The Tlc Original Show All American Muslim Essay

The Tlc Original Show All American Muslim Essay

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The TLC original show All American Muslim poses a problematic representation of Muslims in the United States. This show utilizes an Islamaphilic approach, which oversimplifies the Muslim diversity in America, reinforces the existence of binaries in the practice of Islam and promotes a hegemonic, “acceptable” Muslim who is completely assimilated into American culture . Originally airing in 2011, this show only ran for one season before it was cancelled due to various controversies, which eventually led to very low viewer ratings. All American Muslim follows the lives of five Muslim Lebanese-American families living in Dearborn Michigan, the most densely Muslim populated city in the United States. This reality show highlights the daily lives of these Muslim families, and how their religion shapes their livelihoods. The Amen family has a daughter that just married a convert, the Aoudes are a young couple about to have a baby, Nina Bazzy Aliahamad is trying to open a club, Mike Jafaar is a police officer and Fouad Zaban is a high school football coach. Although they are from the same community, the show is structured so that each family has their own storyline and each family has a specific issue that they are struggling with.
Much like Hisham Aidi’s analysis of Brazilian soap operas where Muslims are humanized by emphasizing how they can be incorporated into Brazilian society , All American Muslim too attempts to provide an understanding of Islam to a non-Muslim audience by highlighting their similarities. Both of these approaches succeed in potentially creating a favorable opinion towards Muslims, however it comes at the cost of redefining the Muslim identity. Rather than encouraging the audience to be more open-minded towards peo...


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...e conversation shows that in order to be American one must let go of certain practices and beliefs and those holding a different perspective than what is deemed “correct” are somehow less American, further promoting a single dominant opinion of the Good Muslim and a distinct “other”. With these fixed categories of representation, the show confirms that people cannot exist as a mixture of ideas because they would be “Polluting to the purity of categories” (Difference and the Other 4/13/15).
A ll American Muslim does not effectively show the diversity among the American Muslim community. It instead supports existing theories that there are distinct archetypes among Muslims that must be followed in order to be accepted into society, which allow for the American general public to judge and label groups of Muslims, rather than allowing them to define their own identity.

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