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Thread: All-American Muslim on TLC

  1. #101
    FORT Fogey Dragonlady's Avatar
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    Re: All-American Muslim on TLC

    Quote Originally Posted by J_Abdo View Post
    The two statements don't sound that different or contradictory to me...

    On one of the episodes, I think she or Jeff says something to the effect of-- She wore the hijab from age 6 to 19. It didn't fit her style after that, and she doesn't feel it's proper for her to wear the scarf.

    This says she convinced her mom to let her wear it at 6, Kindergarten. In this article, it also says she took it off after high school. That would be 13 years.
    TLC debuts 'All-American Muslim' reality show
    In other articles (like the one you link to) it says she wore it for 13 years. She's late 20s or 30 something now, so from all she's said, it seems she indeed took it off after high school and not just for the show. I can't find her age, but I don't think she's just out of high school. Her older sister Suehalia is 32 and Shadia's #2 (I think?) with Bilal and Samira after her and who seem to be well out of high school.

    I've seen that quote you have in bold in various places, too. It doesn't mean she took it off just for the show necessarily, it speaks to why she took it off regardless of when she did. You represent your religion, parents, upbringing in whatever you do and whatever decisions you make, not just if you're on TV. I think that's more what she was saying.
    We could discuss our opinions about her all day long and we still wouldn't know what she's thinking or why she does things. Personally, I don't care. The show's boring and that's why I don't watch.

    I still don't think Lowes' was wrong for pulling their ads, no matter what their reasons. They certainly never said anything against their religion so it's purely conjecture to assume what prompted it.
    This is what America is supposedly about - Freedom to do as one wishes as long as it's not illegal. A lot of us care about people's values and if we disagree, we're free to not support people who act w/o what we consider basic human values.
    I didn't like Shadia from the first show or the second (quit after that) and it had nothing to do with her head scarf. I also don't judge people on their words but their actions. I just chalk it up to instinct, and I could very well be wrong. Not that it matters, though.
    I wanted to learn more about Muslims and this show did not provide that...nor were they very interesting to continue to watch.

  2. #102
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    Re: All-American Muslim on TLC

    With all due respect, your post sounds like you believe Muslims do not act with basic human values.... I don't know if that was intentional or not.

    Look I don't like the show either - I find it boring. I don't need to watch other people live normal lives, that's why I have my own and I have friends and family who share their lives with me. These "fly on the wall" shows are only fun for me if there's something outrageous about them.

    But I did learn a little bit from this show - I learned that these particular people live lives almost identical to my own and those of those around me, albeit they don't conform to some of the restrictions of my religion and I don't conform to theirs. May I ask a question? Do you feel you weren't educated about Muslims because they didn't give explicit information about the Islamic way of life, or because they information they gave was contrary to what you previously believed? I'm genuinely curious.
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  3. #103
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    Re: All-American Muslim on TLC

    Quote Originally Posted by tears.and.rain View Post
    With all due respect, your post sounds like you believe Muslims do not act with basic human values.... I don't know if that was intentional or not.

    Look I don't like the show either - I find it boring. I don't need to watch other people live normal lives, that's why I have my own and I have friends and family who share their lives with me. These "fly on the wall" shows are only fun for me if there's something outrageous about them.

    But I did learn a little bit from this show - I learned that these particular people live lives almost identical to my own and those of those around me, albeit they don't conform to some of the restrictions of my religion and I don't conform to theirs. May I ask a question? Do you feel you weren't educated about Muslims because they didn't give explicit information about the Islamic way of life, or because they information they gave was contrary to what you previously believed? I'm genuinely curious.
    Are you talking to me?? I can't tell who you're addressing here.
    If you are asking me, I'm totally dumbfounded why you'd think I implied that Muslims do not act with basic human values. I think some Muslims act with "basic human values" and some do not, just like every other group of people in the world.
    I think this large family behaves very similar to the majority of people in the US but I don't find the interaction to be intriguing, the people are so very normal, nothing much happens to keep me interested. Most other reality shows usually provide me with humor at the outrageous behavior of the characters, otherwise, they'd be boring also.
    As to your last question (and I still can't believe you're addressing me based on my post):
    There was very little info regarding the Islamic way of life, one exception was Shadia's use of a head covering, which with became somewhat controversial, based on her own words...so that didn't help to understand them. I only watched 2 episodes and I said that the reason I stopped was because it wasn't interesting to me. I really don't know the answer to why I felt it didn't educate me as I would have liked. It seemed to focus on their "normalcy," so in those episodes I didn't get much as far as their religion and their beliefs. Prior to this show, I really didn't have much information about Muslims except for the fanatic religious ones...which I never really connected to "regular" Muslim families. Why would I? There are crazy fanatics in every group, religious or not. Everytime I see a guy with a hoodie over his head and sunglasses, I don't think he's the Unibomber and the same applies to Muslims.
    Not sure why I'm going into this with such depth because I truly don't think my post could be construed the way you did. But we're all entitled to our opinion and if it was me, you're entitled to an answer. (I mean this in the nicest possible way...not sarcasm at all.)

  4. #104
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    Re: All-American Muslim on TLC

    When you were addressing whether Lowe's was right or wrong, you mentioned we had the freedom in America to choose what we support. Then you stated "A lot of us care about people's values, and if we disagree, we're free to not support people who act without what we consider basic human values." That sounds quite a bit like you were defending Lowe's right to pull their advertising from a group that acted without basic moral values. That was what surprised me, that's why I asked that question, and that's why I asked the question about your prior beliefs. Of course, it now seems to me like that sentence was unrelated to the previous one.... it just threw me for a loop is all. I hope you can see why, but obviously a miscommunication, forgive me!

    I agree that this show misses the mark in terms of its purpose. If its purpose was to show that Muslims live lives just like ours, okay, they did that, and it's a noble goal as some people still don't understand that. But I feel it would have been more effective had they included more information on the actual religion itself - mix the theory with the practice a bit? The best way to fight ignorance is information, right? Or, if that's not the goal of this show and it was meant to be more of a Real Housewives kind of thing, then they should have picked some people I couldn't find in my own neighborhood!
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  5. #105
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    Re: All-American Muslim on TLC

    I also think the show's not the best in the world, but I will stick it out because it is a subject that interests me. And someone gets killed in the episode (not to mention Wrigley lovers will possibly be pacified) I'm in the middle of and I want to know who and why. I had thought it could be the coach, but it is a community member, but still...

    Anyway, I was thinking what would make it better and I wonder why it isn't as addictive as some of TLC's other shows (even thought they are often less interesting or more disturbing subject matter). The suggestion someone had of a one hour special... or several hour miniseries might be good, too, if they got multiple families and only covered one issue. I think the problem is that the other TLC shows are basically about one family when they do something like this. But I wonder if the participants or the Dearborn community or TLC thought it would be too intrusive to do it in that style, so TLC had to get more than one family. I mean, there is a severe lack of privacy having cameras all up in your business all the time and it may or may not have contributed to marital issues with Jon and Kate and Little People Big World couple (my opinion only). Maybe TLC's intent was to show a variety of viewpoints in which case multiple families were the plan and due to all the issues and time constraints of trying to get sufficient background on each family and focus on problems and solutions, TLC bit off more than they could chew.

    I think they should have done multiple families and one issue (headscarf in America; praying 5 times a day in America; sports and Islam- Ramadan, headscarf challenges; conversions to and from, or whatever else) or one family and all the issues. In the last one, if they followed Suehalia around, they'd get her parents because she lives at home, her job, life decisions, Shadia's wedding, gatherings of family and friends where these individuals can talk to the camera in that one on one way. I also think sometimes background is missing. On the Little People show, someone on the show always narrates or introduces the different pieces of the show so it helps with the familiarity and context.

    Or maybe TLC wasn't the right network to handle this topic to answer questions and pick "story lines" most Americans want to know about...

    Anyway, off to finish the episode

  6. #106
    FORT Fan val123elephant's Avatar
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    Re: All-American Muslim on TLC

    J. Abdo
    thanks for your post on last night's show. My TV listing did not show this a new show, so I don't have it and don't see ep. six being re-shown in the next two weeks. I'm really interested in Wrigley storyline. Pacify me please.
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  7. #107
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    Re: All-American Muslim on TLC

    So Wrigley comes back home and it looks like they are trying to keep him off the carpet (good luck with that!). Sounds like the garage is a possibility- I hope they will fix it up some with temperature control if that is the case... Before this happens, Shadia talks to her mom who tells her Jeff's compromised a lot already and she must do the same. Sounds like practical advice rather than a reaction we would have been expecting based on the discussions going on here with regard to Islam and dogs (and discussion among cast on the show).

    Also Nawal gets out for a workout after the baby and shakes the trainer's hand. Twice. Oops. She was nervous about telling her husband. I would hope it's just because it's never happened rather than fear that he would regard it as cheating or something. She asked for a woman trainer. I would have done that myself. The cast discussed the handshake thing. Kind of funny. Nina made fun of it and said if you get aroused by that, you have a problem, a hand fettish. I would certainly respect the wishes of someone who felt this way, even if I thought they were going a bit far. I mean in Christianity, we are warned to avoid the appearance of evil and so I wouldn't go hang out with ex boyfriends (male trainers, or whomever) even if I was dead certain nothing would come of it- I wouldn't want the appearance or possibility. I understand to some degree.

    Hassan's death brings to light some issues. They think people will view the death as- look, now they are turning on themselves. Or that it would fuel stereotypes of violence even though violence exists in every community. I thought there was some interesting discussion there.

    In all three of these items, though I feel TLC didn't do the subjects justice. I feel that in the case of the Wrigley thing, they kind of jumped around and didn't give a good representation of the progression of events (and in the process didn't do the cast justice).

    In the other two things, they didn't really flesh out the issue or given enough context or depth.

    Oh, and they did touch on sharia law. It was ok, just not enough detail. They did say that it was religious law in Islam, not to supercede the law of the land, and that Michigan in no way conforms to it. I'm glad they got that in there. I'm glad they had Mr. Jaafar from the police department and Suehalia from the courts to talk about it, I just wish more detail had been given, discussion had, questions from the audience maybe? These are two valuable members of the cast that are probably being underutilized. Maybe they can't say too much due to the nature of their job, but it would be helpful if they could.

    I think if this flops, it will be TLC or the particular people TLC put in charge of this project that should take the blame, not the cast or subject. I wonder if they've got experienced people on this, people knowledgeable about Islam or not, or who is working on it? I'll have to take a look maybe. I'm curious now.

    This had great potential that is kind of being wasted. It's timely and interesting, but not being done justice - not in a bigoted, stereotypical way, but a quality one.

  8. #108
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    Re: All-American Muslim on TLC

    Episode 6 aired 12/18/11 and episode 7 airs 1/1/12. That one's going to be about the casts 9/11 experience on the 10 year anniversary and on the actual date.

    Should be good, I'd think, unless TLC really messes it up.

    IMDB doesn't have episode 6 up yet, nor does wikipedia.

  9. #109
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    Re: All-American Muslim on TLC

    thanks, for the recap. I'm glad Wrigley is home. I can't remember how many times I would be fielding calls at the cat shelter and girls were saying "my boyfriend/fiance/husband is allergic and unless the cats go, they are leaving. I always said "I don't believe the allergy thing, unless you have it in writing, but I will tell you, the cat is not the issue and he's probably leaving anyway and then you'll be alone, and really sorry you gave up your cat".

    My online listing only lists programs two weeks in advance. Maybe I will get to catch it in a repeat, unless they dump the whole series.
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  10. #110
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    Re: All-American Muslim on TLC

    Quote Originally Posted by J_Abdo View Post
    I also think the show's not the best in the world, but I will stick it out because it is a subject that interests me. And someone gets killed in the episode (not to mention Wrigley lovers will possibly be pacified) I'm in the middle of and I want to know who and why. I had thought it could be the coach, but it is a community member, but still...

    Anyway, I was thinking what would make it better and I wonder why it isn't as addictive as some of TLC's other shows (even thought they are often less interesting or more disturbing subject matter). The suggestion someone had of a one hour special... or several hour miniseries might be good, too, if they got multiple families and only covered one issue. I think the problem is that the other TLC shows are basically about one family when they do something like this. But I wonder if the participants or the Dearborn community or TLC thought it would be too intrusive to do it in that style, so TLC had to get more than one family. I mean, there is a severe lack of privacy having cameras all up in your business all the time and it may or may not have contributed to marital issues with Jon and Kate and Little People Big World couple (my opinion only). Maybe TLC's intent was to show a variety of viewpoints in which case multiple families were the plan and due to all the issues and time constraints of trying to get sufficient background on each family and focus on problems and solutions, TLC bit off more than they could chew.

    I think they should have done multiple families and one issue (headscarf in America; praying 5 times a day in America; sports and Islam- Ramadan, headscarf challenges; conversions to and from, or whatever else) or one family and all the issues. In the last one, if they followed Suehalia around, they'd get her parents because she lives at home, her job, life decisions, Shadia's wedding, gatherings of family and friends where these individuals can talk to the camera in that one on one way. I also think sometimes background is missing. On the Little People show, someone on the show always narrates or introduces the different pieces of the show so it helps with the familiarity and context.

    Or maybe TLC wasn't the right network to handle this topic to answer questions and pick "story lines" most Americans want to know about...

    Anyway, off to finish the episode
    TLC does a little of the sort of thing you're describing with My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, though that's not really their show. They're just the American distributor of it. That show centers on the weddings, primarily, but works in issues in the Traveler/Romana culture as well. I don't think MBGW necessarily does a great job of handling that culture either, but I think focusing on a single issue and different families--but generally not more than two families an episode--helps give the show more focus than All American Muslim has. And, of course, it has a degree of outrageousness about it that fits more with most of TLC's line-up and perhaps has a greater entertainment factor because of that outrageousness.

    I stopped watching All-American Muslim, partly because I just don't have time to watch everything and partially because I just didn't think it was particularly well done. But I'm not especially "pacified" by the fact that Wrigley was returned home. I'm happy for Wrigley and Jeff, but I wasn't looking to be soothed like a fussy or overly agitated toddler, because what happened to Wrigley is, unfortunately, indicative of a wider issue that I take seriously and which isn't easily solved and that goes well beyond dogs (though even if it were confined to dogs would not mean it was not legitimately important to many people): how do we negotiate cultural/religious freedoms in a multi-cultural society when one person's religious/cultural impedes upon someone else's legal rights or his/her religious/cultural beliefs? And that goes for ALL religious/cultural beliefs, not just Muslim beliefs. To me, a service dog's ability to accompany his/her handler onto a bus is important but so is a library's ability to keep books on its shelves that some, but not all, of its patrons find offensive, for example.

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