- Who Are Arab Americans?
- Popular Perceptions
- Why The Stereotypes?
- About & Credits
By Mike Mosallam, the co-executive producer of TLC’s All-American Muslim.
A lot of people give All-American Muslim a huge compliment, one that I will forever be proud of: they compare it to The Cosby Show. Not that you would know this, but I am a huge fan of The Cosby Show.
Media historians have written much about that show and what it did to flip stereotypes about the African-American community on their head. I remember being in college and having a whole week’s worth of class discussions on the show. It was historic. It wasn’t the first time you saw black people in the mainstream media, but it was the first time you saw them as upper-middle class citizens, as doctors and lawyers, as family units with family issues, in “normalized” human situations.
When we set out to create All-American Muslim, those were our exact intentions as well. Not to replicate the Cosby show, but honestly to “normalize,” or dare I say, “humanize” one subset of the American-Muslim community.
This lens into this particular community is just the beginning. The conversation has begun. People are talking, and also willing to listen (just look at the whole Lowe’s advertising situation).
Now is our time to tell our own stories. We can tell them in our own voices. And we can rest assured people will listen. All-American Muslim has opened that door. It has allowed the moderate Muslim voice a place in the mainstream media.
This is OUR time. Let’s do it. Let’s make art. Let’s make a statement. Let’s share our voices and stories, as rich and textured and beautiful as they are, with the world.