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Public Statements

Letter to Robert A. Niblock, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Lowe's Companies, Inc.

Today Rep. Gary Peters signed a letter to the Chairman and CEO of Lowe's, calling on him to reconsider a decision to cancel advertising from a show on The Learning Channel that features Metro Detroit Muslim-American families.

"I am concerned with Lowe's decision to pull advertising on a show that depicts the lives of five Metro Detroit Muslim-American families," said Rep. Peters. "This action is unacceptable and it appears the decision was made out of intolerance for Muslims. Metro Detroit is home to one of the largest Muslim communities in United States and I'm proud of our diverse culture."

Many groups and organizations have expressed disappointment over Lowe's decision to pull their advertisements from the show. Abraham H. Foxman, Anti-Defamation League National Director stated, "We are disappointed with Lowe's decision to pull advertising from TLC's 'All-American Muslim', since it appears that they took this action in response to an appeal that was rooted in anti-Muslim prejudice."

Full text of the letter:

December 14, 2011

Robert A. Niblock
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Lowe's Companies, Inc.
1000 Lowe's Boulevard
Mooresville, NC 28117-8520

Dear Mr. Niblock:

We are writing with great concern over your recent decision to cancel your advertising on TLC's All-American Muslim, a television show which follows the daily lives of five Lebanese American Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan. This reality show takes place in one of the largest Muslim communities in the United States. This action flies in the face of your company's charitable work and positive presence in communities nationwide.

We are dismayed that your decision was influenced by an online petition from the Florida Family Association, a group that has advocated discrimination and bigotry in the past. This group alleges that All-American Muslim "is propaganda that hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values." This dangerously false view of American Muslims has no place in our society, and by pulling your advertising, you are tacitly agreeing that this absurd notion deserves credence. It does not.

In your statement explaining why you decided to pull your advertising you claimed that this was a "hotly contested debate." Quite frankly, there is absolutely no contested debate about the contribution of Muslim-Americans to American society. Yes, we face threats from radical Islamic extremists, but the millions of patriotic, peace-loving Muslims living and working in America are our best defense against them, and only strengthen the fabric of our nation. Instead, today they face the same bigoted notions that previously have been directed against African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Catholic-Americans, and others.

Further, your actions give credibility to the view that we accept discrimination towards Muslims as a nation, which harms our national security by feeding recruitment efforts by extremist Islamic organizations. In fact, Denis McDonough, President Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser, recently noted that Al Qaida's core recruiting argument is that the West is at war with Islam. A chief goal of our national security policy is to undermine this contention. We fear that public actions like the one taken by your company this week, if not quickly corrected, may buttress this false argument.

We implore you to reconsider your decision and live up to your corporate ideals of diversity and inclusion and the values of tolerance and acceptance that create the foundation of our nation.

Sincerely,

CHRISTOPHER S. MURPHY
Member of Congress

HANSEN CLARKE
Member of Congress

BARBARA LEE
Member of Congress

BENNIE G. THOMPSON
Member of Congress

DENNIS J. KUCINICH
Member of Congress

BILL PASCRELL, JR.
Member of Congress

JESSE L. JACKSON, JR.
Member of Congress

ADAM B. SCHIFF
Member of Congress

KEITH ELLISON
Member of Congress

RAÚL M. GRIJALVA
Member of Congress

JAMES P. MORAN
Member of Congress

JOHN D. DINGELL
Member of Congress

MICHAEL M. HONDA
Member of Congress

DONNA F. EDWARDS
Member of Congress

CHELLIE PINGREE
Member of Congress

GWEN MOORE
Member of Congress

LORETTA SANCHEZ
Member of Congress

DAVID E. PRICE
Member of Congress

JAY INSLEE
Member of Congress

JOHN C. CARNEY, JR.
Member of Congress

JOHN W. OLVER
Member of Congress

JUDY CHU
Member of Congress

ZOE LOFGREN
Member of Congress

ROSA L. DELAURO
Member of Congress

FORTNEY "PETE" STARK
Member of Congress

ALCEE L. HASTINGS
Member of Congress

JOHN B. LARSON
Member of Congress

ANDRÉ CARSON
Member of Congress

GARY C. PETERS
Member of Congress

JAMES A. HIMES
Member of Congress

JANICE D. SCHAKOWSKY
Member of Congress

TAMMY BALDWIN
Member of Congress


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