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 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.