Best Buy scores a major win for Muslim Americans in their new TV advert
Best Buy employee and commercial star Mustafa Hakami. (Photo courtesy: Best Buy)
Click here to add Amber as an alert
Disable alert for Amber,
Click here to add Best Buy as an alert
Disable alert for Best Buy,
Click here to add Denver Broncos as an alert
Disable alert for Denver Broncos,
Click here to add Department of State as an alert
Disable alert for Department of State,
Click here to add Jeffrey Shelman as an alert
Disable alert for Jeffrey Shelman,
Click here to add Mustafa Hakami as an alert
Disable alert for Mustafa Hakami,
Click here to add New England Patriots as an alert
Disable alert for New England Patriots,
Click here to add Shahed Amanullah as an alert
Disable alert for Shahed Amanullah
A seemingly typical Best Buy commercial aired in early January may have signified much more for Muslim Americans.
The ad features a young salesman named Mustafa talking about a Sharp 60-inch television, showing him in his home with woman, presumably his wife, and his friends, watching a football game, The Huffington Post reported on Monday.
Best Buy spokesman Jeffrey Shelman said their ads feature actual company employees and 'Mustafa' is actually Mustafa Hakami, an Afghanistan native who works once a week at the electronics store while applying to medical school.
While Mustafa is never explicitly labeled as a Muslim to viewers, many believe the idea is implied. For many Americans, Muslim figures on TV are rarely depicted by the likeable, clean shaven and seemingly all-American Best Buy employee shown in the commercial spot.
“I thought the people watching the commercial in their living room would see me like I could have been them,” said Hakami, whose girlfriend in the spot is his wife, Amber. “I see the same things they do, we run into the same issues, we’re all Americans here. So I did the commercials Mustafa from America.”
Shahed Amanullah, an Internet entrepreneur and former State Department adviser on diplomacy to global Muslim communities, said the commercials don’t promote acceptance of Muslims so much as they point to an acceptance of Muslims that already exists a dozen years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“Advertisers would not be doing this if the idea of a Muslim being a normal American would not play in Peoria,” said Amanullah. “The market is telling us that it isn’t weird anymore to see Muslim consumers behaving like any other Americans.”
The 31 second advertisement was premiered during the American Football Conference championship game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots.
The commercial is set to run through February 1st.
- 8-year-old Yemeni child dies at hands of 40-year-old husband on wedding night
- Saudi as world human rights watch? Now they accuse Myanmar of 'ethnic cleansing'
- Has it gone belly-up? The capital of hip-shaking feels pinch of Muslim politics but dancers keep the faith
- Q&A: Palestinian-American UFC Fighter Ramsey Nijem