(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/13/2011) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on Lowe’s, the world’s second largest home improvement retailer, to address the anti-Muslim hate rhetoric prompted by that company’s decision to pull its commercials from TLC’s new reality series “All-American Muslim.”
Adweek notes that the Lowe’s Facebook statement on the controversy “has drawn more than 22,000 comments, a significant portion of which are racist and contain anti-Muslim/anti-Islamic hate speech.”
CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper told Adweek: “If Lowe’s was concerned about spreading hate speech, you would think that they would filter and delete the worst [comments]. It’s hard to tell if leaving them up is intentional or not.”
SEE: Lowe’s in Facebook Hell as Racist Comments Pile Up
National community leaders are also requesting a meeting with Lowe’s officials to seek a resolution to the controversy that is “consistent with America’s longstanding tradition of religious tolerance and inclusion.”
In a letter sent late yesterday to Lowe’s CEO and President Robert Niblock, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad noted the “tremendous controversy” that has been generated by Lowe’s decision to “bow to the dictates of Islamophobes.”
Lowe’s has been subjected to a wave of negative publicity after it bowed to pressure from Internet hate sites like “Bare Naked Islam” — which recently featured a number of threats of violence targeting U.S. and European mosques — and from right-wing groups such as the Florida Family Association.
Video: CAIR Rep Discusses Lowe’s Issue on NBC Nightly News
Video: CAIR Director on Lowe’s ‘All-American Muslim’ Controversy
CAIR-LA: Lowe’s Faces Backlash Over Pulling Ads from ‘All-American Muslim’ (LA times)
CAIR-Chicago: Lowe’s Criticized After Fleeing Muslim Reality Show (Chicago Trib)
CAIR-FL: Lowe’s Pulls Ads from Muslim Reality Show
Video: Blog Threats Target Virginia Mosque (CAIR)
Tampa Family Group Targets Muslim TV Show
Commentators, civil rights groups and elected officials have sided with the American Muslim community in decrying the anti-Muslim bigotry that prompted Lowe’s decision.
SEE: Conyers Says Lowe’s Has ‘Un-American Values’
Tell Lowe’s: Don’t Cave to Anti-Muslim Bullies
Lowe’s Misses Chance to Turn Away Bigotry (Charlotte Observer)
Americans Should Know to Boycott Bigotry (Post-Gazette)
Russell Simmons Buys ‘All-American Muslim’ Ad Time Abandoned by Lowe’s
Communities across the nation are also beginning to organize public protests in support of religious tolerance and challenging Lowe’s inadequate response to the controversy.
SEE: Protest Lowe’s Anti-Muslim Bigotry in Gaithersburg, MD
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com