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Chan Lowe: The Lowe's Muslim ad cave-in


First off, I’ll tell you what I always say to the checkout clerk when she sees my credit card and asks the inevitable question. “Yeah, I’m the owner’s nephew,” I respond. “You know about my family discount, right?”

She never believes me, either.

There’s a reality show on cable TV I haven’t seen, called “All-American Muslim,” which follows five Dearborn, Michigan, Muslim families around in the course of their daily lives. The theme, I understand, is that they are no more or less American than non-Muslim families. It’s a popular show, which is a good thing, because it gives the correct impression that being a Muslim has nothing to do with being un-American or subversive.

Evidently, a right-wing Christian group called the Florida Family Association (yet another reason for Floridians to be proud) feels there is something to fear in this, because it lulls unsuspecting Americans into dropping their guard against an insidious element lurking in their midst.

They lobbied Lowe’s, an advertiser, to stop sponsoring the program, calling it “Muslim propaganda.” Fearing a boycott, the corporation immediately pulled its ads, and now faces a sympathetic backlash from more open-minded citizens.

Notwithstanding that probably no reality show deserves sponsorship from anybody, and bearing in mind that we are surrounded every day and everywhere (especially at this time of year) by more Christian propaganda than we can swallow, Lowe’s act was ill considered. The company should remember that not everyone who works on his home is a member of a Christian hate group. In fact, there are probably a lot more non-members among its customer base than members.

Mitt Romney famously said, “Corporations are people, my friend.” Well, this Lowe is a person, too…and he’s taking all his business to Home Depot until the other one changes his tune.

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"The Loew's Muslim ad cave-in." ?

Did I miss something ? Did Lowe's bow to pressure from an out of control Democrat in California (Sen. Ted Lieu), who threatened to attack their business by introducing legislation, if Lowe's did not publicly apologize and reinstate it's advertising on a particular tv show ?

Sisyphus,--Lowes did something much worse. They allowed a Christian extremist group that does not represent our electorate, voting public, mainstream purchasers, or decision makers in any meaningful way, dictate to them whom or what they should support or disapprove with their advertising by using the exact same tactics used by radical Islamic extremist groups when they denounce the West to their adherents. Both groups use their narrow religious beliefs to drive a wedge between people for the sole ignoble purpose of self-perpeutation instead of using the love of Christianity (or Islam) to bring people together, as I am certain God/Allah/Jesus would intend for his creations. No righteous deity would suffer their children being so intentionally split over so petty an issue or by such petty people. Lowes caved because, apparently in their minds, the FFA is dead on correct that the 1.6 billion or so Muslims in this world spend their days plotting to destroy the West instead of buying hammers, nails, and patio furniture and building stuff. Therefore, the American Muslims depicted in the reality show must be part of that group. I guess shouldn't have to remind you that the FFA still believes African Americans have tails, Jews have horns, all Irish men are drunkards, and a woman's place is in the home.

See the irony? Lowes caved to a Christian fundamentalist religious group who expressed their belief in the same way a Muslim fundamentalist group would if Saudi TV aired "Yankee Hajj", a delightful look at Americans who live in Riyadh. It's bigotry and xenophobia without a masquerade; next Lowes is going to give workshops to the Klan on proper cross building and erection techniques for steady burning during those all-night party-downs.

Sis and I and others have been butting heads on this issue for days. Fear is what guides people to follow ideologies and systems that do not serve them or us. The fact that so many cannot simply see Muslims as people, the same way we cannot see an African or Asian as simply a person, keeps us separate and depowered.

It's unfortunate that people are willing to sign away their rights and sensibilities all in the name of feeling more safe. Safety is an illusion. We are no more safe or endangered than we were 9-10.

I believe most of the people who are scared do not personally know a Muslim or Arab and have never met or conversed with one. It's proven beyond any doubt that most people here and abroad have never experienced a terrorist attack personally. And they never will. And yet they believe that there is something to be protected from, and that this is even possible to accomplish.

The worst thing that could happen to the fear mongers and manipulators is that we cast fear aside and live as one. For that reason, money and power are used to generate fear and manipulate minds and freedom.

We overthrew Saddam Hussein.
We found, and killed, Osama Bin Laden.
We may have had a hand in the downfall and death of Moammar Khadafy (or however you spell it),
And then I see this and I can't help but think--
THEY won.

Home Depot is a huge Republican contributor. Take your dollars to your locally owned hardware store.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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