What's wrong with TV's 'All-American Muslim'
TLC's new show "All-American Muslim" showcases families in Dearborn, Michigan.
November 16th, 2011
08:41 AM ET

What's wrong with TV's 'All-American Muslim'

Editor’s note: Aman Ali is a New York-based writer, stand-up comedian and the co-creator of 30 Mosques in 30 Days, a Ramadan road trip across America.

By Aman Ali, Special to CNN

Anytime I hear about a TV show coming out that features Muslims, my initial reaction is almost always “Oh man, please don’t suck. Please don’t suck.”

Unfortunately with TLC’s new reality show, it does.

“All-American Muslim” is the network’s new series about a group of Muslim families living in the Arab-rich city of Dearborn, Michigan.

Brilliant! What better way to show the mainstream public an insight into how multicultural and intellectually diverse Islam’s followers are… with a show focusing on just Arabs (20% of the world’s Muslim population) who follow the Shia sect of Islam (about 10 percent of the world’s Muslim population).

The show, which premiered over the weekend, presents itself as a glimpse into the American Muslim community but ignores an overwhelming majority of the cultures that comprise it. South Asians like my parents, who came from India, make up one of the largest group of Muslim immigrants in the United States.

That doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that the show makes no reference to African-American Muslims, another huge American Muslim group. Many of the black slaves that built the foundation of this country with blood, sweat and tears were Muslim.

Read the full post on CNN's Belief blog

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soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. rose

    Kind of a good idea, it's a good idea not to generalize and dehumanize an entire group of people no matter who they are. I am not in any way a religious person, christian, muslim or whatever and I don't lump everyone one into the "you are crazy for believing in a supernatural power group" either. YOU have good muslims, bad muslims, good christians, bad christians, good atheists and agnostics and bad ones too. Judge the individuals by how they ACTUALLY live their lives. It takes the burden of being a ignorant know it all and prig.

    November 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Me

    Yes Kyle, since everyone seems to believe everything that is Googled...like it's a verb. You actually believe it since it is in print on a web page? Care to cite a page? I am not saying you are wrong, but do not be a fool like many and say,"I read it on the Internet...." Like when you catch a fish, hold it up for a picture, and someone asks you where you caught it? Do you reply,"In the water..."
    Google off Kyle....you were just as ignorant.

    November 29, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. missy

    I don't want to get too serious in this, but I think just having a show about "middle eastern" peoples is good. It's a start. I'm actually surprised that while American tv has embraced gays and lesbians, other cultures are not included much...there is the 'token' of that culture. Here's what I'm talking about...Seinfeld: supposed to be in New York, yet I mostly only saw Jewish people...even on the street! What's up with that??!! Just sayin'

    November 27, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. George Whacington

    There were about 645,000 African slaves brought to the USA. By 1860, they had procreated their way to around 4 million. Amazing that America's foundation was built by 645,000 to 4 million black people, at least half of which were women and children, most all of which lived in the south in a few States. Truly a miracle, huh?

    November 26, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Infidel

    I will start a american cooking show in some arab country, mainly pork dishes!!! This is america, stop your stupid muslim probaganda! the day we can go in a arab country and can spead christianity and build a catholic church next to mecca, thats the day i may listen, otherwise pls spare us from your stupidity

    November 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. evelyn

    I say who cares what they think The day they admit what their brothers are doing, killing innocents all over this world
    then I will care what they have to say

    November 25, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Windu

      That is an ignorant comment. Literally. For one, since before 9/11 the 99.9999% of Muslims who are not terrorists or sympathisers or apologists have denounced terrorism. Second, all Muslims aren't brothers, any more than you are the brother of some Christian lunatic that says God told him to kill someone. Do white Americans have to answer for the terrorism of skinheads, the KKK, Aryan Nation, etc? Do you need to "admit" what your "brother" did in that case before your opinion matters?

      November 26, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. MM, MLS

    Dan, they have found evidence of Muslim beliefs and practices, and of Arabic writing in slave quarters in the American South. Do a little research before you speak. (And I happen to be a white Christian, but I've had to research the issue in my job as a reference librarian.)

    November 20, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dan

    Uh, the slaves that came to the US from West Africa were animists. Sorry, there is no record of any of them being Muslim.

    November 19, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Kyle Overboard

      Dan, quit putting bad information out on the interwebs. With a simple Google of "muslim slaves America" I came up with many pages of information, to include scholarly treatise on the very subject. FACT: there were many Muslim slaves brought to the Americas. FACT: Dan doesn't do research, he just makes stuff up. Dan, go Google.

      November 20, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |