The “Communities in Support of KGIA,” a collection of far-left radical and Islamist individuals and organizations, is calling for Dhabah Almontaser’s reinstatement as principal at KGIA and for an investigation:
We, the undersigned, who stand together in support of the Khalil Gibran International Academy and its founding principal, Debbie Almontaser, call upon New York City Council to immediately establish a committee or task force to investigate the sequence of events leading up to Ms Almontaser’s resignation from her position and to make public the results of this investigation by October 15, 2007.
We disagree with that proposal in part. Almontaser should not have any positions, given her radicalism, in public education. But we absolutely agree that an investigation – with public exposure of all internal memoranda, related emails, drafts of statements and related documents – would greatly benefit the public discussion. The New York City Department of Education, through its refusal to release important KGIA planning documentation and instructional materials (actual curricula materials, lesson plans, hand-outs) has failed to comply with our Freedom of Information Law requests.
Albany may be more effective than the NY City Council in ending the DOE cover-up. And our legal initiative will go into the next stage in a few days – watch this space for the update.
Why should the NYC DOE not rehire Almontaser?
Here are three simple reasons.
[We expect the NYC DOE response on September 21 to our Freedom of Information Law request will provide many more reasons, unless the DOE continues their cover-up of the Mayor’s and DOE’s past and ongoing relationships with Almontaser.)
Reason #1: She supported t-shirts saying “Intifada NYC”: Her connection to the AWAAM group is not tenuous; she is both a founder and board member of the Yemeni American Association (SABA – YAA), and the AWAAM website (before it was quickly revised after the t-shirt exposé) directed “Contact Us” information to the YAA. The AAFSC, primary sponsors of KGIA, also sponsored the event where the t-shirts were sold. Her own words defending the “Intifada NYC” slogan were the greatest evidence against her being in charge of any institution, as quoted in the New York Post :
“The word [intifada] basically means ‘shaking off.’ That is the root word if you look it up in Arabic,” she said.
“I understand it is developing a negative connotation due to the uprising in the Palestinian-Israeli areas. I don’t believe the intention is to have any of that kind of [violence] in New York City.
“I think it’s pretty much an opportunity for girls to express that they are part of New York City society . . . and shaking off oppression.”
Reason #2: She opposes the War on Terror and she blames the US for the 9-11 attacks : Shortly after 9-11, she gave an interview in 2002 to Amnesty International’s Norwegian office in which she stated:
…I would love to see a peace-loving country as Norway calling the USA to the carpet, telling that enough is enough. I would like to see Norway taking the risk demanding that USA stops the killings, spreading suffering, emergency and fear in countries as Afghanistan, Iraq, Venezuela and Sudan, she says. – I would like to see Norway show its guts in the Security Council and protest against unfair and racist policies. Stop the sanctions against Iraq; can’t you see that it is the civil population that suffers? …..
…. Earlier you could be arrested for being black and driving a car, now it has become a crime to fly when you are brown. I believe a lot of Arab Americans have realized that we are in the same boat as the black Americans; we must learn from their experiences and struggle against racism. I have realized that our foreign policy is racist; in the “war against terror” people of color are the target….
…Today I believe that the terrorist attacks can have been triggered by the way the USA breaks its promises with countries across the world, especially in the Middle East and the fact that it has not been a fair mediator with its foreign policy. It is not true that the people in the Middle East and Southeast Asia hate our lifestyle, our freedom and our democracy. What disturbs them is that we in order to secure our own well being, deprive them of the possibility of achieving the same high living standard and freedom of choice that we have in the western world….
…The American people believes that everything is all right and that the USA lives by its ideals of democracy, individual freedom and the American dream out there as well. So did I, until 11 September 2001. But I have experienced that when you talk to people and explain what is going on, then they are as strongly against the “war against terror” as I. That gives me hope for the future.
Reason #3: She supports numerous radical organizations, including the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Trial for terrorist financing, where CAIR’s relationship to Hamas, a designated terrorist organization, has been repeatedly argued by the prosecution. She accepted an annual award from CAIR in 2005. She is on the board of the Muslim Consultative Network, whose members include unindicted co-conspirator CAIR and the radical Islamic Circle of North America. The Muslim Consultative Network is a major sponsor of the Almontaser Recall Effort being announced in today’s press conference.
She also supports and is supported by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, whose founder and chairman emeritus, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, is the first name on the petition to recall her as KGIA principal. Abourezk stated on August 31, 2007 to al Manar Television that Hezbollah and Hamas are “resistance fighters” and not terrorist organizations. The ADC is listed as a primary partner of KGIA at the DOE school website, and the ADC provides biased instructional materials for middle schools and high schools with an overt ideological slant.
Interestingly, CAIR-NY sponsored the earlier statement supporting Almontaser, but has taken its name off the current one, indicating a growing weakness and disunity among these “Communities in Support of KGIA.” CAIR’s removal of their name from today’s statement calling for the “investigation” may also be a result of CAIR’s political strength waning, as their membership numbers shrink nationwide and their role is more widely known as an unindicted co-conspirator named in the Holy Land Foundation trial on terrorist financing.
Almontaser, No. No way, no how.