TLC visits an 'All-American Muslim' community
The series is set in Dearborn, Mich., a midsize industrial city that is home to the largest mosque in the United States, not to mention many Muslim families like the five whose daily lives are spotlighted here. Among them: Mike Jafaar, deputy chief for the local sheriff's department, and his wife, Angela, and a pair of close-knit but very different sisters, traditional-minded Suehaila Amen and her outspoken sibling, Shadia Amen-McDermott, who wears piercings and tattoos and recently married an Irish Catholic who is converting to Islam.
The series follows these individuals and others as they go through their daily routines and challenges, which will resonate with most viewers: getting married, having a first baby, juggling family and job responsibilities, the whole all-American buffet.
"I'm a full-time working mother of four children," Angela Jafaar explains, "and my husband and I both lead very demanding jobs, so our day-to-day lives probably are very relatable. We're a family who just happens to be Muslim."
Amen-McDermott says she is happy that the TLC series shows that Muslim families are just as diverse as other parts of the American population.
"We're five different families, and we have five different sides of an American lifestyle," she says. "You will see differences in all our families, so on the whole, I would say we would like to represent a spectrum of the Muslim community.
"This show will actually showcase how people embrace their faith across the spectrum," adds her sister, Suehaila. "Just my sister and I alone are proof of that. You have (in me) a Muslim who practices the faith much more than my sister would, by wearing the hijab, the scarf, as opposed to my sister not wearing it. As in each faith, we embrace religion the way that we see as conducive to our lifestyle."