STOP THE MADRASSA FILES IN STATE SUPREME COURT AGAINST NY SCHOOLS CHANCELLOR AND DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION REGARDING ARABIC PUBLIC SCHOOL
LEADERS ALSO DEMAND AN END TO ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE OPPOSITION THROUGH INTIMIDATION, THREATS OF LAWSUITS AND SLANDEROUS ACCUSATIONS:
“AMERICANS WILL NOT BE SILENCED!”
October 19, 2007 — Citizens for American Values in Public Education Inc. and the Stop the Madrassa announce the filing this week by the Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition [“STM”] of an Article 78 Proceeding in the Supreme Court of the against the New York City Department of Education [the “DOE”] The lawsuit follows an insufficient response to requests under the Freedom of Information Law for complete information concerning textbooks, lesson plans and design documents to be used at the Khalil Gibran International Academy [“KGIA”].
In the past month, STM, has stepped up its calls for immediate closure of KGIA, as well as expanding its fight nationwide to halt the imposition of radical Islamist agendas in curricula, Arab language programs, history classes, textbooks, teacher training, and charter schools. Citizens for American Values in Public Education Inc. is the national non-profit organization that was founded to take this effort national.
The filing states in part: “Respondents have not responded to the Petitioners’ lawful and legally sufficient FOIL request. The Respondents have provided no reasonable basis for refusing to provide access to the documents and records. In addition, there is no legally justifiable basis for refusing to provide access to the documents and records… Petitioners are seeking relief from this Court to enforce their rights under FOIL.
The Petitioners in the case are the Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition and four residents. The named Respondents in the filing include the New York City Department of Education, which is responsible for maintaining the records and documents requested by Petitioners; School’s Chancellor Joel I. Klein, and the DOE’s Records Access Officer, Christine Kicinski. NYCDOE is charged by law with receiving and responding to FOIL requests. Copies of the filing can be obtained by contacting this organization at the number above.
Additionally, KGIA’s founding Principal, Dabah Almontaser, who resigned from the position, has made the following untrue and defamatory statements to the media:
· “Members of the coalition stalked me wherever I went and verbally assaulted me with vicious anti-Arab and anti-Muslim comments.”
· “To stir up anti-Arab prejudice, they constantly referred to me by my Arabic name…”
· “The coalition conducted a smear campaign against me and the school…”
According to Citizens for American Values president Stuart Kaufman, Citizens for American Values in Public Education and Stop the Madrassa have one message for Ms. Almontaser and any of her supporters who are attempting to silence our responsible and legitimate expressions of concern and questions about KGIA: “We will NOT be silenced through threats of lawsuits, falsely being called names such as ‘racists’ and ‘haters’ and ‘bigots’, and other efforts to silence American citizens exercising their rights to freedom of speech.”