Boeing, Bell, National
Journal Apologize for 'Mosque Attack' Ad
Washington, DC: The
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said September
30 that Boeing Co., Bell Helicopter Textron and National
Journal magazine have apologized for a print advertisement
depicting US troops attacking a mosque.
CAIR said it had received a statement of apology from Boeing,
which sponsored the ad along with Bell. Boeing wrote:
"The CV-22 advertisement that appeared in the National
Journal is clearly offensive, and did not proceed through
the normal channels within Boeing before production.
"'We consider the ad offensive, regret its publication
and apologize to those who like us are dismayed with its
contents,” said Mary Foerster, Vice President of Boeing
Integrated Defense Systems Communications.
"'When the Company became aware of the advertisement
we immediately requested that our partner's agency withdraw
and destroy all print proofs of the advertisement and replace
it with one that was appropriate,” Foerster said.
“Unfortunately despite our best efforts to have the
ad replaced, a clerical error at the National Journal resulted
in its publication this week.'"
Representatives of Bell Helicopter and National Journal
also contacted CAIR to express regret for the publication
of the ad.
National Journal Executive Vice President Elizabeth Baker
Keffer wrote: "[T]he advertisement for Boeing/Bell's
V-22 Osprey that ran in the September 24 issue of National
Journal was run as the result of a clerical error on our
part. We had received specific direction from the agency
representing Boeing/Bell to not run the ad. We have apologized
to Boeing, their partner Bell, and their advertising agency
for this mistake."
A Bell statement sent to CAIR said in part: "We recognize
that some organizations and individuals may have been offended
by its content and regret any concerns this advertisement
may have raised. Bell and our partners are evaluating creative
processes to prevent this from happening again."
The ad for the CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft depicted
soldiers rappelling onto the roof of a building, labeled
"Muhammad Mosque" in Arabic. The building has
a dome, crescent moon and minaret, all common features of
CAIR sent a letter to top officials of Boeing, Bell and
Textron asking the companies to withdraw the advertisement
and conduct an investigation into how it was approved for
publication. (Bell Helicopter is a wholly-owned subsidiary
"We thank Boeing, Bell and National Journal for their
swift and decisive response to our concerns," said
CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Mistakes can happen,
but the true test of a company's integrity comes in acknowledging
and dealing with those mistakes." He said CAIR will
follow up with all parties involved to determine how the
ad was produced and to help prevent similar incidents in
Awad added that American Muslim groups are always ready
to consult with corporations and media outlets on issues
related to religious diversity and culturally-sensitive