TLC has a new reality show about American Muslims, set in Dearborn, Michigan. American Muslim Aman Ali has a spirited response:
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 percent 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.
And Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Dave Chappelle and Lupe Fiasco are all
American Muslims, too. Hell, Detroit is right next to Dearborn. All the
producers had to do was turn around and they’d find one of the most
active African-American Muslim communities in the country.