Dear Mr. Niblock:
As Iowans dedicated to promoting respect for religious diversity and interreligious cooperation, we are writing to express our extreme disappointment over Lowe's recent decision to withdraw its advertising from TLC's "All-American Muslim."
This decision, influenced in part by the efforts of the Florida Family Association (FFA) to misrepresent Islam as a "danger to American liberties and traditional values," betrays a fundamental lack of integrity and courage in the face of blatant religious bigotry. The decision also sends the misleading and unfortunate message that the only story about Islam that is acceptable is one that depicts the religion as inherently violent and prone to terrorism. The efforts of the FFA to suppress the stories of ordinary Muslim Americans that do not conform to its narrow-minded prejudices or preconceived stereotypes should not be rewarded by a major American corporation that claims to "have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion."
We call on you to reverse your decision and to send a clear message to all Americans that Lowe's will no longer make advertising decisions rooted in Islamophobia but will indeed live up to those inclusive standards established by your company. We also call on you to apologize publicly for the damage you have inflicted on the Muslim American community by choosing to side with an organization such as the FFA that promotes intolerance and hatred of Islam and Muslim Americans.
We look forward to the day in which you will be an ally and not an adversary in our ongoing efforts to foster mutual respect between this nation's diverse religious communities.
Connie Ryan Terrell
Interfaith Alliance of Iowa
Assistant Professor of Religion