Friday, June 28, 2013

State Department Withdraws Anti-Terror Ad After Pressure From ACLU, CAIR, SEIU, Others

    The State Department yielded to pressure from a coalition of Seattle and Washington State politicians, community groups, and advocacy organizations and agreed to withdraw at least one ad in the department's Metro bus ad campaign in Seattle promoting the “Rewards for Justice” campaign. The program pays rewards to individuals who provides leads about the location of wanted terrorists.
    Congressman Jim McDermott, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, and King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski joined forces with others in the community, as well as organizations like the ACLU and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), to raise concerns about the ads.  Mayor McGinn reported at least some success in their efforts [emphasis added]:
[Arsalan] Bukhari [of the Council on American-Islamic Relations] worked with the ACLU of Washington State to convene a meeting that included Magdaleno Rose-Avila and Sahar Fathi of our Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. After a productive meeting, the lead investigator for the State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” program, Tim Corso, acknowledged our concerns with the ad that featured the language “Global Faces of Terrorism” along with photos of men from the Philippines, Somalia, Russia, Sudan and Algeria. He has agreed to take down this particular ad and to work with community advocates in doing outreach in Seattle going forward.
    Mayor McGinn expressed optimism that Seattle's opposition would make a difference elsewhere as "Seattle is the first city to receive these ads and the recommendations provided by the community will drive how the program is implemented in other cities across the country."  In addition to the ACLU and CAIR, the mayor credited a long list of organizations who participated in the efforts which also included the Service Employees International Union:
This was made possible through the collaborative work by the many community advocates who came together on this issue: in particular (and in no specific order), the American Civil Liberties Union – Washington, Council on American-Islamic Relations (Washington Chapter), Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, Office of King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski, Office of Congressman Jim McDermott,  Minority Executive Directors Coalition, Mothers for Police Accountability, the Seattle Human Rights Commission, Consejo Counseling and Referral Service, SEIU Healthcare 775NW, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, the Northwest Washington Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Faith Action Network (Seattle).

Note: A version of this article first appeared at The Weekly Standard. 

No comments:

Post a Comment