On Sunday TLC will premiere “All-American Muslim”, a reality TV show that follows the lives of five American Muslim families in Dearborn, the Michigan town that’s home to one of the nation’s largest Muslim communities. The show’s purported aim is to help dispel misrepresentations of Muslim American. And while we’re hoping it’s all that it’s cracked up to be, there’s plenty of reason to be wary about it.
It’s being produced by Shed Media, the company that’s also responsible for drama-filled shows like “The Real Housewives of New York City” and “Basketball Wives.” Neither series represents women in a positive light, to put it lightly.
But there’s a chance that this show could be different.
Namely, Dearborn-native Mike Mosallam is involved in the show’s development. Mosallam is Muslim and works as the director of film initiatives for
Michigan’s Wayne County. So let’s hope there’s a balance and we actually get what TLC promises: “A powerful new eight-part series that goes inside the rarely seen world
of American Muslims to uncover a unique community struggling to balance
faith and nationality in a post 9/11 world.”
So far they’ve got a lot to prove. The show’s logo on Shed Media’s website doesn’t really say “All-American” to me. In fact, the rustic and fringed font combined with the red bars in the background all end up reading to me as “jail” or “circus” themes. Compare the identity to the right with all the other TV shows that use the term American in the titles and this one seems a little off. What do you think? Comment below with you thoughts.
The show is scheduled to premiere Sunday, November 13 at 10 PM ET/PT.
According to TLC’s press release, the families featured in the series share the same religion, but lead
very distinct lives that often times challenge the Muslim stereotype. Below are profiles provided by TLC:
- Suehaila and Shadia: Suehaila wears a traditional
headscarf and follows daily prayer rituals-while Shadia, her outspoken
sister, is decorated with piercings and tattoos and recently married
Jeff an Irish Catholic who is converting to Islam.
- Nader and Nawal: Newlyweds expecting their first
baby, Nader and Nawal are working to strike the right balance between
their traditional Muslim roots and American culture.
- Fouad: As head coach of the Fordson High School
football team, Fouad has pioneered a shift in his team’s summer practice
schedule by flipping to night workouts from 11pm-5am since a majority
of his team are Muslim and fasting for Ramadan.
- Mike and Angela: Mike, a deputy chief sheriff, and
his wife Angela, a consultant to a major auto manufacturer, are
juggling their busy careers with raising their four children in a modern
- Nina: A strong independent Muslim businesswoman,
Nina’s family runs the premier wedding and banquet hall in Dearborn-but
against their advice, she is trying to venture off on her own to open a
- Samira and Ali: Samira and her husband of seven
years Ali struggle with fertility issues and are pursuing numerous
options including conventional fertility techniques, dietary
alternatives and Muslim supplication prayers. After years of
unsuccessful attempts, Samira considers putting on the Hijab in order to
be closer to God and hopefully blessed with a child.