Sen. Ted Lieu today calls on CEO of Lowe's home-improvement chain to apologize to American Muslims for 'bigoted, shameful' actions

December 10, 2011
04-28-11 SB 746 Ted at Podium.jpg

Boycott and ‘legislative remedies’ will be sought if no apology
Sen. Lieu says Lowe’s pulling of TV ads from TLC show about Muslims is bigoted, shameful and un-American
 
SACRAMENTO – State Sen. Ted W. Lieu, D-Torrance, today released a letter he sent to the chief executive officer of Lowe’s, the nationwide chain of home-improvement and appliance stores, in response to the company pulling its advertising from a TV show about Americans who are Muslim.
 
Below is Lieu’s letter:
 
December 10, 2011

Robert A. Niblock
CEO, Lowe’s
1000 Lowes Blvd.
Mooresville, NC 28117

Fax 336.658.4766
 
Dear Mr. Niblock:
 
I am writing regarding Lowe’s action of pulling its advertising from Discovery Channel/TLC’s show “All-American Muslim” because of complaints from the Florida Family Association that “All-American Muslim is propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”  Lowe’s action is bigoted, shameful, and un-American.  I call on Lowe’s to rescind its action and apologize to Americans who are Muslim.  If Lowe’s continues its religious bigotry, I will encourage boycotts of Lowe’s and look into legislative remedies. 
 
Lowe’s action is profoundly ignorant.  Islam is a peaceful religion practiced by over 1.5 billion people, including Americans across our great nation and Lowe’s own employees.  As President Bush declared, and President Obama reaffirmed, America is not at war with Islam. 
 
America is, however, at war with people who pose a clear and present danger, whether they are white separatists like Timothy McVeigh (who happened to be Catholic); mass shooters such as Seung-Hui Cho at Virginia Tech ; or members of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army (a Marxist-Leninist group that has targeted US interests with suicide bombings).  Lowe’s bigoted action conflates peaceful religions with dangerous people who use peaceful religions (or political ideology) to advance their agenda. 
 
Lowe’s religious discrimination is the equivalent of a company asserting that it is pulling advertising from the Christian Broadcast Network’s 700 Club because the program somehow “riskily hides” the agenda of Christian radicalized groups such as Aryan Nation.  That assertion would, of course, be utter nonsense and religious bigotry. 
 
The fact that some people commit murder or other extreme acts in the name of a peaceful religion—whether Christianity or Islam or Hinduism—does not somehow give that religion an “agenda” that would be a “danger” to “American liberties and traditional values.”  In fact, it is Lowe’s bigotry that poses a danger to American liberties and values.
 
One of America’s main founding principles was religious freedom.  Many early Americans fled Europe because of Europe’s religious intolerance at the time.  Another principle that makes us Americans is the protection of minority rights, and the abhorrence of discrimination based on protected classes such as race, national origin, and religion.  I find it unsettling that I need to remind Lowe’s of our nation’s deeply held principles.
 
I previously served on active duty in the United States military to defend our cherished constitutional rights, such as freedom of religion.  As a veteran, I find Lowe’s action not just ugly, but intensely anti-American.  As a Catholic, I find Lowe’s religious intolerance to be dangerous.  As a consumer, I find Lowe’s bigotry to be nonsensical.
 
I urge you to use common sense and rescind Lowe’s bigoted action.  You also need to apologize to Americans, especially those who are Muslim.  At a time when Americans are reflecting on their blessings this holiday season, your urgent attention would capture the spirit of goodwill to all.
 
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Senator Ted W. Lieu
California State Senate

For more, visit Lieu’s Web site at the address below.

Ted W. Lieu chairs the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee and represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Los Angeles and Long Beach. For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu