Today the federal appeals court stated Dhabah “Debby” Almontaser cannot force New York City to give her another opportunity to reapply as Principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that Almontaser was acting in her official capacity as interim principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy when she defined “Intifada” as a “shaking off” to the NY Post. The NYC Intifada T-shirt was produced and distributed by AWAAM, a group closely affiliated with Almontaser. They are the lead organization supporting her reinstatement.
Almontaser’s 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.”
Almontaser’s inability to define the Intifada for what it is- a murderous campaign to kill and maim Israeli citizens – is understandable in light of her political viewpoints. She opposes the War on Terror and she blames the US for the 9-11 attacks as described in her interview in 2002 to Amnesty International’s Norwegian office shortly after 9-11. She supports numerous radical organizations, including the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Public Schools are not the venue for the furthering of Islamic ideology. Youssef M. Ibrahim’s article, “The Islamist Trojan Horse is Already in Place” explains, “Seemingly separate but unquestionably part of the same process of spreading militancy among immigrant Arab communities was the Debbie Almontaser episode of the Khalil Gibran School saga, in which what she saw as a benign use of the word “intifada” led to her being forced to quit as the school’s principal. Neither Ms. Almontaser’s project nor her unstated intention to create a Muslim school in Brooklyn under the guise of multiculturalism took place in a void. The common task among all these organizations and individuals is to instill the notion there are no Arab-Americans, only Muslim Americans.
What follows next, of course, is the “community’s” eventual embrace of jihad against the values and policies of the majority infidel. This is what has taken place in Britain among native British subjects of Muslim origin.” [http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0907/ibrahim092507.php3 ]
It is unfortunate that the NYC Department of Education did not investigate Almontaser and the Islamic partnering organizations she brought into the school before announcing its opening. Stop the Madrassa understood the agenda and was forced to do what the DOE would not; investigate, educate, and attempt to protect NYC school children from an Islamic political agenda. Almontaser is gone but the infrastructure she built is still in place. What exactly are these children exposed to, and given the individuals and partnering organizations involved, what perspective on the Middle East and America is being taught? We will continue to keep the public informed. Hopefully the NYCDOE will begin to do their part.