That Lila would hold her own daughter back (and tell herself it’s out of love) shows how women do each other in by becoming the foot soldiers who enforce the very beliefs that are meant to undermine them.
That “All-American Muslim” boldly addresses women’s (mis)treatment isn’t the only reason, however, that members of this community condemn this show. The main contention revolves around an issue that the show is actually silent on.
American Muslims have complained the title “All American Muslim” is misleading because the show focuses on one religious, ethnic community (Lebanese Shia in Dearborn) and some have even flat out denied that the stars are in fact true Muslims.
Not true Muslims -- doesn’t that complaint sound oddly familiar?
The sad fact is, for all the PR talk by Muslim Americans that the Muslim community is too diverse to be stereotyped, encompassing many different world regions and cultures and races, many Muslims define a “true Muslim” in a monolithic way.
This means that although the cast of “All-American Muslim” sincerely practice their faith by fasting during Ramadan, reciting the Call of Prayer into a newborn’s ear, some wearing the hijab while others refraining from shaking hands with the opposite sex, they are still easily dismissed as heretics because of one simple fact: they are Shia.
Only between 10-15% of Muslims follow the Shia sect of Islam while the majority are Sunni. Their minority status has led to them being persecuted in many Arab countries from Iraq to Bahrain to Saudi Arabia. al-Qaeda is as intolerant of Shias as they are of Christians and Jews. Islamicweb.com comes out and states, “Shi’ism is a totally different religion than Islam.”
In tonight’s season finale, the famous tattoo artist, Ami James, tells Bilal Amen, who travels to New York to see him, that it’s sad that “we have to leave our country to become friends.” James is an Israeli Jew who served in the military during the action in Lebanon.
That James can forget his past and extend friendship to a Muslim of Lebanese descent merely highlights the depth of intolerance displayed by so many American Muslims who’ve denounced their own fellow Muslims and damned this show.
What’s further disturbing is that not once do the stars come out and mention their particular sect. That the show remains silent about the Shia cast is actually a clear statement that this minority group is in fact “all Muslim.”
Causes Samina Ali Supports
Women for Women International
WISE: Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equity...