TLC announced today that they will be airing a reality show about Muslims living in Dearborn, Michigan. The show is meant to be about the lives of regular Americans who happen to be Muslim. I’m guessing everyone’s hoping that this reality show will create awareness of how normal Muslims really are. Here’s a description of the show from an LA Times article:
The people participating in “All-American Muslim” seem to run the gamut from very religious to more casual, and all struggle to find a balance between their American home and their Muslim background. One cast member is a football coach and another is in law enforcement. There are even splits in the level of devotion in some of the individual families. One family features two sisters –- one of whom wears a traditional head scarf and another who has tattoos and piercings and married an Irish Catholic.
I know how Muslims live (I’m totally one myself) but I’m still going to tune in. My only hope is that it’s not of those shows where the folks being featured think they’re coming off as normal but then viewers just make fun of them the next day at work. Y’know, like with every other reality show.
All right, I admit, I haven’t actually seen a reality show but I’m slightly worried. I know the purpose is to portray Muslims as every day Americans but I’m wondering how interesting that will be. I’m pretty/100% sure my life is boring [Imagine a show based on me: Watch the Muslim race to catch her BART train on time. Will she or won’t she make her deadlines! Stay tuned as we spend the next 8 hours in her cubicle!] and so I’m curious as to how the lives of the Muslims featured will turn out to be. If it’s entertaining it probably means they’re messing up somehow. If everything’s normal and hunky dory, then the show could be boring. It’s like one of those double-edged sword thingies I’ve heard about.
Part of the slight worry I feel at this show comes from a quote from one of the Muslims featured on the show: “Nawal, quipped, ‘I buy Burberry, I buy Louis Vuitton, I buy Fendi.'” Not too many Americans can relate to that. I can barely relate to that.*
But maybe I should go ahead and let myself be optimistic about this project. So many people hold negative views about Muslims and Islam because they have never come across a Muslim in their own lives. If this TV show helps the general public garner a better understanding of Muslims in America, then I reckon I can’t see anything bad about that.
“All-American Muslim” will air in November so let’s see what’s up then.
*Quick side story – I bought Coach purse a few weeks ago all by myself. All the purses I have are ones that had been chosen and purchased by someone who knows a lot about purses (this would be my older sister) but I needed a new purse and I wanted to figure it out for myself. I walked into the Coach store in Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara (a mall that always makes me feel poor for some reason) and even though I thought I was going to Pretty Woman’d out of the store, I found a purse I liked AND the salespeople were nice to me. *High Five*