Opinion: Mayor Bloomberg There are Transfats in KGIA

     Mayor Bloomberg, when you send a team of transfat experts to the school will you make good on your Chancellor of Education Joel Klein’s promise to monitor the Khalil Gibran International Academy  for political and/or religious content in textbooks, teacher handouts, and lesson plans?  With an Advisory Board of radical Islamist Imams, Priests, and Rabbis, New Yorkers are asking themselves why isn’t there an official monitoring board in place at the Khalil Gibran International Academy public school as promised?  We are also aware that if questions about what would be taught in the school weren’t raised there would be a halal lunch offered to public school students.  Has our Mayor and Department of Education forgotten about the Separation of Church and State?  New Yorkers haven’t and feel that this is a dangerous precedent.

     Here is a list of excellent questions that can be used by the monitoring board.  It is part of an excellent article written by M.Zhudi Jasser,  founder and Chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, explaining the urgent need for public accountability for “Islamic” educational institutions in the U.S. 

Discerning Islamist from non-Islamist Schools – a guide to begin the debate

The only way to counter such an insidious ideological insurgency is for us as a nation to undertake a far-reaching analysis and public discussion about what students at these Islamic schools are actually being taught about ‘sharia’ law and its role in the society. Here are a few questions American communities may want to pose to principals and curriculum coordinators of local Islamic schools in order to understand whether the school has a political agenda in its teachings or not.

1.         How does the school teach American history and the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights? What is taught about the struggle of our founding fathers against theocracy? Is European Enlightenment ideology taught? Are students encouraged to learn from non-Muslim philosophers especially those who influenced our founding fathers and taught liberty and freedom?

2.         Are students taught that sharia is only personal or that it also specifically guides governmental law? Does their answer change whether Muslims are a minority or a majority?

3.         Do they view non-Islamic private and public schools as part of a culture of ‘immorality’ and decadence since they are not Islamicized or can non-Islamic schools be morally and equally virtuous?

4.         Do they teach their children that ‘being American’ and being ‘free’ is about moral corruption or is being American and free about loving the nation in which they live and sharing equal status before the law regardless of faith tradition?

5.         Is complete religious freedom a central part of faith and the practice of religion? In the Islamic school, how are children treated who refuse to participate in school faith practices?

6.         Are the children taught Muslim exclusivism with regards to the attainment of paradise in the Hereafter? From that, are the children also taught that government and public institutions must thus be ‘Islamic’ in order for the community as a whole to be able to enter the gates of Heaven?

7.         How are student discussions, debate, and intellectual discourses approached regarding American domestic and foreign policy? Do the teachers have a political agenda? Does that agenda demonstrate a dichotomy between Islamist interests and American interests?

8.         Is the historical period of Muslim rule of Spain (Andalusia) taught in the context of the history of the world during the Middle Ages or is it looked upon as superior to current day American ideology even after the advances of the Enlightenment?

9.         Is the pledge of allegiance administered every day at the beginning of the school day?

Certainly, this analysis and exposure would not be in any way to limit the freedom of Muslims to establish and operate these private educational facilities. But rather, quite the contrary, with exposure of the political Islamist agenda of many of these schools, Islamist schools will be slowly marginalized or obligated to reform. Then the non-Islamist and anti-Islamist schools will flourish while teaching reasoned pluralistic Islamic thought wholly compatible with the foundational principles of America.

    

     Mayor Bloomberg, before you dismiss this as a problem affecting only private educational institutions note-

“A few receive direct government support as charter schools which is incomprehensible in the setting of what should be a separation of religion and state in America.” [emphasis added]  KGIA is a public school supported with taxpayer dollars.

The scope of the problem – taxpayer complicity

A recent 2004 study by the NCES documented 182 Islamic private schools in the United States. Just last week the Voice of America trumpeted a report that, “Muslim Americans Establish own Schools in the U.S.” This statement of fact was presented with the apparent assumption that such a fact was good for Muslims and good for America. That would be the case if Islamism was not being taught and they would in fact be an asset if anti-Islamist ideas were being encouraged and debated. However, the simple fact that the schools taught Arabic seemed enough to the VOA reporters. Someone needs to inform them that translation services are often only as good as the ideological and political agenda of the translators themselves. In today’s oversimplified discourse on Islam it seems to matter little to the media or government whether Islamic schools are creating growing legions of pro-Islamist Muslims or not.

Let us also not forget that many of these institutions are operating with tax benefits and tacit government endorsement. A few receive direct government support as charter schools which is incomprehensible in the setting of what should be a separation of religion and state in America. Others, however, receive indirect government support through tax incentives as exists in Arizona or voucher programs as have been implemented in Ohio. There needs to be a greater public awareness of whether the ideology taught at these schools is compatible with Americanism and freedom as we know it. http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/challenges.php?id=1385607#

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Opinion: Journalistic Integrity on the Issues Please

The truth is the only thing that will save our schools, our society, and our country.  Journalism needs to be about the facts, not opinion Op-Ed pieces. The following is one account of truth pursued.

 

Larry Cohler-Esses Leaves his Journalistic Integrity at the Door

I have had a limited and until today private e-mail exchange with Jewish Week Writer Larry Cohler-Esses since I knocked him on this blog a few months ago (see Fighting Jihad is McCarthyism According to “Nation Magazine” ,The New-McCarthyism:Larry Cohler-Esses Replies) to be honest, he seems like a really nice enough guy who really cares about his family and has to deal with many of the same type of issues that I do but that is his personal buisness and not something that will ever be dealt with on these pages.

On the Jewish Week Blog, Esses describes how his management made him skew an article about Khalil Gibran International Academy, NY’s Madrassa School’s former Principal Ms Almontaser towards the truth. This article turned out to be a rare Jewish Week article that seemed to show both sides of an issue instead of only the liberal “lets all sit around the campfire and sing kumbaya side” or the “anybody that supports Israel is a nutbag ” side that is so prevalent among most of the writers and editors of the paper. (I wonder if Yeshiva U wishes they could take back publisher Gary Rosenblatt’s degree)

To read the rest of the article link on to Yid With Lid: 

http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com/2007/12/larry-choler-esses-leaves-his.html

 

Opinion: Right Focus on Almontaser and Yes You Have Been Betrayed…..but Not by Stop the Madrassa

Excerpts from the following have been published in the Jewish Week  December 13, 2007

     In response to the letters published in the Jewish Week, “Wrong Focus on Almontaser” and “Feels Betrayed” the Stop the Madrassa Coalition has reported the facts regarding the Khalil Gibran International Academy.  The research is well documented and can be checked on our website.  You are free to ignore the truth, however labeling and slandering those shining the light on what may be a very dangerous public school situation is outrageous. It also creates a smokescreen for the real issues. The distortions are all yours unless you see Almontaser’s association with radical groups and individuals as a “mere coincidence”; again, this is all documented.     

      Since AWAAM was mentioned let’s take a look.  AWAAM has been involved with Almontaser since the founding of her Yemini American Association in 2005.  The group is listed as a volunteer in the grand opening brochure.  Mona Eldahry, a co-founding director of AWAAM is active in AL-Awda, a group whose only goal is “The right of Return”, code for the annihilation of Israel.  Al-Awda has quoted the Hamas slogan, “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea”.  Can anyone still think that the NYC Intifada t-shirts were a “shaking off” by girls feeling oppressed in NYC?   At an Al-Awda rally on July 28, 2006 in NYC there were signs that read, “Want Peace? Dismantle Israel“. AWAAM has expressed, with its NYC Intifada t-shirts, a violent agenda through its director’s association with Al-Awda.  The Intifada t-shirt now becomes self-explanatory. 

     Almontaser refused to answer a NY Sun reporter’s question as to whether she thought Hamas and Hezbollah were terrorist organizations.  She never condemned theNYC Intifada t-shirts either, a point made emphatically by Mona Eldahry at Almontaser’s press conference.  Anyone who does not condone terrorism would immediately define the Intifada for what it is, a hate-filled violence personified by terrorizing homocide-bombers.  The least Almontaser could have done was realize that a Principal of a NYC public school needed to be “sensitive” to those in NYC who felt the Intifada intimately.  Given her Department of Education  sponsored sensitivity training courses it would be only logical to think that she would have sensitivity toward others and not only her special interest group.  A Principal in NYC needs to be sensitive to all.      

     According to a statement made by Lena Alhusseini of the Arab-American Family Support Center, (a main partnering organization of the KGIA) during an appearance at the Beth El Synagogue in Great Neck, NY on Monday November 26, 2007, Almontaser turned to her friends first to become collaborators in the development of the KGIA.  Therefore, Almontaser herself invited and included these groups in the formation and daily operations of the school. These friends include radical Imams and radical organizations.  CAIR, the Council on Islamic American Relations, according to the KGIA Executive Summary is supplying the school with lawyers through the American Muslim Lawyer’s Association to work with the children and develop Leadership Programs.  CAIR is not the civil rights group as it purports to be.  It is the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. This is a well documented fact.  Their goal is for Sharia adherent law to supersede our Constitution. CAIR officials have stated this publicly.    Council on American Islamic Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper has also said, “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the near future…But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that.  I am going to do that through education”.  Progressive Jews need to take a good, long, hard look at the facts and see who is being betrayed by whom.


 


   

Important Update re CAIR

Dear Friends:

 

Because CAIR cannot be trusted to provide the public with an accurate list of companies that are boycotting the Michael Savage radio program as a direct result of CAIR’s campaign, we have requested a list  from Mr. Savage.  Until we receive such a list, and because CAIR cannot be trusted, we do not feel comfortable yet in calling for a boycott of those companies. We await a definitive list of companies from Michael Savage, and will keep you informed about future developments on this issue.  

Citizens for American Values in Public Education/Stop the Madrassa

Dhabbah “Debbie” Almontaser: Retract Lies and Defamatory Accusations

   

Group Demands Apology from Almontaser

BY Staff Reporter of the New York Sun
November 28, 2007

An advocacy group is demanding an apology from the former principal of a Brooklyn school with an Arabic-language theme. The Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition, which has lobbied for the Bloomberg administration to shut down the Khalil Gibran International Academy and requested the firing of its founding principal, Dhabah Almontaser, is asking Ms. Almontaser to apologize for accusing the group of “stalking” her and making “vicious anti-Arab and anti-Muslim comments.”

Writing to her lawyer, Alan Levine, in a letter sent Monday, an attorney for Stop the Madrassa, David Yerushalmi, demanded Ms. Almontaser publicly rescind her comments and issue an apology to the group.

Mr. Yerushalmi also picked out Ms. Almontaser’s public attack on a supporter of the group, the historian Daniel Pipes, whose columns run in this newspaper. The letter calls Ms. Almontaser’s contention that Mr. Pipes “has made his career fostering hatred of Arabs and Muslims” unfounded.

Mr. Levine could not be reached for comment yesterday.

America Won’t Be Silenced: Coalition launches multi-faceted offensive

 

 

Citizens for American Values in Public Education/Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition announce that a coalition of organizations are launching a powerful and multi-faceted initiative to push back hard against attempts by radical Islamist groups to silence American citizens through boycotts, name-calling, threats of lawsuits, defamatory accusations and other forms of intimidation.

Citizens for American Values president Stuart Kaufman stated: “We ourselves have been defamed and slandered as a result of our efforts to raise awareness about the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA). Because of the depredations of CAIR and CAIR’s relationship with KGIA, Citizens for American Values/Stop the Madrassa has expanded its fight to a nationwide campaign against imposition of Islamist agendas in curricula, language programs, history classes, textbooks, teacher training, and charter schools.”

A coalition of organizations will be taking the following strong actions:

  1. Former KGIA Principal-designate Dhabbah “Debbie” Almontaser has falsely accused Stop the Madrassa supporters of having engaged in “stalking” her, which, if true, would be a criminal offense in New York state. These defamatory accusations by Ms. Almontaser have been published by several news outlets, including The New York Times. We are demanding that Almontaser, who is supported by CAIR, publicly rescind her defamatory statements against the Stop the Madrassa coalition.
  2. As CAIR has organized a boycott by advertisers of the Michael Savage radio show for alleged “Islamophobia,” we launched the SUPPORT FREEDOM, NOT ISLAMO-FASCISM campaign. Please see an important update at the end of this release * regarding this campaign. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the political views or personality of Mr. Savage, it is imperative that his rights as an American to speak his mind — to criticize radical Islamism and jihadism — be protected.
  3. We are calling on all Americans to give our side a fair hearing regarding the facts about CAIR. Discover the Networks points out that Steven Pomerantz, the FBI’s former chief of counter-terrorism, has stated that “CAIR, its leaders and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups.” On September 17, 2003, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer stated that CAIR co-founders Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmed have “intimate links with Hamas..” He later remarked that “we know [CAIR] has ties to terrorism.” [www.discoverthenetworks.org]
  4. We are reaching out in solidarity to others who have been defamed, threatened by legal action, falsely accused or otherwise targeted for exposing the dangers of Islamo-fascism and jihadism.
  5. We are further expanding our Stop the Madrassa community coalition network throughout the country. Your volunteer help is needed now no matter where you are located. Please write to us at volunteers@stopthemadrassa.org to volunteer.

*Update:

Because CAIR cannot be trusted to provide the public with an accurate list of companies that are boycotting the Michael Savage radio program as a direct result of CAIR’s campaign, we have requested a list  from Mr. Savage.  Until we receive such a list, and because CAIR cannot be trusted, we do not feel comfortable yet in calling for a boycott of those companies. We await a definitive list of companies from Michael Savage, and will keep you informed about future developments on this issue.  

Citizens for American Values in Public Education/Stop the Madrassa

Dhabbah (Debbie) Almontaser Loses Return Bid!

New York Post

ARABIC PRINCIPAL LOSES RETURN BID

By KATI CORNELL


The ousted principal who made statements defending the use of the slogan “Intifada NYC” on T-shirts won’t be getting her old job back, after a federal judge rejected her bid to stop the city from hiring a replacement. Manhattan federal Judge Sidney Stein ruled that Debbie Almontaser was not protected by a constitutional right to free speech when she defined the term “intifada” as “shaking off oppression” in response to a Post reporter’s questions about the T-shirts.

Founder and former acting principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn, Almontaser sparked a firestorm of public criticism with her statements, prompting Mayor Bloomberg’s office to seek her immediate resignation in August.

Almontaser filed a lawsuit last month requesting that the judge stop the city’s hiring process and put the decision in the hands of a “disinterested” party, rather than the superintendent of District 15 and Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein.

Stein rejected that request and said that Almontaser’s claims that she suffered retaliation by the city were unsupported by evidence at a two-day hearing this week.

“The speech is not protected,” Stein said, adding that Almontaser spoke to The Post in her official capacity as a public employee, not as a private citizen.

Almontaser is allowed to go forward with her lawsuit for emotional harm and breach of contract, though the judge said it is unlikely she will succeed in proving the merits of the case.

In testimony this week, Almontaser denied having any affiliation with the T-shirts or the organization that produced them and blamed everyone from the media to the mayor for jeopardizing her career.

“I’m disappointed. I think the judge was wrong,” Almontaser’s lawyer, Alan Levine, said outside court. “What he said about her speech could ultimately be very damaging to her case.”