Muslims push Lowe's boycott over reality series

c. 2011 Religion News Service LOS ANGELES (RNS) The controversy between Muslim Americans and the Lowe's home improvement chain will spill into 2012 with a planned boycott of Lowe's for dropping its advertising from the TLC reality show "All-American Muslim."

Leaders of the Muslim Public Affairs Council urged their members to boycott Lowe's, and called on more than 50 major advertisers -- including McDonald's, Whirlpool and Bank of America -- to keep their ads on the show.

Salam Al-Marayati, the group's executive director, on Saturday (Dec. 17) encouraged more than 900 attendees at an MPAC convention to move from complaining to more protracted, successful campaigns.

"We want winners, not whiners," he told the audience at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Yousuf Lakhani, an executive with the Muslim-focused financial services company Guidance Residential, bought a padlock at a Lowe's store in Orange County a few months ago, but no longer.

"I'm not going to go to Lowe's," he said. "I wouldn't want them to do that to any other (ethnic group). It's very sad. It's really shameful."

Lowe's officials said they pulled their ads on "All-American Muslim" because the TLC series did not meet its advertising guidelines, but the conservative Florida Family Association said it had pushed Lowe's to drop the show because it allegedly sugarcoats Islam.

Samia Khan, a young Muslim-American blogger, said Lowe's probably wanted "to be everyone's buddy. But they lost a lot of friends. ... If anything they got a lot more people to shop at Home Depot."

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