's, caved in to their demands and then tried to justify it. I can't imagine being a Muslim employee of Lowe's right now. And I won't be shopping there until they publicly apologize.

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