Statement from the Stop The Madrassa Community Coalition
The Islamist principal, Dhabah Almontaser, who had been put in charge of establishing a New York City public school for the ostensible purpose of teaching Arabic has submitted her resignation, according to an announcement made this morning by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on John Gambling’s radio show on WABC. The Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition – a group of parents, teachers, and concerned citizens – is relieved to learn that Ms. Almontaser will no longer be able to pursue her unmistakable ambition to use the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA) as a vehicle for promoting her radical ideological agenda.
Ms. Almontaser was forced to resign after she dissembled about her views concerning the term “intifada” – a word she tried to suggest did not have its plain meaning: a violent insurrection against freedom-loving Western societies. As the New York Post editorialized today, “[Almontaser] initially dismissed the significance of the term ‘intifada,’ saying it was merely an Arabic word meaning ‘shaking off,’ and claimed the shirts were ‘an opportunity for girls to express that they are part of New York City society…and shaking off oppression.’ That’s nonsense on its face; anyone foolish enough to believe it isn’t fit to hold a teacher’s license, let alone a principal’s warrant.”
Unfortunately, the removal of such a principal from this school less than a month before it opens is not sufficient. Serious questions about her handiwork – her choices with respect to KGIA’s curriculum, its textbooks, its teachers, the “retired Arabic-speaking community members” the Post reported that she wanted to bring in to “converse with the students during lunch periods,” etc. – remain to be satisfactorily addressed.
As Pamela Hall, a spokeswoman for the Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition, said upon learning of the Almontaser resignation:
“Dhabah Almontaser’s resignation is an implicit admission of what we at the Coalition have maintained all along: Her ideological agenda of using taxpayer-financing to promote Islamism disqualified her from having anything to do with a public school. Under present circumstances, however, the only way the so-called Khalil Gibran International Academy could open this September would be to rely upon Ms. Almontaser’s appalling and reprehensible decisions, her judgments and, yes, her political agenda. So this school must not open.”
Examples of that agenda are contained in the “Executive Summary” Ms. Almontaser produced to describe her program for KGIA, which was made public in response to a Freedom of Information Law request filed by the Coalition member John Matthies of the Middle East Forum’s Islamist Watch. As two members of the Coalition, William Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz, note in a critical analysis of the Summary posted on their blog, PipeLineNews.com http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=kgiaexec8607%2Ehtm):
“Charges leveled against KGIA by these writers – that it will in essence function as a madrassa, a center for indoctrination not education – are proven by the school’s own executive summary, a document recently released under threat of a lawsuit by the Stop The Madrassa Coalition. The summary is actually a manual for creating an Islamist vocational school, one in which every activity is planned around creating social activists with an Arab supremacist mindset, in the mold of KGIA’s activist/principal Dhabah Almontaser.”
The Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition is absolutely determined to get to the bottom of what the school is all about. We will file for injunctive relief to enjoin the school from opening until the City provides the explanation and information required by law so the public can know what is going on.
The Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition speaks for Americans across this country who oppose the use of taxpayer funds for what would amount to dangerous Islamist schools in New York City or their own neighborhoods. To ensure that does not happen in Brooklyn, the Coalition calls upon Mayor Bloomberg and New York City Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein to defer the opening of the KGIA so as to provide time to rectify the remaining, serious problems associated with Ms. Almontaser’s handiwork.