We watched with interest today the hearing held on Capitol Hill regarding the Boston Marathon Bombing. As we all know, this murderous act was perpetrated by Islamic jihadists. What was most interesting was the government’s conclusion that it needs to do a better job of informing the public about the threat of terrorism. Many of us have heard the catch phrase employed by the Department of Homeland Security, “If you see something, say something,” which is part of its “nationwide . . . public awareness campaign.”
This is all well and good. But why was it that shortly after the State Department ran the below “Faces of Global Terrorism” advertisement on buses in Seattle, Washington—an advertisement clearly designed to increase public awareness about terrorism—it caved in to political correctness and removed this very informative ad? Apparently, a handful of politicians and Muslim organizations complained that the advertisement was demeaning toward Muslims. But the brute fact is that of the 32 terrorists on the FBI’s most wanted global terrorists list, 30 of them (16 of which were depicted on the advertisement) are Muslim or committed criminal terrorist acts in the name of Islam.
In response to this dangerous form of political correctness, our clients, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, decided to exercise their First Amendment right (and help keep the public safe by informing them of facts about terrorism) and submitted the below advertisement to the same government agency in Seattle that originally accepted the State Department’s ad (King County).
Well, guess what happened? King County rejected our clients’ advertisement, claiming that it was false and misleading and disparaging to Muslims. Yes, you read that correctly. We promptly filed a federal civil rights lawsuit and the case is now pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.