- The Washington Times - Monday, December 19, 2005

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A group that is trying to tighten the standards for obtaining driver’s licenses has come under fire for plans to post a billboard with a picture of an Arab clutching a grenade and a North Carolina license.

“The message of the ad says that Arabs are dangerous and violent people and that, therefore, they should not get driver’s licenses, and I think that is bigoted. It’s racist,” said Christine Saah Nazer, spokeswoman for the Washington-based Arab American Institute.

Amanda Bowman, president of the New York-based Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License, which is launching the billboard campaign in North Carolina and two other states, said: “We’re not going after Arab-Americans. We’re going after terrorists.”

The billboard, scheduled to go up this month near the state Capitol in Raleigh, shows a man in a traditional Arab head scarf. The billboard reads: “Don’t license terrorists, North Carolina.” Similar billboards are planned for New Mexico and Wisconsin, the coalition said.

Miss Bowman said North Carolina lags in efforts to tighten driver’s-license laws since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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