America is a Melting Pot…….We Are Not Supposed to Dissolve

It is the question that leads one to the answer………so as you read think about:

Why did Mayor Bloomberg really dismantle the Board of Education, replacing it with the Department of Education where he is in total control?

Why are the NYC Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein, UFT President Randi Weingarten, and American Federation of School Administrators Jill S. Levy also on the Board of Directors of New Visions for Public Schools (the organization that creates new schools) ?

Why is Chancellor Joel Klein allowing a “Spiritual Advisor” to enter the Greek Public School and also promising that the Khalil Gibran International Academy will not have any religious overtones?

Doesn’t Brown vs. Board of Education prohibit separate but equal?

Mayor Bloomberg stated today (June 29th)  on the WABC John Gambling radio show that George Soros is funding Public Schools. WHY?

Has anyone been able to ask Bill Gates if he knows where his money is going?

A teacher cannot privately tutor a student within his/her school in order to prevent a conflict of interest, so WHY is John Abi Habib, who has several computer software contracts with the DOE, involved with KGIA?

Why are we allowing this group of lawyers, investment bankers and management consultants to create educational policy?  As any educator knows, education is an art form, not a business.

Harries is among a cadre of young Turks, many from investment banks and management consulting firms, who were recruited by education chancellor Joel I. Klein to bring professional management to the sprawling bureaucracy.

Klein, a former assistant attorney general in charge of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. http://www.law.stanford.edu/publications/stanford_lawyer/issues/73/GarthHarries.html 

 WHY DID THE PARENTS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL M.S. 447 SELL OUT FOR 47 COMPUTERS (AT THE JUNE 21ST PTA MEETING GARTH HARRIS SAID THIS WAS A FAVOR, CONSIDERING THE STOLEN COMPUTERS WERE NOT INSURED), A DANCE STUDIO, GYM, AND STUDENT LOCKERS?????

Most importantly, why are we all not outraged that our Public School System has been taken over by special interests and our children are being taught in languages other than English?

Khalil Gibran moral equivalency – New York public jihad school a threat to national security – not just another “theme” school

June 22, 2007

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2995

Khalil Gibran Moral Equivalency – It’s All Greek At NY’s Hellenic Classical Charter School

By William Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz

June 20, 2007 – San Francisco, CA – PipeLineNews.org – In a June 18 piece [Greek Charter School Raises Scores, And Some Hackles http://www.nysun.com/article/56791] New York Sun Reporter Susan Green seems to be establishing the moral relativist case for the Khalil Gibran International Academy, using a Greek charter school as an example to suggest that an Arabist indoctrination center run by Islamists will be similarly innocuous.

“The theme schools were put under a spotlight this spring when the city announced plans to open an Arabic-themed school, the Khalil Gibran International Academy. While some praise Khalil Gibran’s global approach, critics say the school threatens public education’s mission: to build American citizens unified by a single American culture.”

However the author glosses over the dimensions of the basic problem inherent in “theme” schools organized around ethnicity; they are by design constructed to work against inclusiveness, further segregating and alienating disparate communities rather than being forces of integration and assimilation.

It seems especially odd – fifty plus years post the Brown vs Board of Education decision – that school administrators, educational professionals and agendized segments of the public would actively promote a modernized version of separate but equal.

Much of the impetus to make New York’s school districts resemble little versions of corrupt institutions such as the United Nations is supported by a tidal wave of outside funding and run through the inappropriately named “New Visions For Public Schools.”

New Visions functions as private conduit to channel this cash into an already failed educational system. It’s the private face of New York City’s educational elite and comprised of many of the same players. For example NY City DOE Chancellor Joel Klein is on the Board of Directors as is United Teacher Federation President Randi Weingarten and American Federation of School Administrators Jill S. Levy.

Instead of being about education the priority is now control, influence and money.

Robert L. Hughes, President of New Visions was intimately involved in the lawsuit, Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Inc. v. State, 86 N.Y.2d 307 [June 13, 1995] which sought to use the 14th amendment as grounds for squeezing more funding for NYC’s schools from a state reluctant to pour good money after bad.

The players in this game are among the richest power brokers in the world.

Just one of New Visions programs, the New Century High Schools Consortium, “is funded by OSI, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with a $10-million commitment from each.”

OSI is George Soros’ New York based Open Society Institute, a major locus of extreme-left anti-traditionalist, globalist philanthropy [Soros funds MoveOn.org & the ACLU, for example]. The Carnegie Corporation is only slightly more moderate.

Gates’ involvement in New Visions is elemental, its 800 pound gorilla. Some of the DOE’s haste to shove KGIA down the throats of resistive parents and school children can be explained by the fact that much of the foundation’s money is conditional – it must be spent by the end of 2007.

Below are just a few of Gates contributions to New Visions, over $54 million. The total is reported to be $125 million.

Mar 8, 2001 – $10,000,000 over 5 years to create small high schools and redesign existing large high schools with special focus on the lowest performing high schools in New York City. Sep 18, 2002 – $1,439,000 over 2 years to create small high schools and redesign existing large high schools with special focus on the lowest performing high schools in New York City.

Aug 20, 2003 – $13,115,049 over 4 years to create small high schools and redesign existing large high schools with special focus on the lowest performing high schools in New York City.

Nov 22, 2004 – $25,106,639 over 5 years to create small high schools and redesign existing large high schools with special focus on the lowest performing high schools in New York City.

Nov 23, 2004 – $583,800 over 18 months to support the development of an operational strategy for campus design, facilities planning and visual branding.

Aug 7, 2005 – $831,997 over 11 months to extend the Evaluation of the New Century High Schools Initiative.

Nov 3, 2005 – $1,255,420 over 13 months to support the planning process to transform large New York City high schools into small learning communities.

Dec 1, 2006 – $2,441,915 over 2 years to create an online knowledge management system that will enable educators to share, test, and refine their work and make their work available to colleagues, peers, school and district administrators, researchers and policymakers.

What the above proves is that New York City’s DOE is an unquenchable black hole for funding.

How does all of this factor into the controversy brewing regarding the Khalil Gibran International Academy?

Because KGIA is only the most extreme example to date coming out of NYC’s preoccupation with multicultural, progressive educational experimentation.

Whatever else KGIA might be, it is the byproduct of a process now well underway, whereby outside funding – which under the best of circumstances could be the savior of public education – is being siphoned off by the very same educational dunces – like Joel Klein and Randi Weingarten – who helped create and now maintain the system which has so emphatically failed.

Imagine what the positive effect might have been if some of the $125 million or so that Gates has wasted on NYC’s public schools would have instead been allotted to the city’s parochial schools, which despite facing daunting challenges can manage to graduate 90% of its students – Rice High School for example – in inner city hellholes like Harlem for half the price of those in Klein’s little “social justice” focused theaters of the absurd?

The disruptive effect of this meddling outside philanthropy has instead led to a process that has funded the demands of a noisy Islamist minority.

From outward appearances at least, there seems to be far too many educational “professionals” in the NYC system who are willing to acquiesce. Others like the KGIA “partner” MCI Inc., headed by John Abi Habib [who also happens to be on the committee to find a suitable premises for KGIA] already has several computer software contracts with the DOE which might be one reason he has become according to DOE spokeswoman Melanie Meyer, “an advocate for the school.”

Given this drift, Mr. Gates entry into the picture might be seen in the future as having mainly served to corporatize failure, a concept one might have thought antithetical to the founder of Microsoft.

New York is not the only city in which this new “privately” funded motif is being employed; this is a nationwide movement and the response by the educational establishment is a mad rush to corral the hordes of private cash which are indiscriminately being rained down.

This is the catalyst for a looming battle to see who will control America’s public schools, localities or outside forces with political agendas.

The historic American public educational model involved instructors, local school boards, government institutions and later, teacher’s unions working together to design and run primary and secondary schools. This methodology placed the classroom teacher in a central role, serving as authority figure, maintaining order and imparting knowledge in a top-down manner [in large part relying on "classical" texts] to students.

The simplicity of this system worked reasonably well until the public schools got caught up in educational experimentalism. This “redesign” is widely perceived as having failed, given the wide gap between the academic achievement levels of foreign students versus those of Americans.

But haven’t New York’s test scores recently shown some marginal improvement?

That’s not the way those most familiar with how the city’s educational establishment operates explain it, suggesting that the small increases in achievement testing performance is a result of “gaming” the tests.

The Chair of the New York City Council’s Education Committee held hearings on this matter, to investigate this possibility:

“Ms. Moskowitz’s star witness was Robert Tobias. Several factors made him suspicious of the big jump in scores. “An unprecedented increase in test preparation has been widely reported,” he said, “including the adoption of a new program” of repeated practice testing by New York City. “Much of this test preparation is not designed to increase student learning but rather to try to beat or game the test,”

It’s not like New York City’s funding of public schools is languishing, the DOE’s 2007 budget is $16.4 billion, $9.2 billion coming from the city and $7.2 billion coming from the state.

With current enrollment of approximately 1.1 million students, that works out to an average cost per student of about $16,000

For counterpoint, the tuition fee for two semesters of post-graduate education [academic not professional] at the Berkeley Campus of the highly regarded University of California totals $9,578.50.

High dropout rates and low achievement hasn’t stopped the left from demanding even more money while attempting to further politicize education. In April the New York the Dept. of Education funded a “radical math” conference, “Creating Balance in an Unjust World: Math Education and Social Justice.” The purpose of the conference was to find innovative methods to inculcate students into leftist thought.

In his City Journal piece, “Radical Math At The DOE” Sol Stern highlights a quote taken from the conference brochure by Paulo Freire “the Brazilian Marxist educator and icon of the teaching for social justice movement. “There is no such thing as a neutral education process. Education either functions as an instrument which is used to… bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of our world.”

Despite its myriad of problems, American education is drowning in money, but thirsting for common sense. The educrats’ answer is to further damage the process by heavily politicizing it ["reinventing education"] all the while clamoring for even more funding because the resultant system isn’t working.

The DOE’s concern with quantity rather than quality and offers of aid to pre-empt resistance to the planned KGIA was highlighted at one contentious PTA meeting.

More than 100 parents were joined by a host of school and community leaders, including Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, City Council member David Yassky, and Garth Harries, the CEO of the Office of New Schools… The meeting underscored parent’s anger at the DOE’s pattern of announcing plans without first soliciting parent opinion and by the way that schools are routinely asked to share space with new schools, sometimes compromising their own programs. At the meeting, Harries offered parents an incentive of sorts, saying that adding Khalil Gibran to the building would create an “opportunity for attention from the highest level of the Department to make improvements in the building.” http://www.insideschools.org/nv/NV_new_arab_school_may07.php

Given the template established by New York’s DOE, examples of balkanized education like KGIA can’t be far away from any metropolitan school district which harbors politically astute grant writers.

Follow the money trail, in the case of KGIA – thanks to the influence of indiscriminate and not so indiscriminate outside philanthropy – it will inevitably lead to a madrassah which would not be out of place in Islamabad.

http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=jihadschoolgates%2Ehtm

Bush’s Tragic Misstep : OIC Envoy

Aren’t we allowed to REFUSE to wear those hideous scarves?!!!!

 Expect to see this “fashion statement” insinuate itself at these tax funded PUBLIC madrassas. It WILL happen…

Found this on http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/

Bush’s Tragic Misstep: OIC Envoy

Karen_hughes_bush_dhimmi

the president aligns with those who think the West is responsible for Islamic terrorism

Radical Outreach
Bush coddles American apologists for radical Islam

By Steve Emerson
http://tinyurl.com/26ket3 

At Wednesday’s re-dedication ceremony of the Saudi-funded Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., President Bush missed a perfect opportunity to repudiate apologism for radical Islam, and instead announced his latest plan to get the Muslim world to stop hating America: appoint a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

Bush praised the OIC, saying, “We admire and thank those Muslims who have denounced what the Secretary General of the OIC called ‘radical fringe elements who pretend that they act in the name of Islam.’” The special envoy’s mission, Bush said, would be to “listen and learn” to OIC ambassadors.

While this may sound nice, it is rooted in complete ignorance of the rampant radicalism, pro-terrorist, and anti-American sentiments routinely found in statements by the OIC and its leaders, including referring to “Islamophobia” — and not the mass slaughter of innocents in the name of Islam — the “worst form of terrorism,” as OIC did last May.

In 2002, the OIC published its “Declaration on International Terrorism.” Therein, the authors stated, amongst other outrageous claims, that there was no such thing as Palestinian terrorism, writing,

“We reject any attempt to associate Islamic states or Palestinian and Lebanese resistance with terrorism.” To the OIC, groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and Hezbollah are not terrorists, but “freedom fighters.”

This is just the beginning of a litany of the OIC’s wrongs.In March 2006, OIC General Secretary Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu embraced Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal at a press conference at OIC’s headquarters. Ihsanoglu whitewashed: “With its win, Hamas begins a new stage in the development of the Palestinian issue. We assure that Hamas will deal with all national and international requirements in a practical and logical way.”

At a “special session” of the OIC in August of the same year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the elimination of the Zionist regime,” a statement that OIC failed to condemn. Moreover, the OIC has repeatedly backed Iran’s nuclear ambitions. As Ishanoglu said in April, “All member states of the OIC and I have obviously supported Iran’s right to access peaceful nuclear technology,” despite clear indications that the Iranian regime’s uranium-enrichment program is designed chiefly to make nuclear weapons. 

And then, there is OIC’s explaining away of the 9/11 attacks, which “expressed the frustration, disappointment, and disillusion that are festering deep in the Muslims’ soul towards the aggressions and discriminations committed by the West.”

These are the people that President Bush feels the need to “listen and learn” from. And the Bush administration’s wishful thinking extends beyond his feelings toward the OIC, to the very location where Bush was giving his speech.

The 2005 Freedom House report on the Saudi-led radicalization of American mosques specifically identifies the Washington Islamic Center as a hotbed of hatred. In the past decade, I personally collected numerous copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion from the mosque. The Freedom House report chronicles the center’s extremism: imams instructed their students to distance themselves from the West, forbade Muslim students from wearing the traditional cap and gown at during University graduation, and warned that participating in American holidays was the “most dangerous form of imitating the unbelievers, the most destructive and the most prevalent among the Muslims.”

The center’s library included a Saudi text book for 11th graders that described “the role of the Jews in the corruption of the European way of life,” and that Jews used “innocuous-sounding themes as ‘progress and civilization’ or ‘individual freedom’ to destroy Europe.”

There are many more examples in the report. Unfortunately, the President’s lack of awareness is not limited to the OIC and the Washington Islamic Center, but also to the officials of the so-called “moderate” Muslim organizations whom the FBI, Department of Justice, Defense Department, and Department of State routinely invite to meetings and hearings.

In his speech, Bush said, “This enemy falsely claims that America is at war with Muslims and the Muslim faith, when in fact it is these radicals who are Islam’s true enemy.” Yet that very talking point is the refuge of America’s supposedly mainstream Muslim organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Islamic Society of North American (ISNA).

In March 2002, in response to an FBI raid of Islamist organizations in Northern Virginia, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad said, “This is a war against Islam and Muslims… Our administration has the burden of proving otherwise.” In February 2004, MPAC Vice Chairman Aslam Abdullah said, “in the name of the ‘war on terror,’ Islam and Muslims have become a target in America and elsewhere,” and in June 2004 Abdullah accused President Bush of engaging in “a religious and racist agenda and prejudice against Islam, Muslims, and Arabs.” In 2004, Louay Safi, a top ISNA official, went further, writing that the “assertion by ‘world leaders’ that the war on terrorism is not a war on Islam is nothing but a piece of propaganda and disinformation that was meant to appease Western Muslims and to maintain the coalition against terrorism.”

Meanwhile, Bush’s own Justice Department recently formally named CAIR and ISNA as Muslim Brotherhoodfront groups, listing them as unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorist financing case in U.S. history, against the Holy Land Foundation, an alleged Hamas front group.

In his wrongheaded outreach to the OIC, the president aligns with those who think the West is responsible for Islamic terrorism. Bush himself has said we “abandoned Muslims in the Middle East to tyrants and terrorists.” Yet Wahhabism was born in the 18th century, long before Western colonialism in the Middle East and the resulting appointment of despotic rulers. It was the fascist Muslim Brotherhood that gave birth to terrorist groups like al Qaeda and Hamas, and it is the absence of a reformation that keeps the Muslim world boiling and in regression.

Unfortunately, despite his best intentions, the president gave the wrong speech at the wrong time. Perhaps the most telling indicator of his error was the fact that hours after his speech, CAIR, the un-indicted co-conspirator in the Hamas case in Dallas, congratulated the president on the appointment of a representative to OIC. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

 — Steve Emerson is executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism,

 

 

How does the NYC Department of Education Ignore the Dangers of the Khalil Gibran International Academy?

Many questions regarding the Khalil Gibran International Academy, opening September, 2007, in Brooklyn, New York have not been answered by the NYC Department of Education. Innumerable letters, e-mails, and phone calls to Chancellor Joel Klein have been ignored.

I was present at the last PTA meeting of the year, June 20th. I brought up several points for consideration to the parents and Garth Harries, Chief Porfolio Officer and lead person in charge of New Schools.

  • C.A.I.R. has recently been named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation, a defunct charity associated with Hamas. The trial is scheduled for next month. http://www.nysun.com/article/55778
  • San Diego has attempted this same experiment with an Arabic Cultural Public School which now follows Sharia law, and still remains a public school. Boys and girls are separated, there is Muslim prayer during classes, and Halal food is served in the cafeteria.
    http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=sandiego61207%2EhtmMy
  • Garth Harries repeatedly stated that there would be accountability and the school will be monitored. I asked “Who in the D.O.E. speaks Arabic and how will you arrange to have someone sitting in the classrooms to hear what they are teaching? I don’t see how that’s possible. And also, where are the textbooks? Don’t you all think we should see them? I’d like to get copies of all the textbooks used.” Garth Harries responded, but not one concern was addressed. He quickly ended the meeting. I spoke with him afterwards. The concern I raised was the school’s Islamist curriculum which includes lessons on Jihad. Harries stated that there was not any mention of Jihad in the curriculum.

To see a sample of the curriculum to be taught in a Public School link to http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2755 and scroll down to “Hirabah, not Jihad”.

The curriculum was developed by Susan L. Douglas and Nadia Pervez.

“A top textbook consultant shaping classroom education on Islam in American public schools recently worked for a school funded and controlled by the Saudi government, which propagates a rigidly anti-Western strain of Islam, a WorldNetDaily investigation reveals.

The consultant, Susan L. Douglass, has also praised Pakistan’s madrassa schools as “proud symbols of learning,” even after the U.S. government blamed them for fueling the rise of the Taliban and al-Qaida.

Douglass, routinely described as a “scholar” or “historian,” has edited manuscripts of world history textbooks used by middle and high school students across the country. She’s also advised state education boards on curriculum standards dealing with world religion, and has helped train thousands of public school teachers on Islamic instruction.

In effect, she is responsible for teaching millions of American children about Islam, experts say, while operating in relative obscurity. http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=38304

And if you expect the A.C.L.U. to step in to dispute this violation of the separation of church and state read: http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=38345

For a preview of what we can expect students to be learning at the Khalil Gibran International Academy see http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26074

stop the bklyn madrassa/stop dhimmitude

A wonderful article from The American Thinker on Tashbih Sayyed – a real loss to our side.

June 23, 2007
Requiem for a Righteous Muslim
By Sharon Chandler

Tashbih Sayyed called himself a Muslim Zionist. He fearlessly directed his great intellect and powerful voice to combat Jew-hatred and anti-Zionism, often at great personal cost. In befriending the Jews, he enraged his own community. Nevertheless, he never allowed an anti-Semitic comment to pass unanswered in his presence. Furthermore, he wanted Jews to educate themselves about the depth and breadth of anti-Semitism imbedded in his own culture and religion. He also wanted us to understand how the Muslim world regards non-Muslims and that the common perception of Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance is a lie.

Because he loved Israel, Tashbih favored any measure to elevate her status, and to spare her humiliation–especially, in the eyes of the Islamic world, which sees the Jews as dhimmi–a people to be humiliated.
The preeminent scholar, Bat Ye’or coined the term dhimmitude to describe the dhimmi condition of non-Muslim peoples subjugated by Islam. Dhimmitude is what gives eternal life to jihad–Muslim holy war–the deadly plague threatening all of civilization today. If jihad is like the cancer that invades the human body in order to destroy it, then dhimmitude is the compromised immune system that enables the cancer to multiply.
The religion of Islam denies equality between Muslims and non-Muslims. In lands subject to Islamic law, the dhimmi lives by the grace of the Muslim who is obliged to humiliate him in return for sparing his life. The non-Muslim must literally choose between dhimmitude and death.
In Christendom, during much of the last two thousand years, Jews faced a similar choice. Many Jews of European origin harbor disquieting generational memories of atrocities inflicted upon them or their ancestors by Christians.
However, in Islamic lands, both Christians and Jews were and are subject to the same types of calamities. Moreover, Christian Europe itself has been terrorized by 14 centuries of jihad from her Muslim neighbors including the jihad that is being played out in real time today. Jihad against Europe never stopped, even if you include the 200 years of the Crusades.
Unwarranted humility constitutes dhimmitude-but, it is dhimmitude of the most degrading nature; degrading because it is voluntary. We non-dhimmi peoples are not being forced to choose between dhimmitude and death. However, we are being forced to choose between dhimmitude and human dignity. For dhimmis, the fear of the oppressor’s fury, rejection and punishment is ever-present. Translate the word fear as “terror.” I believe that the terror that is inseparable from dhimmitude is imbedded in our collective DNA and explains the West’s pervasive tendency to embrace humiliation as a strategy of survival.
To understand my point, simply recall the chorus of Western apologies that ensued after the publication of the Danish cartoons. Global Muslim rioting, mayhem and murder served as an effective rejoinder to the exercise of free speech.
Somehow, we all understand that dhimmis must know their place. In lands governed under Islamic law, Christian and Jewish dhimmis must display their humility at all times or risk forfeiting their lives. The scandal is that dhimmitude is making its inroads in the West.
When the Jewish people created the State of Israel, they committed an unpardonable crime against the Muslim world: the crime of self-respect.
For the Jews, this is precisely where the problem lies. Listen to these words from Israel’s national anthem: “Lehyoit am chofshi bi arzenu: to be a free people in our own land.” After Auschwitz, we renounced not only our humiliations of the recent past, but the longstanding dhimmitude we endured under Christian and Muslim rule.
If Tashbih were here, he would tell you that this is the transgression that must be avenged against the Jews. We abrogated our dhimmi status by daring to stand as equals alongside all other nations.
So I ask you, what should the Jews do? Should we apologize for breaking ranks with dhimmitude, or should we reject humiliation and behave as a free people, in our own land, with a sovereign nation that is capable of defending itself without begging our enemies for the right to exist?
Israel’s restraint when attacked, her withdrawal from Jewish lands, her freeing of Palestinian Arab terrorists from prison, the arming of her enemies, and the expulsion of her citizens are humiliations not lost on her assailants.
Humiliation is not a substitute for foreign and domestic policy!

Israel derives no benefit from advancing the goals of her enemies.
In September of 2000, Palestinian Arabs launched a pre-planned Terror War against Israel’s civilian population that they call their second “intifada.” It is nothing more, nor less than jihad. Israeli Arabs, largely weighed in with the terrorists, as they augmented their daily activities with rioting, vandalism, arson and murder. The US demanded that Israel respond with restraint and–as if she had no sovereign interests of her own–Israel complied-clear evidence that her immune system was slack. As to be expected, the cancer multiplied.
The result of Israel’s unwarranted humility toward the United States has been six solid years of terror, withdrawal from Gaza, the proposed evacuation of most of Judea and Samaria, and now the possible loss of the Golan, which Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert has offered to Syria.
But, aside from the rising number of Jewish dead and maimed, and sky-rocketing anti-Semitism worldwide, people stopped visiting Israel for a period of years because they lost confidence in her power to maintain basic security. Loss of confidence is another name for humiliation.

Israel capitulated to US demands as though she were a dhimmi state that can do no better than hope to survive. Despite her occasional bluster and phony defiance, Israel has become a stand-in for the dhimmi people we used to be, when we had no other options, when our fate rested on the whim of oppressors, and when we lacked the means to defend ourselves.
To the satisfaction of our enemies, in 2005, the Israeli government inflicted humiliation upon 21 thriving communities in Gaza and Northern Samaria by removing Jews from their homes and forcibly evacuating them, most of whom are now unemployed and living in squalor. To demonstrate our humiliation, former synagogues now fly the flag of Hamas and the PLO, terrorist organizations that want to kill us. They are the new rulers of Jewish Gaza. Is it a blessing for anyone but our enemies that Gaza is now free of Jews? Gaza is a racist, terrorist hive.
Siderot, Israel’s southernmost city is under constant bombardment from terrorist Gaza.

Fourteen thousand of its twenty-four thousand citizens have fled.
But, the Palestinian Authority, Israel’s supposed “peace partner,” is not even offering us dhimmitude. Its national charter calls for the “liquidation of the Zionist presence.” In May, the speaker of the Palestinian Authority parliament, Achmad Bahar, pleaded with Allah, his god, to destroy America and Israel, to kill every Jew and every American, and to make sure that not a single Jew or American remains alive.
Nevertheless, the United States compels Israel to arm the Palestinian Authority, though it is comprised of a host of terrorist organizations of its own, whose only purpose is to kill Jews.
Of course Israel did not say no to the arming of her “peace partner” -because dhimmis don’t say no!
The cancer is metastasizing. When will Israel’s immune system begin to function?
In June of 2005, Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert said, “We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies….” When the Prime Minister took the oath of cowardice on behalf of every Jew, he might have added: “We are tired of being a free people and would prefer to be dhimmis.”
We just celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War. Israel’s victory in 1967 brought her popularity to an all time high and worldwide anti-Semitism to an all time low. There were no signs of dhimmitude during those 6 days. Now, the world treats Israel as if she owed it an apology for having won. Now, Israel is the world’s pariah. Israel’s worldwide pariah status is a direct result of her constant humiliation on the world stage! Last week, I heard an Israeli academic complain about the “horrors of victory.”
Only a dhimmi apologizes for winning when defeat means his certain extinction.
If Tashbih were here, he would tell us to keep the faith, to believe in the justice of Israel’s cause, and to cast off our dhimmitude once and forever. He used to say that he came from the dark side of the moon. He meant that he could see things in the dark that we, who take our freedom for granted, cannot see even in the light of day. Please understand that the end-game of dhimmitude is NOT humiliation. The end-game of dhimmitude is annihilation, first spiritual, then, physical. We must endeavor to learn exactly what our enemies have in mind for us, to understand the language of surrender and humiliation but never to submit to it.
http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/06/requiem_for_a_righteous_muslim.html at June 24, 2007

The Khalil Gibran Brooklyn Madrassa, background from Daniel Pipe’s site

Daniel Pipes provides the background:

On New York’s “Khalil Gibran International Academy”

March 7, 2007

Sarah Garland reports in the New York Sun about Brooklyn’s soon-to-be-established Khalil Gibran International Academy:

A new public secondary school that is to include Middle Eastern studies in its curriculum will focus on culture, not the region’s political conflicts, Department of Education officials said yesterday. “The school will not be a vehicle for political ideology,” a Department of Education spokesman, David Cantor, said of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, due to open this September in Brooklyn.

As for the sorts of topics the school will cover, the CEO of the Office of New Schools, Garth Harries, gave as an example a math lesson plan that would mention that an Arabic mathematician invented the concept of zero. “It’s going to follow Department of Education regulations,” the director of the Arab-American Family Support Center, Lena Alhusseini, who helped design the school, said. “It’s going to be exactly like all the schools in the city, the same curriculum.”

My take on the school: In principle it is a great idea – the United States needs more Arabic-speakers. In practice, however, Arabic instruction is heavy with Islamist and Arabist overtones and demands. For one powerful first-hand example of this problem at the collegiate level, see “Middlebury’s Arabic Morass” by Franck Salameh. He explains:

even as students leave Middlebury with better Arabic, they also leave indoctrinated with a tendentious Arab nationalist reading of Middle Eastern history. Permeating lectures and carefully-designed grammatical drills, Middlebury instructors push the idea that Arab identity trumps local identities and that respect for minority ethnic and sectarian communities betrays Arabism.

For another specific case, see Shukri B. Abed, Focus on Contemporary Arabic: Conversations with Native Speakers (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007); YUP conveniently has posted the table of contents (if backwards), where one chapter deals with “The Question of Palestine.” The chapter contains eleven readings. To give an example of their flavor, the fifth of them states that the “Palestinian problem” is at base an issue of justice in which the Palestinians are the victims of a double standard.

For the heavy Islamic freight that Arabic instruction carries, see “Does Learning Arabic Prevent Moral Decay?” where one learns that some Muslims believe “Knowledge of Arabic can then help the Western countries recover from the present moral decay.” (This is not as surprising as it sounds, for Muslims commonly assume that a non-Muslim who learns Arabic is en route to conversion to Islam; I experienced this many times during my Cairo years.) Evidence from Algeria also points to the impact of Arabic instruction, as documented in James Coffman’s breakthrough 1995 article “Does the Arabic Language Encourage Radical Islam?” He compared Algerian students taught in French versus those taught in Arabic and found that

Arabized students show decidedly greater support for the Islamist movement and greater mistrust of the West. Arabized students tend to repeat the same simplistic stories and rumors that abound in the Arabic-language press, particularly Al-Munqidh, the newspaper of the Islamic Salvation Front. They tell about sightings of the word “Allah” written in the afternoon sky, the infiltration into Algeria of Israeli women spies infected with AIDS, the “disproving” of Christianity on a local religious program, and the mass conversion to Islam by millions of Americans. I was not the only one to notice this distinction. When asked if the new, Arabized students differed from the other students, many students and faculty answered an emphatic yes.

Coffman also find a similar trend in other Arabic-speaking countries:

because Arabs draw so close a connection between classical Arabic and the faith of Islam, Arabization invariably leads to an identification with the (supranational) Islamic religious tradition. Even the most secular Arab nationalits (such as the Ba‘thist variants in Syria and Iraq) must appeal to Islamic symbolism to bolster sagging legitimacy and to mobilize the masses (as Saddam Husayn did in his wars against Iran and the U.S.-led coalition). Hence, Arab nationalism has, however inadvertently, contributed to the rise of Islamism. Indeed, today’s Islamist surge is the natural, perhaps inevitable consequence of the Arab nationalist policies of thirty years ago.

The Sun article additionally indicates that the KGIA will serve as a place to make Arab students feel at home. “While Khalil Gibran’s organizers say the school’s main focus is academic, they also said the school could help to integrate Arab families into New York society by providing the school community with health services, counseling, youth leadership development, and English as a second language classes for parents.” The article quotes Moustafa Bayoumi, a professor at Brooklyn College and co-editor of The Edward Said Reader, saying that “It’s not uncommon for Arab students to feel isolated — I think it’s seen as a foothold.” These sound like code words for indulging Arab grievances and worry me.

For all these reason, an Arabic-language school in New York needs to be held under special scrutiny.

But political correctness will make such scrutiny impossible. One can see the kernel of this denial in the statement by John Ali-Habib, vice chairman of Brooklyn’s Republican Party and a member of the school’s planning committee: “There’s an Asian school opening in Flushing. It’s the same thing.” But it’s precisely not the same thing.

Therefore, unless such controls are clearly put in place, I am opposed to the opening of this school. (March 7, 2007)

 

Dhabah ( “Debbie”) Almontaser, principal-designate of New York City’s Khalil Gibran International Academy.

   

Mar. 10, 2007 update: It turns out that my abstract concern has real substance to it. Beila Rabinowitz establishes that the school’s principal, Dhabah (or “Debbie”) Almontaser received an award from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and that the school was designed in part by the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC). Need one say more? CAIR is an Islamist group that is on the enemy’s side in the war on terror while ADC includes a motley collection of leftist and Islamist extremists. Their association with this school confirms my worries about it. I again call for it not to be opened.Mar. 16, 2007 update: (1) A number of readers have pointed out, correctly, that the above excerpt includes a mistake in it; contrary to Garith Harries, no “Arabic mathematician invented the concept of zero.” Zero was an Indian invention that the Arabs adopted. As a reader puts it, “Harries really let the cat out of the bag, revealing that the new school with be ethnic cheerleading at its worst.” Another reason not to establish this school. (2) John Abi-Habib has written me to indicate that the Sun misreported the spelling of his name.

Apr. 13, 2007 update: In “Khalil Gibran School – A Jihad Grows in Brooklyn,” Beila Rabinowitz and William A. Mayer provide extensive information on “the players within the Arabic community who are KGIA’s primary advocates and who will be intimately involved in designing and running it.” Specifically, they look in detail at four individuals – Dhabah ( “Debbie”) Almontaser, Emira Habiby-Browne, Ahmad Jaber, Assad Jebara – and two organizations (the Arab American Family Support Center and Alwan for the Arts). The authors term the KGIA a “program built on a series of lies, whose only function will be to divide” and predict that it will be a “government-funded madrassah.”

Apr. 14, 2007 update: Almontaser replies to my critique that in practice, “Arabic instruction is heavy with Islamist and Arabist overtones and demands” in an Associated Press article, “Plans for NYC Arabic school draw protests, ‘jihad’ labels“:

“Being that we are a public school, we certainly are not going to be teaching religion,” said Almontaser, 39. “Islam does not have a culture. Islam is a religion.” How will the school teach about sensitive topics such as colonialism and the Israeli-Palestinian crisis? “Teachers are going to be expected to provide students with multiple perspectives on whatever the issue is,” Almontaser said. “Students will, through the critical-thinking skills that they will develop, make informed decisions on the perspective that they want to believe. It’s going to be quite difficult to do, but that is a priority.”

Apr. 16, 2007 update: A later version of the same AP story, now titled “Proposed NYC Public School Causes Stir,” provides some key differences. (1) Almontaser now asserts that the school will teach the Arab-Israeli conflict, confirming my concern above:

“Being that we are a public school, we certainly are not going to be teaching religion,” said Almontaser, 39. “Islam does not have a culture. Islam is a religion.” She said the school won’t shy away from sensitive topics such as colonialism and the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. “Teachers are going to be expected to provide students with multiple perspectives on whatever the issue is,” Almontaser said. “Students will, through the critical-thinking skills that they will develop, make informed decisions on the perspective that they want to believe.”

(2) The reporter, Nahal Toosi, adds that the school “would be one of a few nationwide that incorporate the Arabic language and Islamic culture.” Note the quiet insertion of Islamic culture, however, just as I predicted.

Also today, William A. Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz provide three important new pieces of information about principal-designate Dhabah Almontaser.

First, during the trial of Shahawar Matin Siraj for attempting to blow up the Herald Square subway station in Manhattan, a case that relied on informants, New York Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly met with a group of 150 Muslims to hear their “concerns about issues of public safety.” According to a New York Times report on the meeting: “Debbie Almontaser, a board member of a Muslim women’s organization [Women In Islam, Inc.], told Mr. Kelly that she was saddened that the police had resorted to ‘F.B.I. tactics,’ and that she thought this was polarizing the Muslim community. Applause swept the room.” As Mayer and Rabinowitz note, “In Almontaser’s insular world, preventing a crime that could have killed hundreds is viewed as ‘polarizing.'”

 

Principal-designate Dhabah Almontaser before her makeover.

   

Second, Almontaser denies that Arab Muslims carried out the 9/11 atrocities, telling sixth-graders she taught: “I don’t recognize the people who committed the attacks as either Arabs or Muslims.”Third, Almontaser likened the American response to 9/11 to that of a totalitarian regime: “Right here in this community …we stated to see people literally disappearing. … The police came and took them in the middle of the night and we were, like, ‘What is going on?'”

In a separate posting, Beila Rabinowitz points out Almontaser’s fashion evolution of late, from frumpy cowl to chic headscarf with jewelry. Wonder why she’d do that.

Comment: Making Almontaser the principal of KGIA virtually guarantees troubles ahead.

Apr. 24, 2007 update: I have written a column on this subject, “A Madrasa Grows in Brooklyn.”

Apr. 28, 2007 update: In a comment on this article on the New York Sun site, one of the members of the KGIA Advisory Council, Daniel Meeter, helpfully provides a list of that council’s makeup:

  • Rev. Dr. Daniel Meeter, Old First Reformed Church
  • Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts, Abyssinian Baptist Church
  • Rev. Dr. Charles H. Straut Jr., The Riverside Church
  • Rev. Khader N. El-Yateem, Salem Arabic Lutheran Church
  • Rabbi Andy Backman, Congregation Beth Elohim
  • Rabbi Melissa Weintraub, Rabbis for Human Rights
  • Rabbi Micah Kelber, The Bay Ridge Jewish Center
  • Lisel Burns, Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
  • Imam Talib Abdul-Rashid, Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood, Harlem
  • Imam Shamsi Ali, 96th St. Mosque, Manhattan
  • Imam Khalid Latif, Chaplain, NYPD

Comment: If the KGIA has no religious content, then why is every one of its advisory council members a reverend, rabbi, or imam, plus one Ethical Culture representative? Is this not a blatant contradiction?

May 4, 2007 update: Almontaser claims not to be upset by objections to the KGIA: “Quite frankly, I don’t let it bother me. I don’t lose sleep over it. My main objective is the opening of the school.” This quote comes in a puff piece by Julie Bosman in the New York Times, “Plan for Arabic School in Brooklyn Spurs Protests,” where the debate over KGIA is deemed “a test of tolerance — and its limits — in post-9/11, multiethnic New York.” As for Almontaser, Bosman describes her as someone who “who organized peace rallies and urged tolerance after the attacks of Sept. 11″ and “known as a moderate active in interfaith groups,” then provides many quotes in her favor. The criticism of her is called “preposterous,” “heartbreaking,” and” outrageous.”

The article does contain some news, specifically:

  • The New York City school chancellor, Joel I. Klein, “is considering other locations for the school, or even postponing the opening for a year. … Since a location has not been confirmed yet, the Education Department has not been able to accept applications formally. At this point in the year, most fifth graders already know where they will be attending sixth grade in the fall.”
  • The school is to enroll 81 students for the 2007-08 school year in the sixth grade only.
  • “Almontaser said she planned a curriculum that was not religion-based, and that would include the history and contributions of the Arab people.” Comment: “include the history and contributions of the Arab people” suggests can be benign or not; again, this school requires special supervision.

And I am quoted in this article saying, “What you find is that the materials that are included in an Arabic curriculum have a natural tendency to promote Islam.”

May 5, 2007 update: The KGIA was supposed to share a building with a Brooklyn elementary school, PS 282 in Park Slope, but the parents there all along protested this intrusion on the grounds that younger children should not be mixed with older ones. News comes today that the parents got their way and the Department of Education has dropped plans for the shared building idea, conceding that “Siting the Khalil Gibran International Academy at the school would be detrimental to its core academic programs.” But the department insists this decision is just logistical and unrelated to the controversy over the school’s very existence, and that it remains committed to opening the school.

Almontaser was quoted saying that the parents’ concerns were “valid” and she was not disappointed by the decision. She also says religion is not part of the KGIA curriculum but the Arabs’ culture, history, and “contributions” are. “With any language that you learn you need to learn about the people and their customs and their history to develop effectively in that language, in order not to offend people when speaking the language.” She has to say this, for Joel Klein a few days earlier stated that “If any school became a religious school, as some people say Khalil Gibran would be, … I would shut it down. I promise you that.”

In response to Militant Islam Monitor’s noting of Almontaser’s fashion changes (see Apr. 16, 2007 update, above), Almontaser says, “I have to say that I’m really flattered. I’m flattered that there’s so much attention being paid to me, especially about how I dress.”

Comment: How does Klein reconcile the completely religious nature of KGIA’s advisory council (see the Apr. 28, 2007 update above) with his assertion now that “If any school became a religious school, as some people say Khalil Gibran would be, … I would shut it down”?

May 6, 2007 update: In a puff piece on the KGIA (complete with nasty asides about the New York Sun coverage of this issue), the International Herald Tribune paraphrases Melanie Meyer, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education saying that the KGIA “will follow a college preparatory program, which involves a rather closely controlled course of study with required testing of results. So even if the new school has, say, the history of the Middle East taught in Arabic, it will most likely not play host to fanatics using the Koran to justify the cult of death.” In a quote, Meyer then reiterates Klein’s promise (see the May 5, 2007 update, above): “This school is not a tool for political or religious ideology, and we’ll close it if it shows any indication that that’s what it will become.”

Also curious is this understanding of KGIA’s purpose by the IHT article’s author, Richard Bernstein: “Most people who knew about it seemed to see it as a reasonable gesture to an Arab immigrant community that often feels estranged from the surrounding American society.” For that matter, Bosman in the New York Times (see the May 4, 2007 update, above) refers to KGIA as “conceived as a public embrace of New York City’s growing Arab population and of internationalism.” Foolish me – I thought the school was about Arabic-language instruction, when it seems really to be about a good-will gesture to Arabic-speakers.

May 7, 2007 update: Garth Harries, the chief executive of the “Office of New Schools” at New York City’s Department of Education, replied to one letter writer protesting the KGIA thus:

Subj: Khalil Gibran International Academy
Date: 07-May-07
From: GHarries@schools.nyc.gov
To: XX

Dear XX -

Thank you for writing Chancellor Klein regarding the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA) and forwarding the message that you sent to Mayor Bloomberg. They have asked me to respond on their behalf.

KGIA is opening in partnership with New Visions for Public Schools, a nonprofit group that has helped create dozens of new small schools in recent years, and the Arab-American Family Support Center (AAFSC), a Brooklyn secular social service agency. The Khalil Gibran International Academy will be located in Brooklyn, serving grades 6 to 12, and will offer a challenging multicultural curriculum through standard and project-based learning. The program integrates intensive Arabic language instruction and the study of Middle Eastern history and historical figures to enliven learning across all subject areas. The goal is to prepare students for college and successful careers, and to foster an understanding of different cultures, a love of learning, and desire for excellence in all of its students. Here are some key points about the school:

    • KGIA is a non-religious New York City public school. It is not a vehicle for political or religious ideology and if the school is used this way, we will close it.
    • KGIA will follow New York City standard, non-screened enrollment policy and will serve students from diverse backgrounds, Arab and non-Arab alike.
    • KGIA will adhere to all State and City educational standards.
    • KGIA is not the first public school to teach Arabic; Fort Hamilton High School and Stuyvesant High School also teach Arabic
    • New York City offers many other public school programs with cultural themes, including Asian studies and Latin American studies. New York City also has over 60 dual language programs, focusing on languages including Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Chinese.

In New York City, many public schools use themed-based approaches that help to inform and enrich curriculum across subject areas. KGIA resembles other second language intensive schools, like Shuang Wen Academy, which emphasize Chinese language and culture. KGIA is one such school with an Arabic language and Middle Eastern culture theme. KGIA may apply its theme by, for example, studying the ancient Arab approach to astronomy in science classes or studying the history of Arab instruments or tapestries in music and art classes.

Through its partnership with its lead partner, AAFSC, KGIA will offer students and their families a range of services including adult ESL, parenting classes, and leadership programs for youth. The school will also offer programs in conflict resolution, supported by Educators for Social Responsibility and the Tenanbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, two non-profit organizations specializing in this area.

Your letter suggested that the school should include teachers from other faiths. While teachers are still being hired for the school, the planning team for the school included people from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths and many cultural backgrounds, including Caribbean-, Hispanic-, Chinese-, Syrian-Jewish-, and Arab-Americans. As the school hires teachers, there can be no discrimination based on applicants’ race, ethnicity or religion. Indeed the school hopes to have a diverse staff, similar to the planning team.

The Arabic curriculum will be developed by the school’s multi-cultural staff and will be taught by staff from the Arab-American Family Support Center (AAFSC), with a New York State certified teacher in the classroom. KGIA will rely on their partner for Arabic language teachers because of a shortage of state certified Arabic teachers. As the school grows to capacity, the principal hopes to add Hebrew instruction to the elective course offerings at the school.

In addition, the leader of the school has participated in the A World of Difference training with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Both the ADL and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) have worked with the school leader and expressed their support for her.

Your letter also raised concern about the AAFSC and their sources of funding. The AAFSC is a secular social service agency with a long track record of helping New Yorkers. According to their website, the AAFSC receives major funding from

    • New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS)
    • New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD)
    • New York State Office of Family and Children’s Services
    • Daphne Foundation
    • Independence Community Foundation
    • Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services
    • Marilyn M. Simpson Charitable Trust
    • National Network of Arab-American Communities
    • New York Community Trust
    • New York Foundation
    • South Brooklyn Legal Services
    • Taproot Foundation
    • William T. Grant Foundation
    • Community Resource Exchange

Thank you again for writing to the Chancellor.

Best Regards,

Garth Harries
Chief Executive
Office of New Schools

May 9, 2007 update: The city Department of Education announced that it has found a location for the KGIA for the next two years. It will open doors at 345 Dean Street, in the same building as two other schools, the Brooklyn High School of the Arts and the Math & Science Exploratory School, and that’s that: “This is not a tentative decision,” said David Cantor, department spokesman. “The school will open at this site in September.”

May 15, 2007 update: At a PTA meeting to discuss KGIA’s landing at 345 Dean Street, what are described as “a few outside agitators aiming to stir alarm about Khalil Gibran’s focus on Arabic culture” raised some good questions about the projected school, according to an account at InsideSchools.org:

“Will the school teach Sharia law?” one attendee asked, referring to Islamic law. A parent shouted out, “Will Israel be on the maps?” “It’s not about space, it’s about indoctrination,” shouted another.

Comment: The report implies that these “disrespectful” questions were brushed aside and not replied to.

May 16, 2007 update: Looking at “an optional application for all 5th grade students in Brooklyn who are interested in applying to a New Middle School” titled “The New York City Department of Education 2007-2008 Middle School Application for New Brooklyn Schools Accepting 6th Graders,” I note that today is the deadline for applying to the Khalil Gibran International Academy. One has to wonder how many parents of 5th graders have enrolled their children in a school whose location, the form indicates, is yet unknown (“Address To Be Announced”). An inquiry to “Enrollment Center – Region 8″ about late applications indicates that maybe one a day late will be accepted.

May 19, 2007 update: In an interview, “Almontaser speaks! Gibran school principal stares down her critics,” the KGIA principal-designate is asked about me by the left-wing Brooklyn Paper and replies:

Q: What do you say to conservative critics like Daniel Pipes, who called Arabic language instruction “inevitably laden with pan-Arabist and Islamist baggage?”

A: He studied the Arabic language as a Middle Eastern historian and he seems to have done really well at still maintaining his roots and his identity. And I’m confident that we will be able to teach students Arabic as a second language and make sure they maintain their identity as he has.

Comment: Clever reply but, as I noted in 2000 on my website, “Wilson Bishai and Annemarie Schimmel were my Arabic teachers.” Neither of them were pan-Arabists or Islamists.

May 22, 2007 update: I published today a second column on the Khalil Gibran International Academy, “The Travails of Brooklyn’s Arabic Academy.”

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