Issues, Opinion

Lowe’s decision to pull TV ads stings Dearborn

9 Comments 20 December 2011

By Yasmeen Chraim
Unis Middle School

Many people, especially Muslims have been talking about the controversy between the new show on TLC, All-American Muslim, and the home-improvement store, Lowe’s.

The reality TV show All-American Muslim is about how Muslims live and act. It is about their lifestyle, their families, how they live and what they do. The show is shot in Dearborn.

Some people say it is like a Muslim version of the show Jersey Shore.

Lowe’s took its ads off the show after receiving a letter from the Florida Family Association. The group wrote called the show propaganda that “riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”

In Dearborn, Layal Mallah, 18, who watches A.A.M, said, “Lowe’s made a bad decision. They are just a racist company and they want to make Muslims everywhere look bad and think of us as terrorists.” Because of the decisions Lowe’s has made, many people have been boycotting them. Mallah said, “Nowadays I just think people try too hard to try to make Muslims look bad.”

My dad, Ramzi Chraim, told me, “it is very disappointing. They are showing insensitivity. Everyone put Lowe’s under pressure but at the same time they deserved it. “Lowe’s chose to insult one ethnic group and, of course, it is Arabs.”

He said, “I will probably still shop there because my choices are limited, but they need to learn more about the Muslim culture before they judge us.”

Connie Wilkinson working with student Reem Mansour at Unis/ Photo by Yasmeen Chraim

One of the teachers at Unis Middle School, Connie Wilkinson, said, “It’s too bad it doesn’t support the show. the program would support all Arabs in America,” she said. “It helps to do away with false information. Many Americans think ALL Arabs are terrorists.

She said the All-American Muslim shows that “not all Arabs are not terrorists.”

Wilkinson is one of several non-Arab teachers in a school where about 90% of the students are of Arab descent. She knows how Arab students act and that their families are not terrorists.

When Lowe’s pulled its ads, people — especially Muslims — reacted in a bad way.

The workers at Lowe’s don’t really have a say in this situation, because the decision was made by the company. Lowe’s obviously knew it would lose some customers. And fewer costumers means lesser money. But after all the objection to its decision to pull the ads, Lowe’s issued some problematic apologies.

On Facebook, Lowe’s posted: “It appears that we managed to step into a hotly contested debate with strong views from virtually every angle and perspective – social, political and otherwise -– and we’ve managed to make some people very unhappy. We are sincerely sorry. We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, across our workforce and our customers, and we’re proud of that longstanding commitment.

“Lowe’s has received a significant amount of communication on this program, from every perspective possible. Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lighting rod for many of those views. As a result we did pull our advertising on this program. We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance.

“We strongly support and respect the right of our customers, the community at large, and our employees to have different views. If we have made anyone question that commitment, we apologize.

“Thank you for allowing us to further explain our position.”

Lowe’s is now dealing with a boycott, protests and moderating thousands of comments on its Facebook page.

Your Comments

9 Comments so far

  1. AndiMurphy says:

    Good story. I think the majority of people don’t care about commercials and don’t make a connection between what program the companies want to support. Mostly it’s a rude interruption and a time to get up and get a glass of water. Lowe’s created this problem by pulling ads, otherwise it would have been just another annoying commercial. But I am for sure going to watch All-American Muslim.

  2. Madeleine says:

    Wow–I did not know about this! What a powerful piece.

  3. Nigel says:

    Insightful and well reported. Bravo.

  4. Rene Astudillo says:

    Great article! I wish more in mainstream media would do a similar great coverage!

  5. Bobby Calvan says:

    Good job, Yasmeen. It’s stories like these that help inform our communities about issues that matter to so many of us. Keep up the good work!

    – Bobby Caina Calvan, AAJA MediaWatch national co-chair and Congressional Reporter for The Boston Globe

  6. aterra coles says:

    I so agree because other people should not be talking about other people religion because if it was them getting put down they wouldnt like it at all and im american i should know thats not cool at all to do that but anyways i loved the article alot i really enjoyed reading it,it was really good

  7. Hussein Barakat 6th hour says:

    I agree you can’t judge a book by its cover and you can’t judge people by there religion. The customers should not be afraid of Muslims they think we are all terrorists. I agree with this article.

  8. yasmeen chraim says:

    Thank you, hope you enjoyed my story.


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Unis Middle School

Unis School serves grades K-8 in the Dearborn Public School District. The school principal is Heyam Alcodray. These are its beliefs about education:

  • A student's highest potential includes improvements academically, artistically, emotionally and socially.
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  • Good instruction is assessment-driven, outcomes-based, active, and engaging.
  • Effective instruction touches the world of each student providing for different learning styles and needs.
  • Education is a life-long process that prepares students to be successful, contributing citizens in a changing world.

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