Excerpt from CNN Live Event Interview with William Donohue, President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, aired September 4:
SANCHEZ: All right, you know this is going to be controversial. Let’s bring in some of the people now who have raised some questions about the Arabic school. None other than William Donohue, president of the Catholic League.
You know what I like about Bill Donohue? What I like about Bill Donohue is when people try and talk bad about my religion, as a Catholic, when someone tries to pour urine on the Virgin Mother, on the Holy Mother you fight for us. But, here you’re in a situation where you’re criticizing somebody else’s religion. Should you be doing that?
WILLIAM DONOHUE, PRES, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: Oh obviously, no question about it. Look, I got involved with this because Beth Galinsky is a Jewish activist and good friend of mine in New York asked me to look into this situation.
When we looked into it, we made some phone calls to the Department of Education. What do we want to know? The curriculum, the textbook, the handouts, things of that nature. Guess what? We were stonewalled. As recently as last Friday, August the 31st, stonewalled, they were telling us nothing. I spent 20 years in education, I taught everything from second grade through graduate school. You can’t get a course passed never mind a program or a school without having everything laid out there in the first place.
SANCHEZ: Well, let’s be fair. They do this kind of thing in New York. I know it’s different for somebody watching us in Kansas City. They’ve got a couple of French schools, they’ve got a humanity school where they pluck students out and put them in certain specialized interests.
DONOHUE: Do they have clergy as the advisors? Do they have imams associated with extremist versions (ph)? Look, the multicultural argument is pernicious. You know, there’s a big difference. A year ago the pope made speech that some Muslim didn’t like. What did they do? They shot a nun and they killed her. Jews don’t act that way when they’re not happy with the pope.
SANCHEZ: Let’s not go there. Let’s stick with the subject. Essentially what they’re saying they’re going to do, Bill, they’re going to create a school that’s going to be cultural. They’re going to try and bridge that gap between that society and us so we don’t have to kill each other any more and go to wars. Maybe we can work out our problems by understanding each other. Isn’t’ that a great thing?
DONOHUE: It is a great thing. It’s too bad, then, they appointed a principal who defended or refused to condemn, at least, initially, a pro-terrorist t-shirt, and said we didn’t give us any logical decision about the real word and Intifada didn’t mean that, didn’t mean terrorism.
Look, we know what the word Intifada means, Jews know it and I am fed up with the double standard. We got Islamic crescent star in the schools, I can’t put a nativity scene in the schools. What’s going on here?
SANCHEZ: Let’s stop here. OK, fine. But do you have one shred of evidence that you could bring to the table right now that would show that they’re going to be sharing or teaching nefarious things, that they’re going to teach the kids to hate the West or be involved in terrorism?
DONOHUE: I can tell you this much, the burden is on the Department of Education. How come when we called them all summer long they stonewall us. How come the Association of Muslim-American Lawyers, we find out almost none of them? Could you imagine a Latin school staffed by Catholic nuns and priests who were orthodox? People would raise holy hell in church and state.
SANCHEZ: You’re saying until they tell us what they’re going to bring we’ll continue to criticize?
DONOHUE: I’m trying to say is this an Arab school or Muslim school and what kind of Muslims? I want to know.
SANCHEZ: We’re out of time. Bill, thanks for coming.
DONOHUE: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Always a pleasure. Appreciate it. William Donohue with the Catholic League.