To me, the issue of Islam-bashing has become a straw man in this debate. This isn’t a referendum on whether a person hates on Islam or not. It’s about TV—and what makes for good TV and what doesn’t. For example, I made it through only two episodes of TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras, because how many times can we watch Princess Penelope throw a temper tantrum? If Lowe’s or Kayak didn’t advertise there would we argue that they were trashing prissy little girls and their mom? No, we’d say that they don’t want to spend their ad dollars on bad TV.
Here are just a few plot twists that are stomach turners to me as a Muslim seeking some sort of challenge to conventional, traditional, old-school Islamic interpretation reminiscent of the Dark Ages: In “How to Marry a Muslim,” an American-Muslim woman with tattoos meets an Irish-Catholic love interest in a bar; they plan to get married, but then she tells him he has to convert to Islam first. It’s painful to watch the backyard conversion. Many Muslim women are challenging the notion that they can’t marry non-Muslim men, and it’s a shame we had to watch this Irish-Catholic man go through the same old gauntlet of conversion. This isn’t “How to Marry a Muslim,” and it’s a little disingenuous to present it as the how-to guide. Yawn.