What do controversies regarding Islamophobia mean to you? What does interfaith intolerance mean to you? I believe we don't have so much of this problem in Malaysia Alhamdulillah but that does not mean we should not be sensitive to what our fellow Muslims in America are facing.
It's ironic but heartwarming that a non-Muslim friend from America has brought our attention to an issue faced by our Muslim brothers and sisters in [supposedly] "melting-pot" USA. She is making us speak-up on this matter. She works with 'My Fellow American' project which focuses on addressing and minimizing unfriendly gestures towards Islam in America.
Please read her message below:
I thought that you and the readers of Lisan al-Din would be interested to know that last week Lowe’s Home Improvement pulled its ads from the TLC show All-American Muslim in response to an organization claiming the show "falsely humanized Muslims in America.” The Lowe’s controversy has exposed more Islamophobia in America. This issue falls directly in line with what the My Fellow American project is trying to prevent and overcome in America.
As a supporter of the project, would you please visit www.myfellowamerican.us to share what this controversy means to you? I encourage you to ask your readers to do the same to help spread the message of tolerance to fight back against intolerance and fear-mongering. We've just posted a host of new content from various entertainers and faith leaders on this topic.
When you post or tweet about this important issue, please send me the link so I can share it with my team. Thank you for your continued support!
Well, I am yet to watch the 'All-American Muslim' TV show but I think I can still try to answer Ms. Elizabeth's question on what such a controversy means to me. I think Lowe's, just like many people out there, could learn from a Malay saying: Tak kenal maka tak cinta. What it means is that one cannot possibly love something or someone if one does not know it/him/her well enough. It's a simple maxim, it's full of common sense yet it's hard to do if one is not willing to open one's heart to get to know something or someone truthfully.
Whatever it is, Lowe's must be credited for wanting to advertise/support the pro-Islam TV show, initially, albeit for a short while. They must be thinking:
Life is about supporting
One another regardless of creed, color and faith
With kind thoughts for humanity if not heart-felt compassion and knowing that
Each community deserves the right to coexist in harmony in
Support of the divine plan no matter how different our approach is towards the One Divinity.
They later pulled out probably because they suddenly realized that:
Life is not about standing up for tolerance and humanity but
One that is driven by personal profit at all costs hence one must align oneself
With likeminded, narrow minded people
Even if their views are considered as distorted by the majority, but
Such an attitude will not make much improvement for the greater good of this shared home.
Let's remind ourself to keep our level of intolerance on low. Let's make an effort to get to know something for eventually we'll come to love it. Or at least respect it. Let's not support any kind of lowe-ly attitude.
Watch this unique video published by 'My Fellow American' featuring Rabbi Jack Bemporad and Sheikh Yasir Qadhi on Lowe's and Islamophobia.