ALLEN PARK (WWJ/AP) – A coalition of Christian, Muslim and civil rights groups said it’s planning a demonstration Saturday outside a suburban Detroit Lowe’s store to protest the home improvement chain’s decision to pull ads from a reality TV show about U.S. Muslims.
Executives of the Mooresville, N.C.-based company have said the TLC network’s “All-American Muslim” show became a “lightning rod” for complaints. The company acted after an email campaign against it by the conservative Christian group the Florida Family Association.
The travel planning site Kayak.com also has pulled its ads from “All-American Muslim.” The show tracks the lives of five families in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, a center for Michigan’s large Arab-American community.
On Thursday, a group of Detroit-area Christian, Muslim and civil rights groups said its members will demonstrate from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lowe’s store in Allen Park.
The protest is “in response to Lowe’s succumbing to pressure from anti-Muslim bigots by pulling their ads,” organizers said in a statement.
Dawud Walid, spokesman for CAIR-MI (Council on American Islamic Relations), told WWJ his organization is “utterly shocked by Lowe’s decision.”
“They don’t have a backbone as an organization and really how they depend more on the business of bigots than they do on civil and right-minded people and they’ll have to suffer the consequences for that,” said Walid.
Groups announcing support for the demonstration include the African American Ministers Leadership Council, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the People for the American Way Foundation.
Michigan state Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Detroit Democrat and the first Muslim woman elected to the Michigan Legislature, also is backing the protest.
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