Anti-Islamic ad claiming “it’s not Islamophobia, it’s Islamorealism” goes up in NY train stations

(CBS/AP)  An anti-Islamic advertisement has gone up at several Metro-North Railroad stations in Westchester County.

It reads: “It’s not Islamophobia, it’s Islamorealism.”

The signs were paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an organization ran by blogger and political activist Pamela Geller. It associates Islam with 19,250 terrorist attacks carried out by extremists since the 9/11. She told CBS radio station 1010 WINS in New York that the sign is intended to tell people that it is not “Islamophobic’ to oppose jihad terror.”

“The ad is just stating a fact. There have been well over 19,000 jihadi attacks since 9/11,” Geller said. “People need to know this. Obviously, everybody is surprised by this number and I think that’s part of the reason why we need to run these ads. People need to know this is going on across the world.”

The Metropolitan Transpiration Authority in New York (MTA) said it doesn’t support the sentiment displayed in the ad but doesn’t bar advertising based on content, according to CBS station WCBS in New York.

WCBS also reported that the American Freedom Defense Initiative previously attempted to place another ad with the MTA that had a picture of a mosque next to a plane flying toward the World Trade towers with the words “Why There?” In a decision earlier this summer, the federal court declared that the MTA would be violating the American Freedom Defense Initiative’s First Amendment rights if they blocked that ad, according to CBS radio station WCBS 880 in New York.

The AFDI’s Pamela Gellar argues that the ad isn’t offensive at all and simply points out facts. “It is, as the ad says, Islamorealistic.” But at least one prominent pro-Israel group disagrees. In a statement to NBC4, the Anti Defamation League said, “We believe these ads are highly offensive and inflammatory. Pro-Israel doesn’t mean anti-Muslim.”

Last month, pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel ads appeared at Metro-North stations.

MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota said the agency may discuss its policies on political ads in September.

“Terror Warnings Are Risky for Every Interior Minister”

2 February 2011

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière on Tuesday ordered that the police presence in the country, beefed up due to terror concerns last November, be reduced. Still, he said, the risk of attack remains — leading German commentators to wonder whether such warnings are effective.

The security presence in Germany has been hard to ignore in recent months. Heavily armed police have been patrolling airports and train stations across the country, the center of Berlin has likewise seen increased numbers of officers toting machine guns and the government quarter in the heart of the city has been virtually closed off to pedestrians.

As of Tuesday, however, the increased security measures ordered by German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière in November were a thing of the past. “Security officials have, on the basis of current analysis, come to the conclusion that a reduction of the … country-wide security measures … is possible.”

Muslims will be searched by sniffer dogs despite objections, say police

Questions have been raised over using sniffer dogs to search Muslim passengers at train stations following complaints that it is against their religion. Some Muslims had raised objections over being searched by the explosive-detecting animals, but British Transport Police have said they will continue to use the specially trained animals. The saliva of dogs, and not dogs per se, is considered to be unclean in Islam. The complaints came after a rail security trial at Brighton station, the Government revealed. The Muslims reported that it was not permissible for them to have direct contact with dogs due to their religious beliefs. Asked if the findings would lead to certain measures not being used on certain people, a BTP spokesman said: “The legislation applies to everyone. It’s not a case for exemptions. “Officers will be sensitive where appropriate but obviously there are practical implications.”

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Muslims will be searched by sniffer dogs despite objections, say police

Questions have been raised over using sniffer dogs to search Muslim passengers at train stations following complaints that it is against their religion. Some Muslims had raised objections over being searched by the explosive-detecting animals, but British Transport Police have said they will continue to use the specially trained animals. The saliva of dogs, and not dogs per se, is considered to be unclean in Islam. The complaints came after a rail security trial at Brighton station, the Government revealed. The Muslims reported that it was not permissible for them to have direct contact with dogs due to their religious beliefs. Asked if the findings would lead to certain measures not being used on certain people, a BTP spokesman said: “The legislation applies to everyone. It’s not a case for exemptions. “Officers will be sensitive where appropriate but obviously there are practical implications.”

False bomb alerts disrupt train traffic through Belgium

A man claiming to be part of al-Qaeda made several calls to report bombs at train stations in Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, and Leuven. The alerts disrupted traffic for hours, as authorities thoroughly searched the premises, though no explosives were found. Police in Leuven were able to track the anonymous calls to a 33-year old man living in a psychiatric institution in Bierbeek. It is unsure yet whether the man will be prosecuted, as proof of _sound of mind’ must be given.

Brussels arrests 14 in plan to free bomb plotter

The Belgian interior ministry tightened security around the country over the risk of a possible terror attack. The security alert in mid-December came after police arrested 14 suspected Islamists who allegedly planned to free a Nizar Trabelsi, a Tunisian al-Qaeda sympathizer from jail using weapons and explosives. According to reports, Trabelsi was arrested on September 13th, 2001, in an apartment in Brussels; Trabelsi had been in possession of a cache of chemicals which could have been used to make powerful explosives. The interior ministry said that security had been tightened at busy public places such as the capital’s underground and train stations, markets, shopping districts, as well as airports. The security measures remained in place until January 2nd, 2007.