Muslim tales on TV
Reality show sheds light on community, writes David Bauder
FAMILIES on reality television often seem anything but real – think the Kardashians, Osbournes or any ‘‘real housewife’’.
Yet the featured characters in the new US reality show AllAmerican Muslim on US cable TV network TLC revel in their ordinariness. In fact, it’s the whole point of the series: to demystify a community foreign to many fellow Americans.
All-american Muslim features five families from Dearborn, Michigan, a city near Detroit with one of the highest concentrations of Arab descendants in the country. All the main characters were born and raised in the US, and their daily dramas are the stuff of scrapbooks everywhere.
‘‘People need to learn our stories,’’ said Nawal Aoude, a pediatric respiratory therapist. ‘‘The only time people see Muslims in the media, they are cast in a negative light.’’
Cast members said they agreed to be part of the series to show the diversity of their community and, in the postSeptember 11 world, prove that other Americans need not fear the Muslims in their midst.
‘‘Being Muslim isn’t just one way,’’ said Nina Bazzy, a young mother who is trying to open a nightclub in Dearborn.
‘‘There are different ways to live life. We are your neighbours, your friends, your co-workers. Watch the show. Love us.’’
But not everyone is so willing. There’s a
All-american Muslim Facebook page that calls for a boycott of TLC because of the series, which it calls ‘‘an attempt to make America accept Islam without showing the truth about what Islam is all about’’.
All-american Muslim: Coming soon, Discovery Channel
Nawal Aoude and husband Nader are part of the cast from