Russell Simmons Backs 'All-American Muslim' with Major Ad Dollars

2011 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals Russell Simmons attends the 2011 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on June 6, 2011 in New York City. (Getty Images)more pics » Russell Simmons (Getty Images) Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons is putting his money where his mouth is. The entrepreneurial Buddhist and preacher of tolerance and understanding has purchased a ton of ad space for TLC's reality series All-American Muslim, which follows the lives of practicing Muslims living in the U.S., balancing their religion and culture with the pursuit of the American dream. The move comes on the heels of controversy surrounding the show thanks to the conservative evangelical group Florida Family Association (FFA) which claims the show is "propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims."

The FFA's "concerns" may sound ridiculous and ill-informed, but they were enough to convince hardware chain Lowe's to pull all their advertisements from the show's time slot. A pretty shallow move on Lowe's part, but Simmons swept in to re-take the vacated ad time. Simmons will use the air time to advertise his pre-paid VISA card, the RushCard, so he still has his business hat on in addition to his humanitarian hat.

Simmons is also promoting a petition urging other companies to advertise during All-American Muslim. Petition organizers reached their initial goal of 10,000 signatures on Monday, and, as of Tuesday morning, were as more than 22,000 signatures.

The FFA has come under fire after their pressure on retailers advertising during All-American Muslim, and their site was hacked on Monday, forcing a temporary shutdown.

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