Chancellor Klein has chosen Danielle Salzberg as the interim acting principal for KGIA. The actual KGIA problems of separation of church and state, and separation of education and Islamist ideology, will now become more acute behind the camouflage of a principal who, according to the NY Daily News, is a member of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance , was raised in an Orthodox Jewish household and belongs to a Manhattan synagogue, according to the New York Sun.
(Obligatory parenthetical note: Again, as we always note, we urge the city to teach MORE Arabic classes throughout the school system. But we don’t think Almontaser, Salzberg, Klein and Bloomberg’s political goals for KGIA were ever much about teaching Arabic. Teaching Arabic could have been done far more effectively and efficiently long ago with more elective classes in a lot more schools, and yes, that goes for Persian (Farsi) too. )
Dhaba Almontaser future status with the DOE will be confirmed by them one way or the other, we hope for the public’s sake. What remains to be proven by the Klein administration is whether the DOE will keep Almontaser from “consulting” behind the scenes with KGIA, in any and all capacities that she chooses. Who is the puppet, and who the puppeteer?
Danielle Salzberg will be familiar with Almontaser’s design for the KGIA, since Salzberg was the Senior Program Officer for the Khalil Gibran planning team over the last six months. In fact, we must give her full credit for making Almontaser’s designs for KGIA into reality – according to Lena Alhusseini of the Arab American Family Support Center, chief partner of the KGIA:
Danielle has had direct responsibility for supporting the Khalil Gibran planning team over the last six months.
In other words, Salzberg has had “direct responsibility” for the KGIA’s flawed design that explicitly preferences Islam and Muslim religion in the curricula, and Islamist and sharia ideologies in the teacher “partners” for the school. And that she continues to have that “direct responsibility.”
She has direct responsibility for appointing Almontaser as principal, even while Almontaser serves on the Muslim Consultancy Network with a host of extremist organization participants including the unindicted co-conspirators in terrorism financing, ISNA and CAIR, the second of which also awarded her efforts with a major award.
Salzberg has direct responsibility as senior program officer for choosing an entirely religious Advisory Board for a public school, in apparent contempt of constitutional separation of church and state. She has direct responsibility for selecting these three imams:
Salzberg has direct responsibility for appointing Imam Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid to the board. He is also the Amir (leader) of the Harlem Shura, a coalition of seven Harlem mosques. He has been the chairman of the Justice Committee of the Majlis Ash-Shura (Islamic Leadership Council) of New York, and Deputy Amir of The Muslim Alliance in North America. In Early 2006 he was appointed Deputy Amir of the Majlis Ash Shura.
She could have found a secular Arabic speaker, Bahai Arabic speaker, a Christian Arabic speaker or a Sephardic Jew. But she chose an Islamist political activist committed to the imposition of sharia law.
Salzberg has direct responsibility for appointing 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.
She could have found a Coptic Arabic-speaker, or a Maronite Christian Arabic-speaker. But she chose an Islamic religious activist who puts a low value on learning anything other than the Koran.
Salzberg has direct responsibility for appointing NYU Imam Khalid Latif, who “convinced” the NYU administration to censor students who tried to show the Muhammed cartoons (so much for being “inclusive,” “showing diverse views,” or that pesky non-Koranic document again, the Constitution and its First Amendment). A video describing his political organizing to block the cartoons is instructive. In his NYU Imam capacity, he cuts to the chase and simply states 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.” (page 8 of 29).
She could have found a secular Muslim Arabic-speaker, or even a Muslim apostate (we have laws in this country to protect Muslim apostates from being killed, fined or imprisoned – there must be one or two in New York City). Instead, she chose an Islamic activist who asserts that Arabic is an “Islamic” language, and who given a choice between the Constitution and Free Speech – and the Koran – chose the Koran.
But wait. Salzberg has direct responsibility for much more, found in the KGIA Executive Summary for the school here.
Salzberg made sure that Columbia University’s teacher training in fact teaches about one religion and one only – Islam. Oh, there’s “Israeli Culture” and a general nod to Middle East history, but she only recognizes the teaching of a single religion in this ostensibly public school (page 8):
In addition, ITS will sponsor teacher professional development workshops in Arabic literature, the Arab Diaspora, art and music, education, economy/oil, Islam, Israeli Culture, Middle East history, political systems and reform, and women.
Salzberg took direct responsibility to make sure that the history class excludes Arabic- speaking peoples of the Middle East who are not Arabs (P. 19, and try finding them anywhere in this document, the many peoples conquered throughout history in the Middle East – they seemingly have been expunged at KGIA, though they live in great numbers in New York City):
The history class “focuses on the contributions of Arab-Americans to American history.”
Salzberg took direct responsibility to make sure that both of the two Arabic-speaking children in the ” imaginary school day” in the Executive Summary are from predominantly Muslim countries – Yemen and Algeria. According to Encarta Encyclopedia:
The Christian population that existed in Yemen in pre-Islamic times virtually disappeared during the Islamic era, which began in the 7th century ad. All but a few thousand members of the formerly significant Jewish community, which may have resided continuously in Yemen since pre-Islamic times, emigrated to Israel shortly after its creation in 1948.
And from the same source, on Algeria:
Islam is the official religion and is professed by the vast majority of the population; almost all are Sunni Muslims.
Salzberg took direct responsibility to make sure the American Mideast Leadership Network will participate with the school as an important partner (pages 16-18). According to the Executive Summary, the AMLN will provide trips to Middle Eastern countries, create internships, provide an after-school leadership program and provide intensive language opportunities. According to our research, they may do all this while acting as Hezbollah apologists, if their leader’s statements are representative. On July 31, 2006 Rami Nuseir, the President of the AMLN, stated on CNN that:
“A lot of people look at Hezbollah as a social service agency that provides a lot of help for the Lebanese people. And that’s where the sympathy comes from.”
Salzberg took direct responsibility to make sure that the American Muslim Association of Lawyers (AMAL) offers internships and helps with a course in human rights (in 6th grade…)(P. 7, p. 18) . The AMAL website appears to be inactive (http://www.theamal.org/index.shtml) but the group (or at least their website) was founded by Omar Mohammedi, President of the New York Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), and lawyer for the infamous “6 imams” who have threatened to sue airline personnel and passengers for “profiling.” CAIR is currently under investigation in a major terrorism trial, as an unindicted co-conspirator.
Salzberg deserves even more credit for taking direct responsibility to bring Almontaser’s designs to life by running an Arabic Dual Language School and supervising a large population of Arabic-speaking “partners” from radical community groups roaming the school halls – since she does not speak Arabic herself. Of course, that might speak against her running an Arabic Dual Language school.
But just as Salzberg takes direct responsibility for those choices, so does Chancellor Joel Klein take responsibility for Salzberg – that’s Klein who promised to shut down KGIA if it was proven to be political or religious in nature. “Danielle is a strong leader and an excellent educator who knows what it takes to help our students succeed.”
The Islamist Advisors, curricula and “partner” teachers outlined in the Executive Summary probably won’t “help our students succeed” – but they will definitely advance the cause of radical “Intifada NYC” type ideologies in New York City.
Salzberg is completely implicated in Almontaser’s radical designs for KGIA. She should be permitted to return to New Visions to work on other schools, and KGIA should not open in September.