A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this documentary series underscores how American Muslims are an important and integral part of greater American society. It also highlights some of the stereotypes used to characterize this community, and the discrimination members of this community often face. It addresses some mature themes relating to marital issues and well as post-9/11 tensions. It also contains some strong language ("pissed," "Goddamn," etc.; stronger words bleeped). Occasionally the consumption of beer is visible; cigar and traditional hookah pipe smoking is also shown.
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What's the story?
ALL-AMERICAN MUSLIM is a reality series that features the trials and tribulations of five diverse Arab-American Muslim families negotiating their traditions and beliefs in the post-9/11 era. Set in Dearborn, Michigan, which is home to the largest concentration of Arab Muslims in the country, cameras follow as these members of the Muslim community work in mainstream jobs in law enforcement, healthcare, and athletic coaching, while raising their families and socializing. Viewers get to see some of the challenges they face when blending their families with folks from other religious and cultural backgrounds, as well as the different ways some modern Arab-American Muslims are challenging the stereotypes that are often used to define them and their culture. The discrimination they sometimes face as a result of these stereotypes is also discussed.
Is it any good?
The series demonstrates the mainstream role American Muslims play in the United States, despite the fact that their religious practices and cultural traditions appear distinctive to people outside of their community. It also underscores how ethnically and socially diverse this community is, despite the fact that they share the same religion.
Like most reality shows of this kind, it features some family drama, mature themes, and strong language. But viewers mature enough to watch will come away with a stronger awareness of the misconceptions American society has about Muslims living in America, and the way these misconceptions lead to a lack of social acceptance. The show serves as a reminder to all of us that American Muslims, like any other American community group, is an important part of our national heritage.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the perceptions that exist about the Muslim community. What are some of the stereotypes that have been used to portray the Muslim community in the media over the years? How has this depiction changed since September 11, 2001? Do you think this reality show challenges them?
Why do you think the people on this show agreed to participate? What do they stand to gain or lose? Would you ever want to be on a reality show?