July 22nd, 2011
12:44 PM ET

New reality series tracks lives of American Muslims

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - TLC is premiering a reality series about the lives of American Muslims this fall,  "All American Muslim," the cable TV network announced this week.

The series tracks five Muslim families living around Dearborn, Michigan, home to one of the nation's largest Muslim enclaves.

The series is about “inviting viewers into a world they might not otherwise experience,” said TLC's general manager Amy Winter in a press release.

"Through these families and their diverse experiences, we will explore how they blend their values and traditions with everyday life in America," Winter said in the Thursday release, "providing insight into their culture with care and compassion.”

The series, which premieres in November, tracks "very distinct lives that often times challenge the Muslim stereotype," according to the release.

Characters include a pair of tight-knit sisters, one of whom wears a traditional Islamic headscarf and one who sports piercings and tattoos and has recently married an Irish Catholic man who is converting to Islam.

Another character is a consultant to big auto manufacturer and struggles to strike a balance between work and raising a modern Muslim family, according to the TLC release.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released earlier this year found that 46% of all Americans have a favorable view of American Muslims, while 26% have an unfavorable view.

"Overall, positive views of American Muslims have risen since 2002, when memories of 9/11 were still fresh in most Americans' minds," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland in March, when the poll was released.

In 2002, only 39% of all Americans said they had a favorable view of Muslims.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Michigan • TV

soundoff (533 Responses)
  1. david

    jjust look at what happened in norway.......and if you want to stay alive...stay away from anything muslim or islam....you should be safe from the shootings and bombings then.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Guest

      It was done by a fanatic Christian, not by a Muslim. Nice try!!!

      July 24, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  2. Curious

    I am sure there are enough number of comments for and against. But I am curious as to why the Irish Catholic man is converting to Islamism, whereas the muslim woman is not converting to Christianity. Either he is very much in love, and love is blind (and he has to change his name ofcourse); or he does not have a pair to put his foot down on this conversion.

    Welcome to another new reality show (sic) which will show only what they want you to see. You want reality, visit some "real" muslim homes (and countries, if you can) and see the life there. This reality show nonsense is just that – nonsense.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Dam

      Islam is just an cult which wants to convert as much people as possible. Islam grew thru force & conquest. Never has any country taken to Islam without an army conquest. The world has many foolish people, so if a few convert it is only Islam's loss to have the world largest number of idiots. How many Muslims have won Nobel prozes in science or math or invented anything. Out of 1.5 billion Muslims and there is only 1 or 2 who have won a Nobel. The arab civilization produced many invovators but as Islam took over it degenerated into an idiotic cult.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • TampaMan

      The question of conversion is severe and consideration of it is not for the faint of heart or the intellectually foolish.

      In most cases a Muslim risks death or social ostracism to convert to Christ. This depends upon the religious mood of the country in which they live. In a Muslim land it is legal to kill a convert to Christianity. If a non-Muslim refuses to convert to Islam he or she also risks death. At minimum the head tax is required of them.

      To retreat from the issue and deny religion altogether is intellectually foolish, morally irresponsible and personally dangerous. Millions of Muslims are militantly and aggressively designing their ideology upon the world. The sixth pillar of Islam is jihad and that is upon you oh infidel. Islam is the future. Deal with it.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Javed11

      Err...Ever heard of Indonesia and Malaysia ?

      Lawrence E. Browne in ‘The Prospects of Islam,’ 1944

      Incidentally these well-established facts dispose of the idea so widely fostered in Christian writings that the Muslims, wherever they went, forced people to accept Islam at the point of the sword.

      Mahatma Gandhi, statement published in 'Young India,'1924.

      I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind.... I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle.

      A. S. Tritton in 'Islam,' 1951

      The picture of the Muslim soldier advancing with a sword in one hand and the Qur'an in the other is quite false.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Dam

      Pakistan, Egypt, Bosnia, Turkey, the entire middle east was all converted only thru army conquests. No Islamic country has significant minority. In fact it keeps going down and to know Islam one can see the laws in islamic countries to subjugate women & minorities. Dont preach to us, reform ur idiotic islamic sociteies and then we will believe Islam is a religion of peace.

      July 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Curious

      Javed11: I don't know in what context you have included the quotes, but the point here is that Islamism is probably the most rigid (and violent) of religions on the face of this earth TODAY. Gandhi definitely did not envision this of Islam – he was a peaceful man.

      At the risk of generalizing here, most muslims are religious to the extent of almost fanaticism, and are very inflexible when it comes to their religion. The key here is – we are in the 21st century and one has to adapt and change with times and the countries we live in, and learn to assimilate. It is foolish to follow the good book to the tee (and this goes for all religious books) since these were written in a different age and time and served a specific purpose at that time. Some of what it says does not make sense today. It is dangerous to keep defending something that we know is not quite right and needs change.

      So work towards change and not towards trying to convince people that everything is fine and dandy with Islam – well, it is not.

      July 24, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Javed11

      @Curious : You need to understand the difference between Islam and Politics – Global Politics .If you have bases all over the world and try occupying the resources of other countries , there are bound to be reactionary forces – that will act like lunatics . They are not doing it because of Islam . As an example – if a Muslim country was to invade Afghanistan , the Afghan Pathans would tear them apart as well and fight them tooth and nail . This has nothing to do with Islam . Learn to differentiate between Islam the "religion" and what some Muslims do in their own capacity .
      If you criticize Muslims – I have no issues at all .Muslims are a lazy bunch of people who are allowing the CNN and Foxes of the world to portray Islam to Americans the way they want to . 1.5 Billion Muslims do not have a English news channel of their own and so these western outlets have a field day .
      And to expect Foxes and CNNs of the world to say anything positive about ISLAM is wishful thinking . After all – most of their sponsors happen to be interest based banking , gambling and alcohol based companies . Islam prohibits gambling ,alcohol and interest based banking – so Muslims should not expect any favors from them .

      July 24, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  3. Chris

    "very distinct lives that often times challenge the Muslim stereotype,"
    Riiiight stereotype...

    July 24, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  4. Billy

    Great! it is about time. Now this is what I call Reality. I have always wanted some show like this.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  5. Nacho1

    I would like to see the Muslim life tracked..................right under the wheels of a tractor trailer.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • TampaMan

      Know this oh man that the followers of the prophet (pbuh) would just as readily slit your throat and take your tractor from your cold dead hand.

      July 24, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  6. Dam

    Ah finally this reality series will reveal how Muslims have s@x without removing her burqa.
    How to drink camel urine (Mohameds favorite drink)
    How to bang a camel without getting kicked(Mohamed style)
    How to swim with ur burqa & veil instead of swim googles

    July 24, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Dam

      Realiy series will not be complete without these
      How to make bombs at home
      How to do suicide bombing
      How to scream at the top of ur voice 4 times a day and being a nuisance to the world.
      How to kill infidels
      How to draw cartoons of Mohamed

      July 24, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  7. TorontoQ

    It's absurd, the amount of hatred people have for Islam. Islam is what people make of it. Some blow bombs, others get high and dance (Sufis in Pakistan). There's no one Islam. There are good Muslims and bad Muslims. Only in Islam's case the bad ones were cultivated by the west to fight the soviets! If the US started pushing a white supremist agenda in Europe for a decade you would definitely see more incidences like Oslo 10 years from now. Muslims gave the world math and science, it's only recently that they become known for violence. All religions, and humanity as a whole, has had a violent past (crusades) . Components of any religion taken out of context can make that religion seem wrong. The same is going on with Islam. But these words will go unheard as it is much easier to blame a religion than to understand the root cause.

    Something to think about, Most terrorism in the world is financed by Americans buying gas, paying rich Arabs who then set up terrorist camps in iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Most victims of terrorism in the world are Muslim (37,000 killed in Pakistan alone since 2006).

    July 24, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • str8 shooter

      That's 37,000 fewer chances of your wife and children being blown up on a bus.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • OU812IC

      Yeah sure and the Canadians by no gas right
      It also must be nice being a Canadian blaming the U.S. since we have protected you in every conflict while you guys sit by and do very little

      July 24, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Jim C

      Of course...it's always America that lies at the bottom of all the world's terrorism. (sarcasm)

      July 24, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Dam

      All the US had to do was make u memorise the Koran and out came the terrorists. Great strategy

      July 24, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • raptor57

      you really need to educate yourself, you have done nothing but spew muslim spin. it's everybodies fault but theirs. right ?

      July 24, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • OU812IC

      Yes see the Canadians have decided instead of supporting the terror network in the Middle East they now produce 1/2 of their own oil. It's called the Oil Sands project in Alberta where they get burn oil out of the dirt.
      It is a straight fact it is the most destructive way possible to get oil. They not only have permantely destroyed pristine forest the size of the state of Rhode Island, but the dirt they burn the oil out of is also no no good for anything and the pollution it puts in the air is far worse than straight coal burning. The air pollution is so bad around this massive project it is killing the trees surrounding the project. Read about it

      July 24, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • correctionboy

      actually it was the yucatan maya and hindus of ancient india that gave us math and science...and no, the muslim violence has been going for centuries.. you really need to pull your head out of an orifice and research the babble you write..."root cause" of violence? they have openly admitted that islam/muslim will be the "worlds religion and all others will be herded like cattle and killed in the street"...aaand.. every country buys gas..why point out u.s.?.. and thats only a small part of the truth, terrorism is actually (75% of times) funded by CIA and their assets in u.k.,..almost every major "terrorist" has had connection..well..to make a long story short, i wasted my typing on you cuz im not sure you have the intelligence to research and understand what actually goes on in the world

      July 24, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • raptor57

      … All human beings are of equal worth simply by existing". That kind of statement, of course, is in direct opposition to the basic principles and articles of Islam, which hold that humanity is divided according to the strict hierarchy of worth outlined in ‘The Psychology of Jihad’ chapter by Shirin Ebadi. Ebadi is a woman, and as such is regarded by Iran’s Khatami and other mullahs as, at best, half of a human being.

      July 24, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • TorontoQ

      Guys, I'm not saying the US is the sole cause, there are huge problems with the Muslim world today. Take the Pakistan govts support of some terrorist groups as protection against india. The point I'm trying to make is don't trivialize the issue, it is very complicated. Understand the root cause before you go around blaming a religion. The religion, as I said before, is what people choose to make of it. It is the Muslim worlds responsibility to fix this mess and to clean up their house, no doubt, but they need help not hinderance. There is a reason the world is the way it is today, and the reason is not Islam. Back in mideavel Europe, the catholic church would go around burning protestants, does it mean Christanity or the bibile or all catholics want to burn protestants. I know that for Americans understanding anything complicated is a challenge but seriously guys, think for a second past what fox news tells you.

      July 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • TorontoQ

      @correctionbiy, get your facts straight, the hindus gave base 10, the Muslims invited the concept of zero, the basic arithmetic, algerba, chemistry, most things starting with "al" came from Arabic. Even the word philosophy came from the Arabic word fillasoof. Just google Muslim science. I'm sorry to tell you but the entire basis of science, the concept of the scientific method came from Muslims,

      July 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  8. OU812IC

    Kill Cat Stevens.......Yusuf

    July 24, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  9. Jerry

    Yawn........ What a waste of time. I want to see a show about a dyslexic, agnostic insomniac who stays awake all night wondering if there really is a Dog.......

    July 24, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  10. vinny

    I would rather watch paint dry

    July 24, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • OU812IC

      actually that's not red paint it is blood on the side of the building from a backpack bomb

      July 24, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  11. Mike

    Millions of dollars go to Hamas and Hezbollah from Dearborn Muslims each year. Most are in this country illegally. Or they are anchor babies.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Americaisdumb

      Muslims don't come mexico.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  12. Jim C

    Liberals and multiculturalists try to sugar coat this religion as much as possible. When are they going to realize that all the sugar coating will not work this time around? There's nothing they can do to make this religion more palatable for the average American. Too many Americans know about this religion because of 9/11 and it has a very ugly history. It's too bad this reality series can't be aired on Al Jazeera, with the Muslims families living off in some distant Middle East city instead of Dearborn, Michigan.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • TampaMan

      9/11 ? What was that? Americans are gutless and have already forgotten the innocents that died in NY on that terrible day.

      PARK 51 – the mosque at Ground Zero
      Raymond Ibrahim, a former associate director of the Middle East Forum, said the project and name were not "a gesture of peace and interfaith dialogue" but were "allusive of Islamic conquest and consolidation" and that Americans should realize that mosques are not "Muslim counterparts to Christian churches" but rather, "are symbols of domination and centers of radicalization."

      Who cares? Just give Americans their sitcoms, ball games and their endless fetish for foreign war.

      Islam is the future. Islam is here to stay.
      The words of the prophet (pbuh) will soon provide the basis of American law.
      Deal with it.

      July 24, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  13. Craig Z

    Dearborn, that marvelous moderate community that rallies in favor of Hamas, Hezbollah and other murderous organizations.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  14. reality check

    'Sorry if I've double posted. My posts don't show up. So long.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  15. Reality

    The nitty-gritty of Islam in less than 300 words:

    What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon? And what drives today's 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror?

    The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means.

    Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed. Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein. Until then, no male Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere..................................

    July 24, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Zohaib

      lol you mad?

      July 24, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Javed11

      And fight in Allah’s cause those who fight you, but do not transgress the limits (set by Allah), Truly, Allah loves not the transgressors. (The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 2, Verse 190)
      Even during open war, the Believers are ordered with compassion and to continue the greater jihad of calling to the Truth:

      And if any of the pagan (enemy) seeks your protection then grant it – in order that he may hear the Word of Allah – and escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men who know not. (The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 9, Verse 6)

      As for non-combatants or civilians, we read:

      Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion, nor drove you out of your homes. Verily Allah loves those who deal with equity. (The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 60, Verse 8)

      Mahatma Gandhi, statement published in 'Young India,'1924.

      I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind.... I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle

      July 24, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Americaisdumb

      Guess which woman is mentioned the most is the Quran?

      July 24, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  16. Tariq Shamsi

    Thank you Tlc for educating us. This will be a great program and i hope this will dispell many misconceptions about islam.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Jerry

      What misconceptions? Everything I have ever heard or seen regarding Muslims have been proven correct;
      Draw a cartoon of the profit....... Death
      A woman shows her ankles........... Death
      You are a non-muslim..................Death
      What did I miss?

      July 24, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  17. fritz

    I really don't care what religion anyone believes as long as they don't try to push it onto the rest of us or commit violence on those who have a different view of reality. I've grown weary of these people claiming their religion is better or truer than someone else's. If you're a christian, jew, muslim, hindu, pagan, etc, fine! Believe what you want! Just shut up about it! The rest of us are tired of your religious drivel!

    July 24, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • evy


      July 24, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Rebee

      It's the atheists who are pushing their beliefs on everyone else. After all what do they teach children in schools?

      July 24, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  18. Matt

    Why are we promoting these people

    July 24, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Becca

      Well I am not promoting nothing like this nor will I be watching it. If it gets any ratings at all it will be because people will just want to see what they are doing. When they go around killing so so many people like 9/11 I just can not have use for them at all. They came to america and why it looks to me they did was to kill people that is all that has ben going on since so many of them flocked here. I just wish they would all go back where they came from.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Zohaib

      @BECCA Hey, you're one dumb b1tch.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  19. Pebbles

    The Koran does say those things about killing the infidel "fight and slay the pagans (or infidels or unbelievers) wherever you find them?" (Surah 9:5). Not every Muslim takes that literally but it does say it and those that kill and murder take it as such. Fact not bigoted theory.
    Just because someone points out a differing view why do people take that to mean they are bigots – HOW limited are you in your thought? Let's all grow up and act like adults liberals and conservatives.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Javed11

      Please read the verse before and after 9:5

      July 24, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Javed11

      The verse that you quoted was in the context of a battle and all you have to do is read the verse after 9:5 . (which the websites that you copied this verse from would not want you to do )

      9:6 And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.

      And if you punish (your oppressors), then punish them with the like of that which you were afflicted. But if you endure patiently, verily, it is better for the patient ones. (The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 16, Verse 126)

      And fight in Allah’s cause those who fight you, but do not transgress the limits (set by Allah), Truly, Allah loves not the transgressors. (The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 2, Verse 190)

      9:8 How [can there be a treaty] while, if they gain dominance over you, they do not observe concerning you any pact of kinship or covenant of protection? They satisfy you with their mouths, but their hearts refuse [compliance], and most of them are defiantly disobedient

      This is what the Islamophobe websites would not want you to do .

      July 24, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • TorontoQ

      Koran 9:6
      And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah . Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Guest

      I'd love to see your comment after reading Javed11's post. Do you have the guts to admit your ignorance (giving you the benefit of doubt) or are your going to continue lieing about Islam?

      July 24, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Rebee

      It's amazing how you relate politics to religion Jesus said his kingdom is no part of this world it is not liberal or republican. This is the problem with religion people want to get earthly politics involved. If you are a true worshiper of God then politics should have no part in your religion.

      July 24, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  20. Allah

    Another stupid fk'ing reality show I won't be watching

    July 24, 2011 at 11:22 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.