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Top Catholics Love Muslim TV

Via Meadia readers may be aware of the brouhaha surrounding the reality television show All-American Muslim. The series, which follows five Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan, has come under fire from a fringe conservative Christian group that, along with a few others, has successfully pressured many advertisers to back out of sponsoring the show.

Today, Robert George, the man dubbed by the New York Times as “The Conservative-Christian Big Thinker“, and Jennifer Bryson, a colleague at Princeton’s Witherspoon Institute, published an open letter decrying the campaign against the show:

[T]he vast majority of our Muslim fellow citizens are indeed ordinary folks. They are good people and good Americans. They share our fundamental moral values and our commitments to democratic institutions and civil and religious liberty. They do not promote hatred of Christians and Jews and have no desire to establish an Islamic theocracy. They are as appalled as we are at the rhetoric and conduct of those of their religion who do promote hatred and who seek to undermine democratic freedoms.

Please know that in our pro-life, pro-family, and pro-freedom work at the Witherspoon Institute, we have found strong partners and allies in many Muslims. They have joined with us in promoting respect for human life in all stages and conditions; in upholding the virtues of modesty and chastity; in fighting the plagues of pornography and marital infidelity; and in working to protect religious freedom and the rights of conscience both at home and abroad.

Of course, there are violent extremists and enemies of freedom who act in the name of Islam—no question about that. They preach anti-Semitism in its vilest forms and seek domination. They have no respect for the dignity and equality of women or for religious and civil liberty. One of us (Dr. Bryson) has first-hand experience in confronting them: she spent two years serving our country as a United States Department of Defense interrogator at Guantanamo. Like you, both of us believe that Islamist terrorists and radicals must be resolutely opposed and defeated. But it is important to recognize that this is a view we and you share with the overwhelming majority of American Muslims…Their moral values are our moral values—and yours.

All too often, the media and partisan polemicists reduce religions and their adherents to their worst caricatures. Voices like George’s and Bryson’s put the lie to such portrayals. Read the whole letter and reflect on the role that strong religious convictions have had historically and still have today in promoting ideals of religious tolerance and freedom here in the US.
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  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    I’m sorry but I see nothing wrong with protests or boycotts, against something that you disagree with. How else can we express ourselves if we don’t use our freedom of speech and association? Letting Islamics know that they are being held responsible for the murder of thousands upon thousands of innocent men, women, and children, is the only way they will ever begin to police their own.
    Would the Inquisition still be around today if other Christians hadn’t pointed out how evil they were, with the torturing to death of anyone, and burning of witches? Did you know that a woman was recently executed in Saudi Arabia for witchcraft?
    I certainly don’t think Islamics should be given a PR platform to make excuses, for the inexcusable.

  • bjk

    Meanwhile, relgious cleansing is proceeding apace in the Middle East. It’s not what people have in their heart, it’s the raw numbers that matter. Which is why each and every Muslim can be a wonderful person, and Muslim immigration still be a bad idea.

  • Pete Dellas

    In my opinion, that TV program is nothing more than a subtle form of PC propaganda.

  • Jbird

    I’m a conservative Christian and I have no idea why, out of 800 channels showing 24 hours of programming, there can’t there be 1 show about moderate Muslims in America? If you don’t like it don’t watch it. If you don’t think your beliefs can survive the marketplace, then maybe you need to re-think them.

  • Michael Peterson

    I guess my problem is that the Muslim community doesn’t speak out when its radical elements murder innocents. Explain to my why only Christian and, to a lesser extent, Jewish organizations speak up in defense of moderate Muslims?


  • ChrisGreen

    Totally agree with Jbird. You can protest all you want but that doesn’t make it is a good idea. Good luck trying to get moderate muslims to speak out by shaming them. Your chances would be a lot better if you were trying to get them to speak out from a sense of pride in being Muslim American. It shouldn’t be our responsibility to produce this sentiment among an immigrant populations, but it doens’t mean we can’t help it along.

  • Richard S

    Good post. One minor correction. Formally speaking, the Witherspoon Institute is an independent group in Princeton.

  • Kris

    I haven’t seen the show, and I do not wish to express an opinion on the matter. So it is purely as a mischievous troublemaker that I suggest that Jacksonian@1 should have quoted the words of a wise man:

    It is not just the spectacular sinners, with their hands drenched in blood, whose victims cry out for justice. The quiet, respectable sinners — American whites, for example, who could have done more about racial injustice but chose to turn a blind eye — have responsibilities that a just and loving God cannot ignore.

  • Mrs. Davis

    Every other immigrant group has gone through something similar, usually much wo0rse. It’s part of assimilation.

    Multi-culturalism is on the way out.

  • Luke Lea

    Following up on your links, I thought Robert Spencer’s complaint against the show was interesting: “. . . it is noteworthy that both the woman who is getting married and the one who is trying to open a club acknowledge that they are not all that religious. And that is the problem at the heart of All-American Muslim.”

    I learned only relatively recently that 80% of American Muslims are not affiliated with a mosque. That is an important fact to keep in mind.

    Thanks to poor reporting in the NYT and other mainstream media in the aftermath of 9/11, most Americans don’t know this, something I presume this television show is trying to rectify.

    Of course it hasn’t helped that ordinary American Muslims haven’t spoken up more clearly. Maybe that is because they are unorganized? Or just want to keep their heads down?

    In any case this looks like a worthy show.

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