Mus­lim tales on TV

Re­al­ity show sheds light on com­mu­nity, writes David Bauder

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV -

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

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