Always-unfiltered Rep. Jim McDermott penned a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller Wednesday claiming a Joint Terrorism Task Force ‘Faces of Global Terrorism’ ad is racist.
McDermott, a Democrat from Washington state, voiced his “deep concern” about the ad, which shows mug shots of international terrorists, and asked the FBI chief to “reconsider publicizing” it.
According to McDermott, the “ad featuring sixteen photos of wanted terrorists is not only offensive to Muslims and ethnic minorities, but it encourages racial and religious profiling.”
McDermott continued, “Representing terrorists, however, from only one ethnic or religious group, promotes stereotypes and ignores other forms of extremism. The FBI’s ‘Most Wanted Terrorists List‘ includes individuals of other races and associated with other religions and causes, but their faces are missing from this campaign.”
McDermott’s point is that two of the people on the FBI’s thirty-two person ‘Most Wanted Terrorists List’ do not have connections to Islam.
McDermott concluded that the “bus ad will likely only serve to exacerbate the disturbing trend of hate crimes against Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Muslim-Americans.”
McDermott, who has represented the Seattle area for 24 years, has a long history of unguarded commentary. In the past he has argued that victims of targeting by the Internal Revenue Service brought the trouble on themselves, that the government should issue “gas stamps” to lower-income Americans, and that the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus could be used to deliver groceries to outer space.
The congressman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.