Stop The Madrassa Launches National Offensive


August 30, 2007, New York, New York — Stop the Madrassa will hold a press conference on the steps of New York City Hall on the first day of school next Tuesday September 4 to announce the launch of a new national organization, as well as an intensified initiative to force New York City to respond to Freedom of Information Law requests concerning textbooks, lesson plans and design documents for the Khalil Gibran International Academy.

The new organization, Citizens for American Values in Public Education, will expand the fight nationwide to stop the imposition of radical Islamist agendas in curricula, Arabic language programs, history classes, textbooks, teacher training, and charter schools.

It will also demand the immediate closing of the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn , New York.   Stop the Madrassa succeeded in forcing the resignation of KGIA’s controversial founder and first principal, Dhabah Almontaser.

Press Conference
Opening Day of School, Tuesday, September 4
12:15 p.m.
Steps of City Hall, New York City

Note: Our organization will not be holding any events in front of or even in the vicinity of the KGIA, and urge others to respect the safety and well-being of the children and others at the site and refrain from holding any events or activities there.

Shut down the Advisory Board. Shut down the KGIA. Give these kids a quality education.

The Khalil Gibran International Academy should not open on September 4. If it does, New Yorkers – now with support from outraged citizens across the country – will continue to work to shut down this Islamist project and to pressure the New York City Department of Education to find replacement schools for the 50 or so kids now enrolled.

These KGIA sixth graders deserve a quality education and a chance to determine their own futures with the best the New York Department of Education can offer. Instead, they’ll receive indoctrination by the CAIR-NY-founded American Muslim Lawyers Association and the American Mideast Leadership Network, run by a Hezbollah apologist. Yes, that’s Chancellor Klein’s planned curricula – in the classroom starting September 4 – as described in the Executive Summary prepared by current principal Danielle Salzberg and ex-principal Dhabah Almontaser.

As the first step to shutting down the Khalil Gibran International Academy, the Department of Education must immediately shut down the Advisory Board. This Board’s radicalism shows the real Islamist and radical agenda of the school, and their ongoing influence within the Department of Education is an outrageous miscalculation by Chancellor Klein and Mayor Bloomberg. Instead of spending real money to create the six additional high school elective Arabic language classes we have recommended, the Mayor took the cheap route with a single (George Soros-subsidized) school for fewer than sixty kids, that apparently will only teach Arabic after school using an existing community program that didn’t require the school in the first place (p. 5, Executive Summary).

This process of radicalization of public schools required, as a first step, the violation of our constitutional separation of religion and state. So Salzberg and Almontaser first created an all-religious Advisory Board – for a public school allegedly created to teach Arabic. The Salzberg/Almontaser team created this all-religious Advisory Board with no experts in teaching Arabic, other than a single Imam who teaches Koranic rote memorization. Even worse – the Salzberg/Almontaser team created this Advisory Board with no experts in any aspect of education – except for that same Imam who knows how to teach the Koran.

And Chancellor Klein approved it.

Created by current principal Danielle Salzberg (senior program officer for the last several months for KGIA, whose job and responsibilities were, in entirety, the KGIA project) and ex-principal Dhabah Almontaser, the Board includes these “Advisors”:

1. Imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid, whose mosque, the Mosque of the Islamic Brotherhood, prominently displays the pledge of the Muslim Brotherhood on its “About” page (Mosque of the Islamic Brotherhood “About Us” cached page) :

Allah is our goal
The Prophet Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah is our leader
The Qu’ran is our constitution
Jihad is our way
And death in the way of Allah is our promised end.

Imām Al-Hājj Tālib ‘Abdur-Rashīd is close to Chancellor Klein, so his presence on the board is not solely the responsibility of current principal Salzberg and her partner, ex-principal Almontaser. According to Abdur-Rashid’s biography at the Muslim Consultative Network, which he founded before he helped found KGIA, he also serves on “the N.Y.C. Dept. of Education Chancellor’s Interfaith Advisory Committee to the NYC Dept. of Education.”

Imam Abdur-Rashid also opposes any celebration of Thanksgiving (scroll down to end of post), and insists that those who question whether Muslims discovered America before Columbus “reveal themselves to be rooted in old, racist, European renditions of American history.” Chancellor Klein could have chosen from a wide range of genuinely moderate Muslim participants for his Interfaith Advisory Committee.

Instead, he chose Imam Abdur-Rashid.

2. Imam Shamsi Ali, director of the Jamaica Muslim Center in Queens, where he started a traditional Koranic Madrassa (yes, right word) several years ago where students memorize the Koran, with only two hours of instruction for all other subjects at the end of the day. We had hoped that Imam Shamsi Ali would, in spite of his own separatist Madrassa, encourage the assimilation of other Muslim students into mainstream public schools and American civil society, as a way to discourage the process of radicalization as described by the NYPD in their recent report “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat.” Instead, Imam Shamsi Ali chooses to support the separatism of KGIA, and rebukes those who raise questions with the usual Islamist warning (aka threat) – that any critique of separatism and radicalization will create even worse “hard line” radicalization:

“These people should understand that what they’re doing may fan the flames of extremism,” said Ali, an Indonesian who has spent the last decade in the United States. “Exaggerated fears on one side tend to provoke a hard-line response on the other.”

3. NYU Imam Khalid Latif, who “convinced” the NYU administration to censor students who tried to show the Muhammed cartoons (so much for being “inclusive” or “showing diverse views” as described in the publicity for KGIA). A video describing his political organizing to block the cartoons is instructive. In his NYU Imam capacity, in a proposal for his campus outreach initiatives he flatly states (page 8 of 29) that all Middle Eastern languages are “Islamic”:

“Responsibilities of the Islamic Chaplain at NYU …Organizes and instructs religious classes in Islamic religion, ethics, and languages, i.e. Arabic, Urdu and Farsi.”

So much for teaching Arabic without preferencing one religion over another, even though the large majority of Arabs – and Arabic speaking peoples – in the United States are Christians, not Muslims.

So here’s the plan for finally getting out of the KGIA mess.

1. First, shut down the Advisory Board. Now.

2. Then, shut down the KGIA. Find room for the KGIA kids in neighborhood schools and stop using them as political pawns.

3. Begin a serious planning process for Arabic elective classes (non-Islamic, secular) to start in 2008-2009, in at least six high schools in addition to the current Arabic classes underway in only two high schools – Stuyvesant and Fort Hamilton.

4. Stop the Madrassa and start giving these kids a quality education. Controversial Arab School To Open Next Week

Controversial Arab School to Open Next Week
Fred Lucas
Staff Writer
( – Despite controversies, protests, and the principal’s ouster, the Kahlil Gibran International Academy, an Arab language and culture school, is set to open in Brooklyn next week for about 60 sixth-grade students.Yet opponents of the school, who fear it will promote Islam, are still fighting to keep the academy from opening.

And now a leading Christian legal group, the Thomas More Law Center, is lending a hand to the Stop the Madrassa citizens group in New York City. A madrassa is the name given to a Muslim school – New York City school officials say the Kahlil Gibran International Academy does not fit that category.

But the Academy, a public school, will be an incubator for Islamic radicalization, said Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. He cited a New York Police Department intelligence report that warned against isolation of the Arab population, because it can lead to terrorism.
“Rather than use the public school system to assimilate Muslims and other immigrants into American culture, New York City is doing everything it can to keep them isolated – a target-rich environment for recruiting potential new homegrown terrorists and a recipe for a future 9/11 disaster, according to my read of the NYPD report,” said Thompson.

New York City Schools Chancellor Joe Klein said the school is not a religious school and will be shut down should it try to become one. He and others insist the school – similar to other schools with a culture theme, such as Greek, Russian and Chinese – can keep the teachings of Arab culture separate from the Islamic religion.

However, the school’s advisory board is made up of three imams (Islamic leaders), as well as Christian and Jewish clergy. New York City schools spokeswoman Melody Meyer told Cybercast News Service this was not a step to push religion but an opportunity because of board members who were able to successfully reach out to the Brooklyn community. Meyer could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

One of the imams named to the board was Talib Abdul-Rashid, who preaches at the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem. The mosque’s Web site proclaims, “Allah is our goal. The prophet Muhammad is our leader. The Quran is our constitution. Jihad is our way. And death in the way of Allah is our promised end.”

Abdul-Rashid had defended the ousted principle Debbie Almontaser, who helped found the school. Almontaser was controversial from the time the school was announced because of radical, left-wingcomments she made regarding U.S. foreign policy.img src=” ” align=”right” border=”0″ alt=”Debbie Almontaser, former principal of the Kahlil Gibran International Academy, ousted because of her radical anti-U.S. comments.”

She resigned this month after it was discovered she shared office space with an Islamist group that sells T-shirts encouraging New York Muslims to join an “intifada.”

The intifada refers to the attacks on Israeli Jews by Islamic radicals between 1987 and 1993, in some of the territories gained by the Israelis after the Six Day War in 1967.

The New York chapter of the Council of Islamic Relations (CAIR) released a statement earlier this month expressing “regret” that Almontaser “was unfairly pressured to resign from her position as principal due to attacks.”

The CAIR statement said the academy has “sustained hateful and false attacks by anti-Arab media and extremists. In the post-9/11 world, a school educating our children about Arab history, culture, and language is not only crucial for the next generation to become informed leaders for positive change in our communities; it is also an extraordinary place of hope for people, understanding, and justice for our embattled world.”

It was in March, this year, when New York City Department of Education officials announced the establishment of the academy, named for Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese Christian poet.

The school will host grades 6-12, but it will include only a sixth grade class the first year and then expand each year as students are promoted. The academy will enroll 60 students at a cost of more than $12,000 per pupil and have five faculty members – all certified teachers, Meyer said.

The executive summary of the school describes a day in the life of a student as passing through the hallway adorned with portraits of Arab philosophers, inventors and poets. In the cafeteria, a retired, Arab-speaking community member will come daily to converse with students to strengthen their Arab fluency, according to the summary.

Among those cafeteria speakers will be attorneys from the American Muslim Association of Lawyers, said Sara Springer, a member of Stop the Madrassa. The Muslim lawyers group is the organization representing the six imams who are suing passengers of a U.S. Air flight for allegedly discriminating against them after the passengers reported suspicious behavior by the imams.

“They have a specific ideology,” Springer told Cybercast News Service . “A public school is not a venue for that. If we raise a generation of indoctrinated children, it’s scary to think about the future in this country.”

Springer said she isn’t comforted by Almontaser’s departure, because the faculty was hired by Almontaser.

“Even though the principal is gone, she created it,” said Springer. “It’s her vision.”

New York school officials said every school has a rigid monitoring process. Still, Brian J. Rooney, an attorney with the Thomas More Law Center, told Cybercast News Service the group will monitor the school with help from the Stop the Madrassa coalition. If they find a religious violation, Rooney said they will bring a federal lawsuit against the school.

Monitoring by the city’s department of education could create a constitutional issue in itself, Rooney said.

“The problem with the Department of Education coming in to determine if there are religious violations is that CAIR could view that as discriminatory on it’s face,” Rooney said. “CAIR will threaten litigation, and Klein will be hamstrung. We’ll be in a much better position to monitor.”

Make media inquiries or request an interview with Fred Lucas.

NY Sun: Gibran’s Legacy

Gibran’s Legacy

New York Sun Editorial
August 29, 2007
If one thought the chorus of concern over the proposed Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn couldn’t grow any broader or any louder, it has just done so. The Department of Education’s Arabic-themed school has now drawn the attention of a group founded to preserve the memory of Khalil Gibran, the Lebanese-American author and poet whose name the school bears. The Friends of Gibran Council stated in a press release yesterday that, based upon available information to date, the proposed school “would not honor the legacy of a great poet, an artist who achieved greatness in the US as an emigrant fleeing Lebanon where his community has been suffering persecution in their ancestral home in Lebanon at the hands of religious powers.” The release further points out that Gibran’s ancestry was Lebanese, Christian, and Maronite, making the act of attaching his name to a school dedicated to Arab language and culture a bit suspect.Gibran

While the concerns of the Gibran Council are to be taken to heart – including concerns over troubling radical associations with which the school has been plagued from day one – we can’t help but be drawn toward the conclusion that this whole kerfuffle has grown out of hand. And needlessly so. We have no apologies for the skepticism with which we and some of our columnists have greeted this school. Its former principle, Dhabah “Debbie” Almontaser, could not credibly distance herself from organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has not, in our view, played a constructed role in New York; she refused to answer questions from this newspaper as to whether she viewed Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations. But few of the issues raised in respect of the school put it at the top of our worry list for New York.

What has bothered us is the sense that in establishing this school the government is entering an area that ought to be left to the market. Some insist the school is either designed to cater to Muslims – or will end up doing so, even if it’s not originally designed to do so – and is a prima facie affront to the First Amendment. Others say the school is designed to offer an alternative to madrassas. We don’t lack for confidence in either the mayor or the schools chancellor, Joel Klein, who shut down a bid to have Columbia’s Rashid Khalidi, a professor known for making sloppy accusations against Israel’s American backers, train New York City teachers on how to teach the Middle East. But the perceived need for an Arabic school in the city is precisely the kind of situation best addressed not by going to the taxpayers but by a system of true school choice through vouchers.

That is a system under which New Yorkers of Arab or Muslim background – or any other background – who want to go to a school specializing in Arabic would be able to do so. They would be able to do so whether the attraction of the school is that it teaches about Arab culture and history or whether it teaches religion. It would put all parents on the same footing in respect of the school, honoring their choices without imposing on others. Some might pick the Arabic-themed school. Others Catholic schools. Others ultraprogressive and secular schools. Each to his own. No doubt Ms. Almontaser would still be in her job, and the city would be relieved of tug of war over the specifics of any given school meeting state standards. If this incident has done anything, it has shown the need for school choice in New York City – the need for the kind of freedom that was sought in America by a great poet named Khalil Gibran.

Philadelphia Bulletin: NYC School Raises Terror Questions

Inside Today’s Bulletin
NYC School Raises Terror Questions
By: Joe Murray, The Bulletin
08/29/2007In September, New York City will open Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA), a publicly-funded middle school that, according to a New York City Department of Education description, “will teach Arabic language and culture while adhering to all state academic and legal standards.”
While the city emphasizes the fact that KGIA “is a nonreligious school and will be open to all New York City students,” such assurances have not quelled the fears that the academy is going to be a vehicle for radical Islam and a potential breeding ground for homegrown terrorists.
“This proposed public school is nothing more than an incubator for the radicalization that leads to terrorism, as a NYPD intelligence report warned Americans just about two weeks ago,” explained Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national Christian public law firm.
The report Thompson is referring to is an Aug. 15 study by the NYPD that describes the process of how Muslim immigrants are captured by the siren song of radicalism. The study notes that this radicalism places the frustrated immigrant on the path to terror.
In an effort to voice his concerns and the concerns of New Yorkers, Thompson announced that TMLC will represent a group of citizens who are opposed to the KGIA and have filed a request for records under the Freedom of Information Act. To date, that request has been unanswered.
In opposing the establishment of KGIA, Thompson argues that the school frustrates the educatory goal of assimilation, has ties with members of radical Islam, flames the passion of anti-Americanism and is hypocritical in light of New York City’s treatment of Christian and Jewish schools.
“Rather than use the public school system to assimilate Muslims and other immigrants into American culture, New York City is doing everything it can to keep them isolated – a target-rich environment for recruiting potential new homegrown terrorists and a recipe for a future 9/11 disaster,” Thompson stated.
Furthermore, unlike the sectarian schools of the past, KGIA does not seek to use an Arab lens to teach an American history but instead puts forth and Arab history for an Arab people. While the KGIA executive summary talks fondly of Arab portraits adorning the hallways of the Sarah J. Hale building, its home in September, there is no mention of the four men on Mount Rushmore.
It is this type of behavior and isolation that has many critics concerned.
“As uncomfortable as it makes one feel, we must understand that the political goal of radical Islam is to destroy our Judeo-Christian culture. And the KGIA is a Trojan horse that New York City is building for radical Islam with taxpayer money,” noted Thompson. Also of concern are those heavily involved with KGIA.
Imam Talib Abdul-Rashid, the resident imam of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood, is on KGIA’s advisory board. His mosque’s Web site contains the motto, “The Qu’ran is our constitution, Jihad is our way. And death in the way of Allah is our promised end.”
Others involved with the school have been connected to Council of American Islamic Relations, an Islamic group that many argue has terror connections. And finally, KGIA’s principal, Dhabah Almontaser, resigned the post after defending “NYC Intifada” T-shirts.
Despite the controversy, New York City officials are defending the school.
“New York City School Chancellor, Joel Klein, who is aggressively promoting this Islamic school, is the same person who refused to allow two Christian students, a second- and a fourth-grader, to display a nativity scene during Christmas – another example of how political correctness is leading to a malicious double standard when it comes to religious expression in public schools,” stated Thompson.
“Government officials are afraid of Muslims, so they are more willing to accommodate. They are not afraid of Christians and Jews, so they are less willing to accommodate. This is hypocrisy,” added Brian Rooney, communications director for TMLC.
While TMLC concedes that the school will open on Tuesday, they plan on monitoring the school to make sure it does not cross any constitutional lines. If those lines are crossed, a lawsuit will be filed.
Just recently, the Friends of Gibran Council, a group protecting the legacy of Khalil Gibran, the school’s namesake, asked the city to change the school’s name. The group claims that Gibran was a Lebanese Christian and would not have condoned radical Islam.
Supporters of KGIA were contacted but did not immediately return phone calls.
Joe Murray can be reached at

Thomas More Law Center Enters Fray

New York City’s Khalil Gibran International Academy An Incubator For Islamist Radicalization-Thomas More Law Center Enters Fray

ANN ARBOR, MI – Claiming it is nothing more than a thinly disguised incubator for Islamist radicalization, the Thomas More Law Center, a national Christian public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced today that it will represent a group of citizens opposed to the September 4 opening of the publicly funded Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA) by the New York City Department of Education. KGIA, which will immerse its students in Islamic culture, has three fundamentalist Islamist imams on its Board of Advisors, as well as other promoters with connections to militant Islamic organizations.

“This proposed public school is nothing more than an incubator for the radicalization that leads to terrorism, as a NYPD Intelligence Report warned Americans just about two weeks ago,” cautioned Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center. “Rather than use the public school system to assimilate Muslims and other immigrants into American culture, New York City is doing everything it can to keep them isolated – a target rich environment for recruiting potential new homegrown terrorists and a recipe for a future 911 disaster, according to my read of the NYPD Report,” said Thompson.

Continued Thompson, “As uncomfortable as it makes one feel, we must understand that the political goal of radical Islam is to destroy our Judeo-Christian culture. And the KGIA is a Trojan Horse New York City is building for radical Islam with taxpayer money. That the Quran calls for Muslims to subjugate the world, especially Christians and Jews, is a fact that anyone can look up.”

Thompson further added, “New York City School Chancellor, Joel Klein, who is aggressively promoting this Islamic school, is the same person who refused to allow two Christian students, a second and a fourth grader, to display a nativity scene during Christmas-another example of how political correctness is leading to a malicious double standard when it comes to religious expression in public schools.”

The Law Center will act as co-counsel with attorney David Yerushalmi, who filed a Freedom of Information Act request on July 23, 2007 asking for more specific details about KGIA. Thus far, his requests have gone unanswered, leading to increased suspicion that the school as currently configured cannot meet state educational standards. Moreover, several factors, including an executive summary of the KGIA proposal, point to the school as an anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Jewish propaganda center paid for by American tax dollars.

Some of the school’s promoters have ties to questionable Islamic organizations including CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations), an un-indicted co-conspirator in cases dealing with the funding of terror, whose founder and chairman publicly stated in 1998:

“Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith but to become dominant.
The Quaran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”

On KGIA’s Advisory Board is Imam Talib Abdul-Rashid, the resident imam of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood. The “About Us” page of the Mosque of the Islamic Brotherhood website contains the ominous slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood:

“The Qu’ran is our constitution
Jihad is our way
And death in the way of Allah is our promised end.”

The Executive Summary of the new school has a section entitled “A Day in the Life of a Student at the Khalil Gibran International Academy,” which describes how imaginary students pass through a hallway adorned with portraits of Arab philosophers, inventors, poets, musicians. Notably, there is no mention of portraits of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, or our other Founding Fathers.

In another section of the Executive Summary, “Fatin” (an imaginary student), heads over to the cafeteria for lunch where retired Arabic speaking community members come daily to converse with students to strengthen their Arabic fluency. “I wonder what they will be talking about?” commented Thompson. “Will it be about Al Queda or Hamas, the Palestinian issue, Muslim versus Jew, Muslim versus Christian, anti-American diatribe, who knows?”

Recently adding to the controversy was the resignation of KGIA principal-designate, Dhabah Almontaser, after she defended T-Shirts supporting a “NYC Intifada.” Compounding suspicions of KGIA’s Islamic agenda, the strategy meeting to protest the media’s criticism of Almontaser was held at the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge that has a long history of serving as a center of radical jihadist activity.

Thompson added, “We cannot ignore the fact that according to a 2005 report released by the Center for Religious Freedom, mosques throughout America are depositories for venomous anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish propaganda disseminated by the Saudi government.”

Publicly funded Islamic schools are popping up in several communities across the country where public school officials who routinely ban religious expressions by Christian students as unconstitutional, are energetically establishing these Islamic schools under the guise of promoting multiculturism and diversity.

Several public universities have already constructed footbaths to facilitate Muslim prayer rituals.

Anyone negotiating with Muslims should be aware of the Islamic principle of taquiya, or the approval of lying to infidels in order to advance the cause of Islam. That principle has been used by Muslims to adopt a peaceful attitude to deceive their non-Muslim neighbors until they gain the strength to subjugate them.

Chancellor Klein has attempted to assuage citizen fears that KGIA is a madrassa by promising to monitor the school for any religious violations. However, once the school is operational, any attempt to monitor for religious expressions, besides the practical difficulties, may well be challenged as a constitutional violation in itself as such monitoring for religious material is arguably an excessive entanglement with religion.

In 2002, the Thomas More Law Center filed a federal lawsuit against California’s Byron Union School District because of its three week intensive course to teach seventh graders how to become Muslims. During the course, students took on Muslim names which they printed on name tags worn during class, were taught the five duties all Muslims must perform, were required to complete a project for each duty, and memorized verses and prayers from the Quaran. They even played a game entitled Jihad.

More recently, the Law Center’s public criticism of California’s Carver Elementary School for designating a special time and room so that the Muslim students could pray during school hours contributed to a change in that school’s policy.

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life through education, litigation, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at

August 23 Renewal of Appeal of Freedom of Information Law Request

We have renewed our appeal regarding the New York City Department of Education’s noncompliance with our Freedom of Information Law request.

Here are excerpts from our legal counsel’s Renewed Appeal Letter:

As indicated in our August 1, 2007, letter setting out grounds for appeal of your constructive denial of our July 23, 2007, FOIL request (New York City Department of Education
[“NYCDOE”] FOIL request number 5281), the undersigned represent a broad coalition of concerned parents and residents of New York City, the State of New York, and others.

We hereby renew our previously submitted appeal given the fact that more than 20 business days has transpired since the NYCDOE acknowledgment dated July 25, 2007….

…with the additional fact that now more than 20 business days have elapsed since the NYCDOE acknowledgment and there has been no written explanation whatsoever as to why the materials requested have not been made available….

…Twenty business days have elapsed since the date of the NYCDOE acknowledgment letter and we have received no explanation for the delay in providing the information requested as per the FOIL.

Pursuant to Section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information Law, non-compliance with Section 3(a) of the law constitutes “denial” of the FOIL request. Therefore, we hereby appeal on behalf of our clients to Chancellor Klein, as head of the NYCDOE, to order his subordinates to conform immediately and forthrightly to the law and to respond appropriately to the FOIL Request we submitted on behalf of our clients.

The Renewed Appeal Letter is also available in the Press and Documents sections of this website.

Concerned citizens of New York have donated a significant sum to help with legal costs. We look forward to sharing with the public all materials provided through FOIL and other legal processes in the coming weeks.

Investor’s Business Daily: “Stop The Brooklyn Madrassa”

Posted Friday, August 24, 2007 4:20 PM PT

Homeland Security: Oops, New York officials hired a pro-jihad radical to run a controversial new Arabic academy. The principal quit after critics outed her. What else don’t officials know?

Protesters last week picketed outside the public school, demanding the city abandon plans to open it next month. Local assemblymen have fired off angry letters to the New York City education department to protest the school’s opening.

But it hasn’t deterred PC officials, who say they’re “confident” the Khalil Gibran International Academy will not become the Islamic “madrassa” that critics fear.

Their confidence is curious. Just this month, they saw the “moderate” principal they picked to head the school resign under the heat of a simple background check they failed to conduct.

Turns out Dabah Almontaser, a Yemeni native, shares offices with an Islamist group that sells T-shirts encouraging New York Muslims to join the “intifada” – a Palestinian campaign of terror that has left 1,221 Israelis dead. Asked about it, Almontaser defended the intifada, outraging New Yorkers.

She’s gone now, thankfully. But her hand-picked advisers and curriculum are still in place.

Who are these advisers? One is a local imam by the name of Talib Abdul-Rashid. He preaches at the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem. A simple visit to the mosque’s Web site reveals its mission:

“Allah is our goal. The prophet Muhammad is our leader. The Quran is our constitution. Jihad is our way. And death in the way of Allah is our promised end.”

This mirrors the motto of the dangerous Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide jihadist movement that gave rise to Hamas and al-Qaida.

Have school officials bothered to check Abdul-Rashid’s Web site?

Almontaser’s curriculum includes a mentoring program in which local Muslim and Arab leaders will involve students in “community activism.” (Trips to the Middle East and internships with Muslim lawyers also are planned.) How much influence will Abdul-Rashid and other local imams have?

Before Almontaser was defrocked, Abdul-Rashid defended her against critics.

In a letter to the New York Sun, he and other advisers insisted that any “suspicions of anti-Zionism . . . are simply erroneous.”

Of course, such suspicions have since been borne out by Almontaser herself.

Seems those pushing the school have not acted in good faith, and may be selling the taxpaying public a bill of goods.

As for the curriculum, school officials insist the KGaA school will educate students about Islamic culture and Arabic, but will not promote Islam.

Protesters doubt it. They say Muhammad will be among historical figures examined as part of the instruction on Middle Eastern culture. Indeed, it would be impossible to separate Arabic culture from Islam.

Sara Springer, a Brooklyn teacher who heads the “Stop the Madrassa Coalition,” says textbooks and other teaching materials will be supplied by the Saudi-tied Council on Islamic Education. Its chief consultant is on the Saudi government payroll.

Springer wonders if maps used in the classroom will blot out Israel. Many Islamic schools in America show “Blessed Palestine” in its place.

“I am very concerned that the school will be a madrassa, funded by taxpayer dollars,” she said. “We will in effect be supporting the training of future terrorist cells.”

The head of New York schools vows to shut the school down if it promotes jihad. He says it will be monitored. Yet top personnel weren’t even screened. What makes anyone think classes will be monitored? If they are taught in Arabic, how can officials detect jihadi indoctrination?

The best way to ensure the school won’t be used as a madrassa simply is not to open it.

New York Times Magazine: “Islam will presumably be taught…”

From the New York Times Magazine
“Universal Faith”
Published: August 26, 2007

“Another school year, another round of controversy about religion in public education. This fall, two new yet already divisive publicly financed schools are set to open: the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn and the Ben Gamla Charter School in Hollywood, Fla. Both describe themselves as nonsectarian institutions that emphasize a particular language – Arabic and Hebrew, respectively – and both have been criticized on the assumption that they will be organized around the distinctive cultures (and thus religions) associated with those languages. Meanwhile, at the University of Michigan at Dearborn, a small firestorm has erupted over plans to install foot baths in school washrooms to help Muslim students perform the ablutions required for daily prayer.”

“In each of these cases, education officials seem to be making an effort to accommodate a religious community. And in each case, this perfectly understandable impulse has led to criticism that the concession oversteps the separation between church and state. The uproar over Khalil Gibran has reached a fever pitch, and the founding principal has already resigned…..”

“The public schools at the center of the other recent controversies, however, seem to represent accommodation of the single-use variety. Khalil Gibran, administered by the New York City Department of Education, is a watered-down, American version of the British and Canadian models of state-run religious schools catering to Muslims. The school’s name, borrowed from a noted Christian-born Lebanese-American writer of universalist sympathies, appears calculated to signal that the school is not narrowly Muslim. Yet Islam will presumably be taught – it would be educationally indefensible to teach Arab civilization without including it – and enrollment seems likely to include Muslim students in disproportionate numbers. It is difficult to imagine the city sponsoring such an institution without the impetus to maintain warm relations with its Muslim community in the wake of 9/11. “



CAIR Goes Back To School

By Patrick Poole | 8/23/2007

As children all over the country prepare for the annual American rite of the beginning of school, hundreds of school children and their parents from the Columbus, Ohio Somali refugee community may be getting far less than they bargained for, as well as Ohio taxpayers.

These children will be attending two publicly-funded K-8 charter schools, International Academy of Columbus and Westside Academy, schools are sponsored under an Ohio Department of Education contract with the Buckeye Community Hope Foundation and operated by a politically-connected group of Islamic extremists associated with both the national and Ohio chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). At least one of the taxpayer-financed schools has been used during the last school year to play host to an anti-Israel CAIR-OH “teach-in”.Even though many of the new students are learning English as a new language, an essential tool for helping them integrate into their new community, the schools instead focuses on Arabic as part of their core curriculum. As a result, standardized test scores for the schools are well below state standards; and yet Ohio educrats continue to give the project new life, pumping millions of taxpayer dollars into each school every year to keep the schools open and renewing their contracts. One board member for both schools has even co-authored an article advocating an educational policy of “selected acculturation” and “accommodation without assimilation” to “encourage Somali youth to develop an adversarial identity that will put them at odds with mainstream society” – thus trapping the students in a cycle of perpetual cultural alienation and isolation.

The student population of both schools is overwhelmingly drawn from the Central Ohio Somali community, which itself is comprised of refugees who fled their war-torn country to escape from the warlords and clan warfare that have torn the country apart since 1991. Sadly, these refugees have arrived only to find the warlords and clan leaders in charge of the very public and private institutions here in the US intended to help them resettle and adjust to life in their new home.

One of the new educational warlords these unsuspecting Somali families are encountering is Ahmad Al-Akhras, CAIR national vice chairman, who is listed as one of the incorporators of both charter schools, and who is listed as the treasurer of International Academy. Joining him on the board of both schools is Abukar Arman, the Somali terror apologist who was recently forced to resign from the Central Ohio Homeland Security oversight board following my FrontPage exposé regarding his published statements of support for terrorist organizations and individuals (see, “Hometown Jihad: The Somali Terror Apologist Next Door” and “Terror Sympathizer Tossed from Homeland Security Oversight Panel“). Arman identifies himself as the board president of Westside Academy and March 2005 press release announcing his appointment to a government board lists him as “building director” of International Academy.

Because the number of Somali refugees attending these two schools, both qualify for tens of thousands of dollars in federal grants under Title III. According to the US Department of Education, the Ohio Title III Director just happens to be none other than Al-Akhras and Abukar Arman business partner, Abdinur Mohamud, who also is listed as director of the Ohio Department of Education’s Lau Resource Center. (More on Mr. Mohamud’s financial ties to this operation and his partnership with Al-Akhras and Arman below.)

The other board members of both institutions are a collection of CAIR-OH officials and board members, and business partners and associates of Al-Akhras, many of whom have served or presently serve on the board of Sunrise Academy, the only full-time Islamic school in the area. In fact, the website for Westside Academy features a link to the Islamic school, even though the charter school claims to be non-sectarian. Sunrise Academy has also been the subject of a recent FrontPage exposé, “Hometown Jihad: The School Gym that Terror Built“, following their multiple fundraising events featuring Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and an advocate of replacing the US Constitution with shari’a law.

Much More-