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Yesterday, the Florida Family Association hired a plane to fly above a Lady Gaga concert in Tacoma, WA with a banner reading “NOT BORN THIS WAY.” “How would you feel if your child or grandchild went to a concert where unbeknownst to you they were convinced to embrace a homosexual or transgender lifestyle for a lifetime?” the FFA told members when asking for contributions to run additional advertisements. “The fact that someone these kids do not know spent significant resources to fly a plan to tell them they are NOT born that way will prayerfully speak to their souls,” read the appeal for donations.

The virulently anti-gay group went on to say that “homosexual males target adolescent males” through a combination of child abuse and “unscientific, emotionally charged propaganda.”

H/T: Brian Tashman at RWW

Even after Lowe’s and other companies succumbed to the demands of the ultraconservative Florida Family Association, which routinely launches pressure campaigns against advertisers on shows like Modern Family, Dancing With the Stars, and Degrassi, to drop their ads on TLC’s reality show All-American Muslim, the FFA has ramped up its attacks on the Muslim community. While defending his group’s efforts, David Caton of the FFA likened American Muslims to snakes:

The show was not an accurate portrayal American Muslims, he said, because it doesn’t disclose that “99.9 percent of Muslims agree with the principles of Sharia law,” the restrictive religious code that Caton and others warn leads to the spread of Islamic extremism.

"This has all to do with the way this program was constructed to deliberately present Muslims in America as one flavor," he told The Associated Press. "It would be similar to the Learning Channel doing a report on ‘snakes are good family pets’ without reporting that there are four in Florida that are venomous. ….For TLC to choose to profile five people as an aberration of the Islamic faith is propaganda."

Pamela Geller, whose diatribe against the show helped spark the FFA’s campaign, pleaded with readers to shop at Lowe’s, blasting a California lawmaker who criticized Lowe’s and Russell Simmons for placing ads on the show to push back against FFA’s pressure campaign:

Advertisers like Lowes are choosing not run their ads on this propaganda. Good for them. The idea that Russel Simmons is threatening and intimidating is indicative of how little Simmons knows of sharia and Islam. Islamic racism is monstrous and is rampant today.

A craven lawmaker seeks to exploit this non-story. Lowes chose not to advertise. That’s it. Are we going to force advertisers to finance propaganda or taqiyya?

PLEASE SHOP LOWES. And send a word of thanks to Lowe’s Corporate for their decision to drop the show’s sponsorship.

The FFA is also finding support from Religious Right groups such as the American Decency Association, which called All-American Muslimdangerous” because the people featured on the reality show don’t talk about jihad, which if you believe anti-Muslim stereotypes is what all Muslims talk about all the time! The group’s president also knocked the Council on American-Islamic Relations for criticizing Lowe’s, arguing that CAIR wants to “overcome our very own Constitution”:

Bill Johnson, president of American Decency Association, argues that the show is a complete whitewash designed to make the Muslim community appear attractive.

"And that’s what makes it so dangerous," he tells OneNewsNow. "We’ve been watching it over these several weeks that it’s been broadcast, and they stay very conveniently away from [mentioning] jihad or anything of that nature."

Johnson says their campaign has brought on the ire of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has described the efforts as “bigoted” and “pander[ing] to those who promote religious and ethnic hatred.” But CAIR, he says, must be exposed for what it truly is.

"They are not [in the] mainstream," he alleges. "They’re operating behind the scenes, propagandizing it [Islam] to influence the young and the old so that one day they can incorporate sharia law in our country and overcome our very own Constitution."

Dangerous Islamophobic morons.

After Lowe’s capitulated to the calls from the Florida Family Association to withdraw its ads from the TLC reality show All-American Muslim, the home improvement company immediately faced a hostile response from consumers not driven by unremitting anti-Muslim bigotry. The Florida Family Association launched its pressure campaign against All-American Muslim advertisers by citing the articles of anti-Muslim activists Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, who claim that the show misrepresents the Muslim community because it doesn’t match their stereotypes of Muslims as anti-American terrorists. Spencer demanded TLC create a show about a secular Muslim who becomes a terrorist and Geller claimed that the “program is an attempt to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad” because the people in the show aren’t terrorists, and smeared Think Progress reporter as a “Dhimmi Jew” for defending TLC.

While siding with the likes of Spencer and Geller is bad enough, the Florida Family Assocation has a long history of not only attacking Muslims but also President Obama, entertainment companies and the LGBT community:

  • The group went after Campbell’s soup for boosting the “advancement of Islam and Sharia law in the United States” because the company made halal soups and sponsored a conference held by a Canadian Muslim relief organization.
  • Predicting that “Islam will not sweep into America overnight though it could under the current president” as the “Islamization of America will most likely happen city by city,” the FFA launched a website to combat the purported “Islamization” of Tampa, warning that “Tampa is headed toward embracing Islam.
  • The FFA also waged a campaign against Modern Family, bragging that they convinced “107 companies to stop advertising during the ABC show Modern Family after the advertisers received thousands of emails from Florida Family Association supporters. Florida Family Association objects to Modern Family because the show labels a same-sex couple with an adopted child as a modern family and attempts to normalize homosexuality by contrasting it with heterosexual couples that the show characterizes as abnormal.”
  • Unsurprisingly, the FFA went after Chaz Bono’s appearance on Dancing With The Stars, saying “Chaz’s appearance on this show looks like nothing more than social engineering to mainstream extreme parts of the homosexual agenda.”
  • The group helped pass a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, a ban on same-sex parents adopting children, and claimed to have sent state legislators “over 10,000 emails opposing Domestic Partnerships and legislation that promotes the homosexual lifestyle,” including legislation that would bar discrimination against people due to their sexual orientation.
  • The FFA also regularly protests Gay Day at Disney World for “offending unsuspecting families,” even contracting a plane to fly over Disney with a seven foot banner reading, “WARNING GAY PRIDE DAY@DISNEY 2DAY.” They even campaigned against the AARP for starting a program aimed at older gays and lesbians, saying it promotes “special rights for immoral behavior.”

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

The TLC reality TV show All-American Muslim chronicles the lives of a group of Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan. The show has been well-received for its fair and realistic portrayal of the Muslim American experience in the United States. Watch a trailer for the show here.

But a reality TV show that lets Americans relate to the lives of Muslims in the United States is an offensive idea to those who want to demonize Islam. The Florida Family Association (FFA) launched a campaign earlier this year to get companies to pull their advertising from the program. FFA claims that 65 of the 67 companies targeted have done this, including home improvement giant Lowe’s and megabank Bank of America:

The Florida Family Association, a Tampa Bay group, has led a campaign urging companies to pull ads on “All-American Muslim.” The FFA contends that 65 of 67 companies it has targeted have pulled their ads, including Bank of America, the Campbell Soup Co., Dell, Estee Lauder, General Motors, Goodyear, Green Mountain Coffee, McDonalds, Sears, and Wal-Mart.

One of the companies that FFA claims pulled commercials, Amway, told the Washington Post that such reports were “misleading” and that it has done no such thing. Lowe’s told the paper that it did indeed pull advertising. “We understand the program raised concerns, complaints, or issues from multiple sides of the viewer spectrum, which we found after doing research of news articles and blogs covering the show,” said Katie Cody, a spokeswoman for Lowe’s.

Islamophobia may have won this round, but they’ll lose in the end.

h/t: ThinkProgress