Seattle buses will remove Muslim terrorist posters

Is it racist or Islamophobic to make people aware of terrorism by using posters on the sides of buses? Seattle says it is. Photo: Terrorist bus poster Photo: AP

CHARLOTTEJune 27, 2013 — Remember the days when you walked into a post office and they had pictures of the ten most wanted criminals on the wall? Now there is a poster being displayed on the sides of buses featuring photos of 16 terrorists who are wanted around the world.

It is a sign of the times, no pun intended, that we can display vicious criminals so long as they are not Muslim jihadists.

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Complaints about the advertisement in Seattle are forcing the FBI to pull the posters from buses because they are said to be racist and Islamophobic. It does not matter that all 16 of the men depicted in the poster are genuine global threats. What matters is that we are not allowed to alert innocent Americans to the threat for fear that we might hurt someone’s feelings or tell the truth about them.

The “Faces of Global Terrorism” bus ad campaign began running this month in connection with a State Department program to increase awareness of global terrorist threats. Considering how the Boston Marathon attack caught everyone by surprise, taking extra precautions while establishing the need for constant attentiveness to such possibilities is not a bad idea.

Among the reasons Seattle has taken the first step to remove the ads is due to criticism from U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, who is from Seattle. McDermott claimed the program insinuates that “terrorism only comes from one religion or one color of people.”

McDermott suggested the ads might increase the risk of hate crimes saying, “You’re pointing a finger at a group of people, profiling them. I don’t think that’s fair and I don’t think it’s good for our society. It doesn’t make us any safer,”

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In other words, according to McDermott, we are better off not to create awareness of who these people are and the ability to identify them. In typical PC fashion, if we pretend the problem does not exist, it will simply disappear.

There is a reason the 16 faces appear in the poster and it has nothing to do with Islamophobia. It has everything to do with the reality that these men are bona fide terrorists who are, at this very moment, plotting in one way or another against Western culture. The truth is that the majority of terrorist events that occur around the world are the result of Islamic jihad and no amount of appeasement will alleviate their degree of hatred.

Would it not be better to have open, honest debates about the inherent aspects of Islam that incite people to such inhumane levels of violence against mankind than to ignore the fact that the problem exists?

Of course, as we have seen with the recent effort by the Obama administration to negotiate with the Taliban, such discussions are virtually impossible until both sides decide to seriously participate.

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In situations such as this, there is always a fine line between legitimate awareness and fear-mongering. Unfortunately, most Americans still do not recognize the perpetual threat that exists from international terrorism. Is it not, therefore, better to be diligent, and to err on the side of security, than to deny reality?

Without question the bus ad program is provocative. It is meant to be. If it was not, there would be no controversy and the subject would be completely ignored. The intent is to arouse suspicion and, in that sense, it is effective.

As to whether the ad profiles a specific religion, perhaps Robert Spencer said it best when he wrote “the FBI should just put out want ads for non-Muslim terrorists.”

Accept it or not, without Islamic terrorism, the world would be considerably safer. Until something changes within the Muslim world and so-called “moderate” Muslims denounce the violence that fundamentalists within the religion perpetuate, the problem has no viable solution

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About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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