Threaten a boycott, boost the ratings

It’s a lesson that never gets learned: The best way to generate more exposure for speech is to try to suppress it. People who would never have given an obscure reality show a second look will tune in to “All-American Muslim,” now that the Florida Family Association has pressured the Lowe’s chain to withdraw its advertising.

The group’s executive director, interviewed by CNN’s John King, did his cause no credit by first pronouncing the word “imam” as “eye-mom.” Or by allowing himself to be interviewed in close conjunction with Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who did a credible of job of arguing his simple point: Muslims are just regular people. What strange times we live in, that making such a case seems necessary.

  • Claudia

    The show may want to show Muslims as just regular people, but in the episode I watched, the producers had no qualms about showing non-Muslims in an insulting and very biased way. For that reason alone, I think pulling advertising would be justified. And if the spokesperson for the Florida Family Association were anybody but someone from the South, would Mr. Collins feel a need to comment on his pronunciation?

  • Curtis

    Claudia,

    Mr. Collins did not comment on anything. Look just below the title of the post :

    Posted at 11:15 AM on December 13, 2011 by Eric Ringham

  • Conner

    I haven’t seen the show, and may not ever see the show. Depends on if I take the time to figure out how to watch it without cable. So maybe I’m misjudging the bias that Clair claims. But considering how many popular dramas show Muslims in a bad light, pulling advertising because the show portrays non-Muslims in a bad light is ridiculous. I’m sure Lowes had no problem advertising on 24 or any other show that consistently ignored the fact that the second most deadly terrorist attack of the last 20 years was committed by a white American male.

  • Jim Shapiro

    “Muslims are just regular people. What strange times we live in, that making such a case seems necessary.”

    Yes, a typical Muslim in the United States is pretty much like a typical Christian. A wide range of beliefs and behaviors.

    But while a fanatical Christian might ask you if you’ve accepted Jesus and your lord and savior,

    A fanatical Muslim will kill you.

    Are we clear on the distinction now?

  • John P II

    You really think fanatical Christians have not killed people because of their (the radical Christians’) beliefs? Ever hear of abortion clinic bombings or white supremacy groups? I don’t think a fanatical Muslim is any more or less likely to kill me than a fanatical Christian. Islam is a religion of peace, and I doubt its track record is any better or any worse than the Christian track record in terms of killing people.

    This is what bigotry looks like people.

  • Jim Shapiro

    I’m not exactly a huge booster of religion.

    More have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason. A plague on all of their houses.

    Christians did most of their killing several hundred years ago.

    Muslim sectarian and fanatical violence is occurring now while you refer to Islam as a religion of peace. (Sufism is pacifist, yes, but the other sect kill Sufis.

    You can try to be as egalitarian as you want, but this is what reality looks like, John Paul II.

    Do you have any idea what you’re talking about, or are you just trying to be a nice person?

  • siezu

    No Christian terrorists? Have you heard of Timothy McVey? Most people are just that, most people. There always were and always will be crazies. It’s up to the rest of us (the “most people”) to stand up for each other. We are all entitled to pursue our religion of choice. It doesn’t make us worse or better than anyone else, just different.

  • Jim Shapiro

    siezu -

    In the 2001 book American Terrorist, McVeigh stated that he did not believe in Hell and that science is his religion.[89][90] In June, 2001, a day before the execution, McVeigh wrote a letter to the Buffalo News identifying as agnostic.[91]

    -wikipedia

    OK, let’s not be concerned with the facts. We’ll just consider everything as being the same. Just different.

    That’s really nice.

  • John P II

    Hey Jim you left out the part about McVeigh being raised and confirmed Catholic and asking to receive the Catholic sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick before he was executed. That part was in the next sentence. Selectively quoting wiki facts is fun!

    btw here’s part of what wiki has to say about fanaticism: “it has the danger to be bigoted, rely largely on sweeping statements (in some cases entirely) and generalizations often twisting what its opponents are actually saying (or the meaning) to what the speaker wishes their opponent had actually said or meant.”

    And yes, I am trying to be a nice person.

  • Jim Shapiro

    John Paul II -

    Good for you for trying to be a nice person. I get the sense that you are.

    And I’m a recovering catholic myself.

    I’ll go on the record here as saying what Lowes did was wrong.

    Yes, I selectively quoted wiki facts. The RELEVANT ones. Someone who was raised catholic requesting the last rites doesn’t make them a christian fanatic. It just means that they’re afraid to die.

    McVeigh was an insane killer who happened to be raised catholic. That doesn’t make him a christian fanatic.

    To reiterate my original point, religious fanaticism of any stripe can be dangerous. Currently, it’s Islamic fanaticism that poses the greatest threat.

    I’m glad that you don’t feel threatened. Neither do I. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that any free thinker living in an Islamic fundamentalist country or community can’t say the same.

    Thanks for citing the wiki on fanaticism. It seems pretty accurate.

    Some of my best friends are fanatics for political correctness. Most of them are really nice people too.

    I try to be nice without being a fanatic about anything. But sometimes I don’t succeed.

    Sorry if my comments caused any undue pain. Just trying to engage in intelligent discourse about what I believe to be an important topic.