Transcript of Pamela Hall on Glenn Beck Show from July 31st, 2007: (audio available here)
BECK: Just a few miles from this building here in New York City, Brooklyn New York, a proposed dual language Arabic language school set to open this September and it’s got a lot of people upset here in New York. New York Sun editorial has called the school a Madrassa, which is an Islamic religious school. Others have questioned the background and beliefs of the school’s principal. Supporters in the city say this is just another case of islamophobia. The school will use approved curriculum, approved textbooks, and a diverse group of teachers to quote, “Prepare students of diverse backgrounds for success in increasing global and interdependent society. So which is it? I have to be honest with you; I’ve wanted to do this story for months. I, we, have been calling and calling and calling, and no one will talk to us. Residents, are they being overly concerned simply because the language is Arabic, which is unreasonable? Or do they have valid points that the city needs to address. I’d like some answers. We’ve asked the school’s principal to come on over and over, and she has declined. We have to settle now for the critic’s side of the story, from Pamela Hall, one of the organizers of the Stop the Madrassa Coalition. Pamela, you apparently have been having a hard time getting people to answer simple questions as well. Let’s start with the principal. I read an article where the principal, she would not answer the question if Arabs we’re responsible for 9-11.”
HALL: Oh absolutely. That was one of the original situations which we know about with her, that she was going out teaching sensitivity training after 9-11, I think it was a Boerum Hill school, and she said, you must not call them Muslims; you must not call them Arabs, that would create a backlash. We can only call them terrorists. No, she’s an apologist, and that’s clear that’s what she is.
BECK: Has she gone on record? I mean, I’m convinced that you separate politics from Islam, and things become a lot better. And you empower women in Islam, and the whole world changes. Sharia law is a frightening frightening thing, especially for women. Is she on the record talking about Sharia law at all?
HALL: Well, one of our Stop the Madrassa members did meet her at a meeting, when she opened her Yemeni association, and did ask her about how she was going to be teaching the cultural side of the Arabic language, and asked her about Sharia, and she didn’t answer it. She said she didn’t know what Sharia was. How disingenuous. I mean, at least answer the question.
BECK: Okay. So if this is an Arabic school, that’s just teaching the language Arabic. Why don’t they just, instead of starting a new school, why don’t we just teach Arabic… in schools?
HALL: Wonderful idea. That’s exactly what we like to ask. We can’t even get a straight answer from Mayor Bloomberg, and Chancellor Klein. We just get brushed away. And of course, we have a large school system where we could be putting the Arabic language as an elective in the schools. We could open the door to learning Arabic to our American students. We still want to know, who are her students? She has still not filed the paper’s she’s supposed to file.
BECK: Well we understand that there is no enrollment right now. That there hasn’t been any children that have enrolled.
HALL: It depends on who you talk to. She tries to say that they’ve capped it, and that its’ full enrollment. But we don’t even know what that means. She’s not filed any of her papers. We don’t know what her curricula is. We don’t know who her facility is, we don’t know who the students are. I want to know, we want to know, are those students Arabic speakers, and if they are Arabic speaking students, why do they even need the school? Shouldn’t they be assimilated?
BECK: Okay. Why, A lot of people will say, you are the reason why we need a school like this, because its just your, hatemongering, and your constant questioning. And I guess, they’d, you know, they’d paint you as someone who believes the worst of Arabic speakers, and not the best of Arabic speakers. How would you respond to that?
HALL: Well that’s not our criticism. Our criticism is the use of the tax dollar. We’re asking why is all the new equipment that’s going to be given to a brand new school like KGIA, new computers and a new gym and a new cafeteria. Why isn’t that being given to the students who are already in that school? Our students in [Unclear] Hill. Why are they not being given that equipment and then create the elective. Let us learn Arabic; we have nothing against learning Arabic.
BECK: Pamela, thank you very much. I would like to, to put a plea out to the other side. I would love to interview the principal. You know, why can’t we have an open conversation about this school, so we can put aside all the fears…
Look for updates as we try to bring you audio from the show as well.
Update: Audio Added.