New Muslim 'Reality' Show Is Anything But
The American TV network TLC recently announced that it is making a reality series following the lives of Muslims living in America. The program—called "All American Muslim"—will follow five Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan, hoping to expose the "misconceptions and conflicts" they face "outside and within" their own community…In a statement TLC's general manager Amy Winter said:…"Through these families and their diverse experiences, we will explore how they blend their values and traditions with everyday life in America." She added the program would provide: "Insight into their culture with care and compassion."
In other words, at a time when the need for objective knowledge concerning Islam is at a premium, many Americans are to be subliminally indoctrinated on what Islam is really about—not through Muslim theology or history, nor yet politics and current events—but rather by a "reality" show of a handful of American Muslims.
One of TLC's goals in airing this program is to show us "diversity" in Islam: According to the network's statement: "The families featured in the series share the same religion, but lead very distinct lives that oftentimes challenge the Muslim stereotype."
For example, there is a girl that "sports piercings and tattoos"—as if the fact that a tattoo-wearing American female who identifies herself as a Muslim is supposed to tell us anything about Islam. Other characters are not so colorful, but are formulated simply to gain sympathy for Muslims: their claim to fame is that they are "trying to find the balance between their traditional Muslim roots and American culture," or working "tirelessly to educate … about the Muslim religion in an effort to reduce discrimination and ignorance."
In short, through five families who supposedly represent a religion of over one billion, the show is dedicated to depicting Muslims as "just like us." Indeed, one might argue that these five families are not even representative of their own Muslim neighbors in Dearborn, chosen by the producers for having "one of America's largest Muslim populations and has the largest mosque in North America."
In fact, Dearborn is also a hotbed of Muslim extremism, where the FBI had a shoot-out in the streets with jihadists; where a former resident was indicted in a Hezbollah terror plot targeting Israel; where one American politician says Sharia law holds sway; and where a Christian preacher was threatened by shouts of "Allahu Akbar!"
Will these sorts of "diverse experiences" find their way into the reality show?
What is more ironic is that TLC's motives appear superfluous and unnecessary: the same report does not conclude by saying that, because anti-Muslim sentiment is on the rise in America it needs to be combated by such shows, but quite the opposite: "The announcement comes as positive attitudes in America towards Muslims appear to be on the rise. Earlier this year CNN found that 46 percent of Americans have a positive view of American Muslims, while 26 percent have an [sic] negative view. In 2002, the number of Americans with a positive view of Muslims stood at 39 percent."
One may argue that this is just a show, and that people should know better than to base their opinions of Islam on it. While this is true, it is also true that the ideas and images that the media presents to us tend to condition people's perceptions and opinions— a consequence especially critical at a time of war.
If one truly wished to understand the differences between the Muslim and Western mindsets, one need only look to their respective medias. Far from trying to depict the "other"—the infidel—as "just one of us," the Arab media is devoted to making the West look as if it is on a "crusade" to destroy Islam, and that the Jews are "pigs and monkeys" who are behind any number of animal-related conspiracies. Meanwhile, here is America's media, floating in an idealistic, Utopian bubble, conditioning minds accordingly.
Raymond Ibrahim, a widely published author on Islam, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
Comment on this item
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Louis René Beres
Jihadi violence serves not only to advance the terrorist's delusion of immortality, but also to add, however perversely, an apparent and desperately needed erotic satisfaction, using religion as the justification.
Persuasive promises of immortality -- the desperate hope to live forever -- underlie virtually all major religions.
Washington and Jerusalem should finally address what needs to be done in addition to military remediation -- reinforcing efforts to convince these terrorists that their expected martyrdom is ultimately just an elaborate fiction.
by Gill Gillespie and Shabnam Assadollahi
The aim of the current Iranian regime is clearly to acquire a nuclear weapons capability and to retain as much territory in Iraq as possible under Shia Islamist rule, whatever the human cost. Those aims are also the reason Iran's regime is now trying to intervene in Iraq.
Iran will doubtless be demanding that any cooperation with the West be compensated for by "concessions" permitting its nuclear weapons program.
Involving Iran in Iraq at this point will merely alienate any Sunni allies whose assistance is much needed to defeat IS.
Many people inside Iran have alerted the U.S. Administration for over two years about other industrial facilities being secretly built in Iran and not declared to the International Atomic Energy. So far, all intelligence from within Iran has been wilfully ignored by the Obama Administration.
by Burak Bekdil
The Turkish government "frankly worked" with the al-Nusrah Front, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, along with other terrorist groups.
The Financial Task Force, an international body setting the standards for combating terrorist financing, ruled that Turkey should remain in its "gray list."
While NATO wishes to reinforce its outreach to democracies such as Australia and Japan, Turkey is trying to forge wider partnerships with the Arab world, Russia, China, Central Asia, China, Africa and -- and with a bunch of terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Nusrah Front.
Being NATO's only Muslim member was fine. Being NATO's only Islamist member ideologically attached to the Muslim Brotherhood is quite another thing.
by Samuel Westrop
British politicians seem to be trapped in an endless debate over how to curb both violent and non-violent extremism within the Muslim community.
A truly useful measure might be to end the provision of state funding and legitimacy to terror-linked extremist charities.