Monday, December 12, 2011

Boycott against Lowes misses real goal

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Boycott against Lowes misses real goal
By Ray Hanania – There’s nothing like emotion to bring Arabs and Muslims together, even when they don’t agree.
When TLC announced that it was broadcasting a new show called “All-American Muslim,” the Muslim community expressed anger and criticism.
All of the people in the new reality show about Muslims in Detroitland, where one of the largest Arab populations resides, were Arabs; there were no non-Arab Muslims.
That provoked a barrage of criticism beginning with one Pakistani who noted the majority of Muslims in the World are non-Arab.
Arab Muslims also were angry with the show, with many complaining that the idea of an Arab seeking to open a dance studio or a liquor establishment was offensive.
Of course, I don’t see too many Muslims complaining about the dirth of liquor stores operated by Muslims not just in Detroit but across America, and even in the Middle East.
Now, TLC’s “All-American Muslim” is involved in a new controversy that may trump the anger from Muslims and Arabs against the portrayals in the show.
A fanatic Christian group in Florida called “The Florida Family Association” announced it was protesting the show because the show, they said, sought to impose Islam on Americans and to justify Sharia law.
The group targeted all of the advertisers on TLC, more than 50 and almost all of them announced they were removing their ads from broadcasting during the TLC program. They said the majority agreed to reconsider advertising and that 20 had withdrawn their Ads.
Some of those advertisers include the biggest names in American commerce, many of them patronized by Muslims and Arabs: Amway, Anheuser Busch Inbev, Bank of America (Cash Rewards), Campbell’s Soup, Dell computers, The Gap, General Motors (Chevy Runs Deep), Good Year, Home Depot, Honda North America, HTC Phones, Ikea, JC Penney, JP Morgan Chase (Chase Sapphire), Lowe’s, McDonald’s, Nationwide Insurance, Nintendo (, Old Navy, Petsmart, Pier One, Radio Shack, Sears , Signet (Kay Jewelers), Sonic Drive-ins, Subaru, T-Mobil, Toyota (Camry), Volkswagen, Wal-Mart and Whirlpool (Maytag).
During the past two Friday morning broadcasts of Detroit’s Radio Baladi (WNZK AM 690), one of the largest American Arab and Muslim radio shows in the country, callers complained about the show that it portrayed Arabs and Muslims inaccurately.
Suddenly, the response from the Muslim and Arab community has changed.
Now, faced with the protests from the rightwing religious fanatics, Arabs and non-Arab Muslims are beginning to rally around the show.
And I think that’s something they should have done from the start.
Nationally, Arabs and Muslims across the country have begun targeting Lowes, ignoring all of the other advertisers who agreed to either remove their advertisements or to prevent their Ads from appearing during the show.
The fact is “All-American Muslim” is the perfect way to help show the true side of American Arabs and Muslims. That Arabs and Muslims are no different than any other people. We have very religious people and we have very secular people and much more in-between. We’re no different than they (Americans) are.
Except in one respect. It doesn’t seem that Arabs and Muslims appreciate the nuances and subtleties of effective communications. We have never understood the American media or the power of communications. We’re stayed away from it and only in the past decade has there been a slow but steady trickle of American Arabs and Muslims who have tried to engage the media.
And the “media” doesn’t just include the biased anti-Arab and anti-Muslim newspapers, radio shows and TV shows. It includes the public relations spin of communications strategists by influence peddlers in this country. It includes movies and TV shows and especially sitcoms. And, the bias includes reality TV.
It’s amazing to me that many Arabs and Muslims will tolerate the sale of alcohol and foul-mouthed comedy when it is in mainstream American public venues such as by nearby liquor stores or on Cable TV. But when someone slaps a label on it and says it represents Muslims or Arabs, the internal battle begins. We become our own worst enemies.
The truth is that instead of blasting Lowes for removing its advertising, we should be sitting with Lowes and demanding that they fund more programs like “All-American Muslim.” If they don’t like it because it is “too controversial,” then fund programs that are more mainstream.
When does Lowes advertise in Arab newspapers or on Arab radio shows. All-American Muslim is about the ONLY Arab and Muslim program we have on TV, outside of some scattered comedy flashes on Cable TV.
We should be proactive and we shouldn’t react with our emotions, as we too often do.
We should be holding the media responsible. I mean, why do we get angry with Lowes and say nothing when a major American newspaper that we subscribe to trashes Arabs and Muslim causes like Palestine or the injustice of the War in Iraq, or the war crimes against the people of other Muslim countries?
Before American Arabs and Muslims can prevent biased actions like those of Lowes, we need to insure that we have our own act together.
We can’t expect others to respect us as Arabs and Muslims if in fact we don’t respect ourselves.
(Ray Hanania is the co-host of Radio Baladi which broadcasts on WNZK AM 690 every Friday morning in Detroit at 8 am, and the host of Radio Chicagoland which broadcasts on WSBC AM 1240 every Sunday morning from 8 am until 11 am. for more information.)

Friday, December 09, 2011

Ikhras loves the Syrian Dictatorship: Just read their "Twits"

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Ikhras haters Thabit al-Arabi and Qassem Lufti, who have a life-long difficulty with the English language, moderation and accuracy, have laid out (or lied out) a long list of reasons why they think Syrian Dictator Bashar al-Assad shouldn't be attacked and that the pro-Democracy protesters should be blamed and criticized.

But they know that their support for the Syrian government, which has murdered more than 4,000 innocent civilians including hundreds of children, is not an easy one to argue. It makes them look like hypocrites as they assault and slander an array of people including. Their targets include star comedians Dean Obeidallah and Maysoon Zayid (who host the annual New York Arab Comedy Festival), and writers Hussein Ibish, Ray Hanania and Mona eltahawy. These are but a few of the scores of people that Ikhras brutalizes in their online verbal assaults as if they were the Syrian military police attacking civilians seeking freedom in Homs. (I can just see the Ikhras goofs cheering as new statistics surface about innocent Syrian civilians being killed by the Syrian Government that they consistently defend.)

All you have to do is read their Twitter posts, posts that Qassem and Thabet recently referred to as "Twits" in an email. Maybe that's because they are the "twits."

Hussein Ibish has penned a scathing expose of who these sad refugees from truth really are.

(Click here to read that priceless unveiling of the rotten core of Ikhras.)

Here's a direct link to Ibish's article: Click here.

But here are some of their most recent Tweets (Yes Thabet and Qassem, they're called Tweets, not Twits!) that demonstrate and prove their loyalty to the Syrian Dictatorship and why they pick and chose their words carefully to pretend as if they care about, say, the Palestinian refugees (they don't) or the people of Egypt (they don't) or ADC (which upsets them the most because ADC fights for the rights of victims of discrimination including those bullied by cowards like Qassem and Thabet and the Ikhras gaggle of online bullies).

Read how they carefully tiptoe and pretend they do not support the brutality of the Syrian regime, and then use that argument as a means of attacking others. The way they exploit the suffering of the Palestinians as a means of saying, hey, what's happening in Syria isn't that important because Bush is a liar and a murderer, too.

Their theme here is right out of the Little Red Book published by Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Baath Party dictators.

 Ikhras اخرس 

The show is sponsored by Royal Jordanian Airlines. Unlikely RJ would sponsor these clowns w/o involvement of Gov agency
 Ikhras اخرس 

Can anyone provide info on this show in Amman, Jordan? Interested in role of US Embassy in this event..
 Ikhras اخرس 

Interesting to contrast Western officials descriptions of Eric Honeker/Gustav Husak/Nicolae Ceaușescu w/descriptions of Qadhafi/Saddam/Assad
 Ikhras اخرس 

Why do some ignore mass murder of 1.5 Million people by Bush & Blair in Iraq & feign humanity over crimes by Arab rulers US Gov opposes?
 Ikhras اخرس 

Arabs must oppose Arab tyranny w/o adopting racist double standards which dehumanize an entire culture and not just a regime or ruler.
 Ikhras اخرس 

Arabs who oppose Arab dictators shouldnt accept the West's dehumanization of Arab rulers because it includes dehumanization of Arab culture
 Ikhras اخرس 

Those who call  n President a "liar" (and lets all assume he is): Would you dare call US officials liars? Dont accept double standards
 Ikhras اخرس 

For those who oppose the  n regime: Its in your interest to not lie. Youre better off trying to preserve your credibility.
 Ikhras اخرس 

It appears some people paid more attention to State Dept's characterization of the Bashar Al-Assad interview than to the interview. 
 Ikhras اخرس 

Arabs deserve better than to have to choose between dictatorship and imperialism.
 Ikhras اخرس 

If you must collaborate with a foreign force, at least collaborate with Sweden or Vietnam or someone without Arab blood on their hands. 
 Ikhras اخرس 

just coined a new term. Housism (n): collaboration with the oppressors as a "strategy" to end their subjugation of the oppressed.