Dispelling myths about Islam

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- For the participants in "All-American Muslim," being on the show gives them an opportunity to dispel myths about how Muslims practice the religion.

"This show will actually showcase how people embrace their faith across the spectrum," said Suehaila Amen, one of the show's stars, at a July TLC press conference. "My sister and I alone are proof of that. You have a Muslim who practices the faith much more than my sister would, by embracing the hijab, by wearing the scarf, as opposed to my sister not wearing it. This shows that, as in each faith, we embrace religion the way we see conducive to our own lifestyle."

Mike Jaafar, a deputy chief sheriff featured on the series, said the program is a chance to show he's "not from Mars.

"I'm born and raised in this wonderful country," he said.

"All-American Muslim" is not overtly political but it does seem intended to open hearts and minds. Mr. Jaafar said his partner in the sheriff's department is a Christian who put it best: "People fear what they don't know."

Ms. Amen said the show attempts to bridge divides that exist by showing the similarities in cultures.

"This is about joys and celebrating a wedding, celebrating the birth of a child," she said, "celebrating these momentous occasions in a person's life that I think any American can relate to."



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