Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Dunce Cap Award: David Caton

I have not seen the TLC reality series, All American Muslim, but the negative press it has gotten from conservative Christian media outlets bothers me. I happen to be a Christian myself, but not of the conservative stripe that mixes jingoism with paranoia about the Muslim faith, and thus fosters an atmosphere of haterizing toward the Muslims, just as the radical sector of the Muslims have that same atmosphere developed against the US and its allies. As the old saying goes, two wrongs don't make a right.

All American Muslim, according to articles reprinted on the website of the conservative Florida Family Association, presents the image of Muslim-Americans as average folks, and not the subversive, anti-American haterizers the conservatives despise. Well, guess what? There's not a hidden agenda to be found!

David Caton, Executive Director of the FFA, is another one of these conservative paranoids who have bought into the misplaced rhetoric that the Muslim Quran, their bible, preaches violence. That's not entirely true. The Quran is meant to preach peace, just like the Christian Bible, but its scriptures have been misinterpreted by anti-American types like the late Osama bin Laden, who felt wronged by this country and launched a campaign of hatred against the US.

Somehow, Caton and his followers have convinced several advertisers to boycott All American Muslim, but it's a case of the blind leading the blind. Meaning, Caton is ignoring the rational, real reason for the program, preferring instead to continue to perpetuate the misperception about the faith. What if the producers were able to interview someone like, say, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, easily one of the most famous Muslim-American athletes of our time? That would add credibility to the program, wouldn't it?

The Constitution allows us the freedoms of expression, speech, and religion. By perpetrating a campaign of hate against the Muslim faith when a television program is attempting to portray average Muslim-American citizens in a positive light, David Caton and the FFA are suppressing the latter. They're the ones with an agenda, not the producers of All American Muslim. For pulling the wool over so many eyes with his paranoid whining and raving, David Caton earns himself a Dunce Cap. To give him a set of weasel ears would be an insult. To weasels.

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