Less than a week after Washington Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott wrote a letter to the FBI about the “Faces of Global Terrorism” ad he found to be racist, the ad is being taken down, the Seattle Times reports.
McDermott had written that the Puget Sound Joint Terrorism Task Force’s “ad featuring sixteen photos of wanted terrorists is not only offensive to Muslims and ethnic minorities, but it encourages racial and religious profiling.”
The congressman, as well Jeff Siddiqui, the founder of American Muslims of Puget Sound, are concerned that all sixteen terrorists featured have connections to Islam.
“When you start saying that this is the face of terrorism, you are really stigmatizing a whole group of people,” McDermott said.
Siddiqui added that the ad “is affecting all kinds of people who have no experience with Muslims, who look at it and say, ‘Oh, Muslims are the face of global terrorism.’”
Only two of the FBI’s 32 “Most Wanted Terrorists” do not have connections to Islam according to the FBI.
McDermott, also concerned with the racial impacts of the poster, said, “the impression you get is that terrorism is caused by brown-skinned men with beards, and occasionally they wear a turban — which isn’t true.”
However, the ad campaign displays an ethnically-diverse group, with seven from African countries, four from the Philippines, three Americans, one from Malaysia, and one from Chechnya.
FBI Special Agent Fred Gutt said that they decided to remove the ads “a result of our continued engagement with the community and the feedback we are getting.”