WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA) sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller, expressing concern over the U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice ad campaign, seen on buses in Seattle.
McDermott voiced his concern that its latest “Faces of Global Terrorism” ad, which features terrorists from only certain ethnic and religious groups, would promote stereotypes and ignore other forms of extremism.
“Though civilian vigilance is important to the fight against terror, stereotypes of what a terrorist looks like – or who they worship – are not only wrong, they make us blind to threats that fall outside our limited notions,” said McDermott. “From the ‘Army of God’ attacking abortion clinics to Eric Rudolph’s anti-gay motivated bombings, it is foolish to believe that terrorism only comes from one religion or one color of people.”
In his letter, Rep. McDermott also stated that the campaign could exacerbate the trend of hate crimes against Middle Eastern, South Asian and other minorities, and asked the Department of State to reevaluate its strategy to avoid any racially-motivated crimes.
A copy of the letter was also sent to Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of the Diplomatic Security Service at the Department of State Gregory Starr.
The full letter can be read here.