Setting the Record Straight with the NY Times

 
In general we are being accused of the school’s failure given Almontaser resigned due to her statements about the NYC Intifada t-shirts. By the time Almontaser resigned mid-August the curriculum had been chosen, the teachers hired, and she had completed her personal recruitment of students for the school.  She worked with a Design Team for a year prior to KGIA’s opening.  Ostensibly the school should have been ready to go.  Whether or not she was there should not matter.  A public school should be able to function well with any Principal.Evidently the school’s students are experiencing behavioral problems.  Almontaser recruited them personally and elementary schools forward the student’s records so she had to know her student body.  If provisions were not made then the responsibility rests with her.Following are quotes from the NY Times article with my response-

 

 

 

“NY TIMES: But Ms. Almontaser’s downfall was not merely the result of a spontaneous outcry by concerned parents and neighborhood activists.  It was also the work of a growing and organized movement to stop Muslim citizens who are seeking an expanded role in American public life.”
SPRINGER RESPONDS: Outrageous assertion. We have been extraordinarily careful in documenting every statement linking Almontaser to radical Islamist groups such as CAIR, American Muslim Lawyers Association (AMLA), Muslim Consultive Network, Muslim American Society, Adalah, and Al Awda.  This statement is prejudicial to the extent that it infers we are opposed to Muslims participating in American life.  We have absolutely no issue with this.  Our concern is with the “soft jihad” that is infiltrating our schools with the intent of bringing Shari’s law into our society by indoctrinating our children.  Ibrihim Hooper spokesman for CAIR told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a 1993 interview “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 future.  But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.”NY TIMES: “Muslim leaders, academics and others see the drive against the school as the latest in a series of discriminatory attacks intended to distort the truth and play on American’s fear of terrorism. They say the campaign is also part of a wider effort to silence critics of Washington’s policy on Israel and the Middle East.”

 

SPRINGER: Our concern is based on the people and organizations that Almontaser has hand-picked to work with the school and students.  Truth has not been distorted.  Again, we have carefully documented our statements and have pursued our right to legally seek  transparency from the Department of Education.

 

NY TIMES: “(The advisory council never met and has since been dismantled, and the school does not offer halal food, Education Department officials said).” 

 
 
 
SPRINGER: According to KGIA’s Executive summary the plan and intent was to offer Halal food in the school cafeteria. The school does not offer halal food because the DOE refused the request.  KGIA was supposed to officially disband the advisory board through a public statement but this was never done. 
NY TIMES: Although Ms. Almontaser said she never spoke to the reporter about the t-shirt, she defended the girls in the organization because she believed that the reporter was set on “vilifying innocent teenagers.” 
 
SPRINGER: Mona Eldhary, a co-founder of AWAAM, the organization that designed, produced, and distributed the NYC Intifada t-shirts is an active member of Al Awda (she is listed as such on their website).  Al Awda (the Return in Arabic) is …..a political advocacy organization that calls not for a peaceful settlement with Israel, but “peace” through the replacement of Israel by an Arab dominated state called Palestine.” [go here for more].  Its website clearly states its mission, “Al-Awda supports the struggle for the liberation of Palestine.”

“NY TIMES: During the Post interview, Ms. Almontaser said, she told the reporter Chuck Bennett that the Arab women’s organization was not connected to her or the school, and that she would never be affiliated with any group that condoned violence.”
 
  SPRINGER: 

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.

“NY TIMES: A department spokeswoman said that a list of textbooks selected for the school was sent to the lawyer last fall.”  
 
 

SPRINGER: The documents given to the Stop the Madrassa Coalition pursuant to an Article 78 demanding the information since 4 FOIL’s were not adequately responded to did not contain textbooks, lesson plans, or worksheets regarding the teaching of Arabic language and culture.
Donna Nevel in her interview liked to the article said that the opponents of the school don’t like Arabic language dual education.  We at the Stop the Madrassa Coalition have always maintained that many languages including Arabic should be taught as an elective in schools across the city.

NY TIMES: “Ms. Almontaser never considered herself unenthusiastic about America, she said.”

 

· Almontaser has called America a racist country.
· She has said that the U.S. brought the 9/11 attack upon itself.
· She opposes the War on Terror
· 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 Reinstatement Effort.
· Has been a spokesperson for the Muslim American Society for a NYC 9/11 event.
· Refused to answer a NY Sun reporter as to whether or not Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorist organizations
· Refused to say that the Intifada was a Palestinian terror campaign against innocent Israeli civilians, children, women, and men.
· Dabah has appointed radical Imams to her schools Board of Advisors. 

 

 
Background on organizations partnering with KGIA

1. The American Muslim Association of Lawyers (AMAL) offers internships, and helps with a course in human rights (in 6th grade…) (P. 7, p. 18). The AMAL website appears to be inactive (http://www.theamal.org/index.shtml) but the group (or at least their website) was founded by Omar Mohammedi, President of the New York Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), and lawyer for the infamous “6 imams” who have threatened to sue airline personnel and passengers for “profiling.” CAIR is currently under investigation in the Holy Land Terror-financing trial, as an unindicted co-conspirator.
2. The American Mideast Leadership Network will participate with the school as an important partner (pages 16-18). According to the Executive Summary, the AMLN will provide trips to “ stabilized” Middle Eastern countries, create internships, provide an after-school leadership program and provide intensive language opportunities. According to our research, they may do all this while acting as Hezbollah apologists, if their leader’s statements are representative. On July 31, 2006 Rami Nuseir, the President of the AMLN, stated on CNN that:
“A lot of people look at Hezbollah as a social service agency that provides a lot of help for the Lebanese people. And that’s where the sympathy comes from.”
3. A main partner listed in the Executive Summary, the Columbia University Teachers College Department of International and Transcultural Studies teacher training in fact teaches about one religion and one only – Islam. KGIA only recognizes the teaching of a single religion in this ostensibly public school (page 8):
4.  Arab Culture will be taught, however no where is there mention of Sephardic Jews, Ba hai’s, Coptic Christians, Druze, Lebanese Christians, or any other Arab culture except Islamic culture.  
5. The DOE website for the KGIA lists as its first  partner the Arab-American Ant-Discrimination Committee. Its founder and President is none other than the former Democratic Senator James Abourezk who recently appeared on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar Television. Al-Manar is banned in the U.S. because Hezbollah is designated by the government as a terrorist organization. Azbourezk stated that the Arabs involved in 9/11 co-operated with Zionists, the Israel Lobby controls the U.S. Congress, Hamas and Hezbollah are “resistance” fighters, not terrorist organizations! Lastly Abourezk said that all Americans are racist.
Note that the ADC website provides biased educational instruction and curricula for middle and high schools and is overtly Islamic in its ideology. Not only is the ADC the first name on KGIA’s DOE website as the main partnering organization, this name was the first on the petition to reinstate Dhabah Almontaser as Principal.
6. The Arabic-American Family Suport Center located in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn is another key partner working with KGIA. Their website links to the Council on Islamic Education’s lesson plans. Why are NYC public school students being taught the nuances of Jihad?
· Define Jihad in its literal and applied meanings, as a principal and as an institution.
·  Describe legitimate conduct of war according to Islamic Law.
· Differentiate between rebellion and terrorism according to Muslim jurists.
This is what middle school children will be learning in a public school. The Executive Summary specifically states that the school will teach Islam and there were teacher training retreats held this past summer so that all teachers would be on the same wavelength.

 

 

As for school performance? It”s an abject failure.
KGIA, enthusiastically supported by, among others, convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal, former Weather Underground leader and bombing justifier William Ayers, former SDS and Communist Party organizer Michael Klonsky, and Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party (created by the late Nation of Islam racist Khalid Muhammed), and a local imam who proudly posted the Muslim Brotherhood slogan and symbol on his website, has been the focus of numerous media reports, including one published in today’s New York Times by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Andrea Elliott.
Ms. Elliott reports that shorly after KGIA’s opening day, “Chaos soon erupted inside. Students cut classes and got into fights with little consequence, said staff members, parents and students. At least 12 of the 60 students showed signs of behavioral problems or learning disabilities, said Leslie Kahn, a licensed social worker and counselor who was employed at the school until January. (Education Department officials, who denied repeated requests by The Times to visit the school, said there are currently six special-needs students there.)
“ ‘Something is flying through the air, every class, every day,’ Sean R. Grogan, a science teacher at the school, said in an interview. ‘Kids bang on the partitions, yell and scream, curse and swear. It’s out of control.’ The New York Times account continues, “Physical altercations are frequent, Mr. Grogan and others said, with Arab students and teachers the target of ethnic slurs. “I just don’t feel safe,” said an Arab-American student, 11, who will not return to the school next year.
Stop the Madrassa also is speaking out about the relationship between KGIA’s founding principal, Ms. Almontaser, and a deeply troubling “community statement” that was recently addressed to New York City Policy Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
According to journalist and author Stephen Suleiman Schwartz, who is executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, on November 23, 2007, in response to the above-mentioned community statement, a statement was issued “in the name of the ‘Muslim community,’ ” protesting the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) release last year of its vital report on terrorism. Among other demands, the community statement called on the NYPD to stop distributing the report to other jurisdictions’ law enforcement agencies, and, as Schwartz put it, “arrogated to themselves the right to decide what the city’s police should do in response to the challenge of radical Islam. “
Schwartz, writing in The Weekly Standard, also reports that in a March 3, 2008 meeting in New York, CAIR officials Faiza Ali, Aliya Latif, and Omar Mohammadi “were joined by Islamist agitator Syed Z. Sayeed, religious adviser to the Saudi-backed Muslim Students Association at Columbia University . They noted that the NYPD had asked for a detailed reply to the report. The participants at the March 3 get-together also observed that while they would prepare such a response, CAIR itself has financed and is working on a more thorough text designated its ‘long-term analysis/alternative model of radicalization.’ “
Almontaser was also,as Schwartz reports, involved in CAIR’s counter-attack against the NYPD as evidenced by that fact that her “assignment in dealing with NYPD was to organize an online discussion group for input into the Community Statement.”
Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition notes Mr. Schwartz’s assessment that “…Almontaser should quit her masquerade as a moderate and her non-Muslim enablers should end their naïve defense of her alleged mainstream outlook. “ The coalition further points out that Ms. Almontaser has been a financial supporter of controversial Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, and adds that the time is long overdue for a full city and state investigation into the creation of KGIA and the possible role of Islamist organizations in any aspect of the school’s establishment or operation.
And there was this incredible admission  from a teacher made in the comment section of the article:
As a teacher at KGIA I have to say things have barely improved since Holly Reichert’s appointment. This week alone we have 6 students out on Suspension, one for carrying a knife to school. We have a teacher on a medical leave of absence after a student threatened to beat her, this caused her blood pressure to spike to a very unhealthy level.
For more and updates please go to Atlasshrugs-

NY TIMES: CHAOS AT KGIA!

AS NY TIMES REPORTS ARABIC SCHOOL CHAOS, VIOLENCE AND DISORDER, KGIA FOUNDER ALMONTASER HELPS CAIR ATTACK NYPD REPORT ON TERRORISM;
STOP THE MADRASSA REITERATES CALL FOR PROMPT KGIA CLOSURE
New York, New York April 28, 2008 — The Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition (STM) is again reiterating its call to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYC Schools Chancellor Klein for immediate closure of the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA) as more reports surface not only of chaos and violence breaking out at the controversial Arabic school, but also accounts of Ms. Almontaser’s close ties to CAIR.

KGIA, enthusiastically supported by, among others, convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal, former Weather Underground leader and bombing justifier William Ayers, former SDS and Communist Party organizer Michael Klonsky, and Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party (created by the late Nation of Islam racist Khalid Muhammed), and a local imam who proudly posted the Muslim Brotherhood slogan and symbol on his website, has been the focus of numerous media reports, including one published in today’s New York Times by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Andrea Elliott.

Ms. Elliott reports that shorly after KGIA’s opening day, “Chaos soon erupted inside. Students cut classes and got into fights with little consequence, said staff members, parents and students. At least 12 of the 60 students showed signs of behavioral problems or learning disabilities, said Leslie Kahn, a licensed social worker and counselor who was employed at the school until January. (Education Department officials, who denied repeated requests by The Times to visit the school, said there are currently six special-needs students there.)

“ ‘Something is flying through the air, every class, every day,’ Sean R. Grogan, a science teacher at the school, said in an interview. ‘Kids bang on the partitions, yell and scream, curse and swear. It’s out of control.’ The New York Times account continues, “Physical altercations are frequent, Mr. Grogan and others said, with Arab students and teachers the target of ethnic slurs. “I just don’t feel safe,” said an Arab-American student, 11, who will not return to the school next year.

Stop the Madrassa also is speaking out about the relationship between KGIA’s founding principal, Ms. Almontaser, and a deeply troubling “community statement” that was recently addressed to New York City Policy Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

According to journalist and author Stephen Suleiman Schwartz, who is executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, on November 23, 2007, in response to the above-mentioned community statement, a statement was issued “in the name of the ‘Muslim community,’ ” protesting the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) release last year of its vital report on terrorism. Among other demands, the community statement called on the NYPD to stop distributing the report to other jurisdictions’ law enforcement agencies, and, as Schwartz put it, “arrogated to themselves the right to decide what the city’s police should do in response to the challenge of radical Islam. “

Schwartz, writing in The Weekly Standard, also reports that in a March 3, 2008 meeting in New York, CAIR officials Faiza Ali, Aliya Latif, and Omar Mohammadi “were joined by Islamist agitator Syed Z. Sayeed, religious adviser to the Saudi-backed Muslim Students Association at Columbia University . They noted that the NYPD had asked for a detailed reply to the report. The participants at the March 3 get-together also observed that while they would prepare such a response, CAIR itself has financed and is working on a more thorough text designated its ‘long-term analysis/alternative model of radicalization.’ “

Almontaser was also, as Schwartz reports, involved in CAIR’s counter-attack against the NYPD as evidenced by that fact that her “assignment in dealing with NYPD was to organize an online discussion group for input into the Community Statement.”

Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition notes Mr. Schwartz’s assessment that “…Almontaser should quit her masquerade as a moderate and her non-Muslim enablers should end their naïve defense of her alleged mainstream outlook. “ The coalition further points out that Ms. Almontaser has been a financial supporter of controversial Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, and adds that the time is long overdue for a full city and state investigation into the creation of KGIA and the possible role of Islamist organizations in any aspect of the school’s establishment or operation.

Faced with KGIA and NY Department of Education secrecy and stonewalling, STM has been compelled to file Freedom of Information Law requests to obtain complete information concerning textbooks, lesson plans and design documents to be used at KGIA. In recent months STM has stepped up its calls for immediate closure of KGIA, and expanded its fight nationwide to halt the imposition of radical Islamist agendas in curricula, Arab language programs, history classes, textbooks, teacher training, and charter schools. STM is in favor of teaching of Arabic language or Arabic culture in a balanced public school curriculum offering several languages and covering a variety of cultures.

# # #
Links to full texts of the above-referenced articles:

Her Dream Branded A Threat By Andrea Elliott, The New York Times 4/28/08 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/28/nyregion/28school.html?hp

The Wahhabi lobby attacks. by Stephen Schwartz The Weekly Standard 04/11/2008 http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/968cekhc.asp

Stop the Madrassa is addressing the issue of Islamization in American public schools nationwide. It is a grassroots coalition working to help parents and teachers investigate, expose and eliminate Islamist and other ideological influence on textbooks, curricula and courses. . For more information please visit www.stopthemadrassa.wordpress.com.

Tarek Ibn Ziyad Academy- A response to a comment

 

We do not respond to comments in our blog posts.  However, given the allegations of Islamic religious education openly practiced in the public charter school, Tarek Ibn Ziyad Academy in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, we felt it merited a response.  The comment can be found below.

First I would like to respond to the writer’s question regarding the “madrassa issue”.  A madrassa is a school that teaches the Arabic language and culture.  The Kalil Gibran International Academy’s  stated purpose is to teach Arabic language and culture.  The purpose of a public school in the United States is to teach the core subjects: American values, civics and the Constitution.  History classes cover all cultures.  Languages are offered as electives. In the U.S. we have an American culture.  Immigrants come here because of the freedom and opportunity our culture and values provide.  We are a “melting pot” into which all assimilate to become Americans first.  The glory of our culture is that each of us is free to practice our own religion and cultural values privately while being an American without imposing our personal preferences on others. When a public school becomes a vehicle for teaching about one specific culture and language it is no longer a public school that serves the entire community.  This is known as a private school. KGIA, TIZ and any other public or charter school teaching Arabic language and culture is,in effect, a madrassa; hence the name of our coalition, “Stop the Madrassa”.  If madrassas have the reputation of being hotbeds of radical jihadist instruction then that is a question you must address with those indoctrinating young children to violence and hate.

As for the Muslim American Society’s association with the school, the FBI says MAS, based in Washington, D.C., was founded by members of the radical Muslim Brotherhood.  In addition the school is sponsored by Islamic Relief, a Muslim charity identified by the U.S. Treasury as an al-Qaida front group.  Churches are not advocating for jihad or death to the infidels.  Some Mosques and Islamic organizations however are calling for Shari’a law to supercede  the United States Constitution.  I call your attention to the statement of one of CAIR’s founders and spokesmen, Ibrihim Hooper, “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 future,” he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a 1993 interview. “But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education. [http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2136]

In response to your statement, “You wouldn’t complain at all if a church held conventions about making a Christian community in Minnesota”  I will leave it to Robert Spencer who explains it well-” But [Tarek Ibn Ziyad Academy] it has been drawing objections from a number of people, including Robert Spencer, the expert who monitors such developments at Jihad Watch. 

“Can you imagine a  public school founded by two Christian ministers and housed in the same building as a church? Add to that – in the same building – a prominent chapel. And let’s say the students are required to fast during Lent and attend Bible studies right after school. All with your tax dollars,” he wrote. “Inconceivable? Sure. If such a place existed, the ACLU lawyers would descend on it like locusts. It would be shut down before you could say ‘separation of church and state’ to the accompaniment of New York Times and Washington Post editorials; full of indignant foreboding, warning darkly about the growing influence of the Religious Right in America.” [http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=58967]

It was very apparent to Amanda Getz, the teacher that was substituting in TIZA, that Islam was practiced during the school day. “There’s overwhelming evidence the public school’s endorsing the Islamic faith, including:

• Daily scheduled prayer led by an imam.

• Classroom instruction in the Quran.

• Compulsory “after-school” Islamic Studies classes (buses don’t leave the school until after Islamic Studies is over).

• Halal cafeteria food.

• Observance of Islamic holidays.

• Early release for Friday mosque.”
[http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=292720073560464]

The only explanation for this not being blatantly evident to you when you visited the campuses is that you were given the typical tour given to visitors in which the school is “cleaned-up”. This deception is practiced in order to cover-up what is really going on. Following the writer’s comment is the second article published in the Minnesota Star Tribune, April 9, 2008,  regarding the evidence of Islamic religious practice in the Tarek Ibn Ziyad Academy.

Comment:
My husband and I are both Muslim and are considering Tarek ibn Ziadas one of the many schools for our daughter to attend in 2009.  I’ve been to both campuses and have met with most of the staff.  I will be looking into just how the day is structured and what exactly is taught but from my current understanding of the school, all Islamic activities and lessons take place after school hours.  If I found that they were not doing this I would be a little upset because taxpayers should not have to pay for schools that teach religion.  However I have to wonder what previous reporters and yourself consider to be so Islamic about the school.  It’s mentioned in the article that religion plays a central role.  I’m not sure how one determines that it plays such a central role in the school!  There is nothing upon entering either campus that implies anything about Islam.  Both campuses do have a prayer room in them but as you said schools are required to make accommodations for student
religious needs.  Both campuses have a high percentage of Muslim students.  They need a specific room just for them to pray in.  Otherwise, the halls would be filled with praying children.  The Blaine location has nothing in it that is inherently associated with Islam except it’s prayer room.  The other campus shares a building with MAS-MN.  However, MAS operates out of one portion of the building for the most part and the school operates out of the other.  The schools do teach Arabic language (the main reason my husband and I are considering them).  It’s important to note that the Arabic language does refer to God (Allah) often in every day saying but this does not necessarily imply Islam either.  For example Al-hamdulilla (thanks to God), Insha’allah (God willing), and many more sayings use a name of Allah as a part of common expression.  This is true for both Muslim and Christian Arabs who both use Allah to say God.  I don’t know whether or not the school is slipping in little bit of imposed Islam into anything else but hopefully I will be able to find out as we look into it more.  However I’d also like to address the whole “madrassa” issue.  You say madrassa like it’s a bad thing!  Madrassa is the arabic word for elementary/primary school.  It’s the same word they use to refer to our K-6 schools.  It doesn’t have anything to do with  religion or not.  It is true that in Islamic countries the elementary schools will often have religion classes included in their cirriculum but it is not a requirement that schools teach religion to be a madrassa.  Why is this concept apparently so misunderstood by the media and general public.  Also I’ve never once seen statements such as “Regularly make the intention to go on jihad with the ambition to die as a martyr.” on MAS-MN’s website.  Of course MAS promotes building an Islamic community in Minnesota, you wouldn’t complain at all if a church held conventions about making a Christian community in Minneasota.  We
all deserve to build thriving communities that interact with each other for the mutualbenefit of all community members.  Who speaks at MAS conventions has nothing to do with the school itself.  There are plenty of Christians who think its their God-Given right to beat their wives too.  Beating women is a universal issue that affects women Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and every other religion in the world.  Even so someone can have bad views about one issue and good views about another.  So he spoke of building a community in MN?  And so we should all the sudden worry that Minnesota women will all of the sudden be subject to violent attacks by their husbands?  Brining together a bunch of unrelated facts and meshing them together into an article doesn’t make for all that good of an article.  If your upset about the school focus on the school.

Wall of silence broken at state’s Muslim public school

Last update: April 9, 2008 – 12:45 PM
Recently, I wrote about Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA), a K-8 charter school in Inver Grove Heights . Charter schools are public schools and by law must not endorse or promote religion.
Evidence suggests, however, that TIZA is an Islamic school, funded by Minnesota taxpayers.
TIZA has many characteristics that suggest a religious school. It shares the headquarters building of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, whose mission is “establishing Islam in Minnesota.” The building also houses a mosque. TIZA’s executive director, Asad Zaman, is a Muslim imam, or religious leader, and its sponsor is an organization called Islamic Relief.
Students pray daily, the cafeteria serves halal food – permissible under Islamic law — and “Islamic Studies” is offered at the end of the school day.
Zaman maintains that TIZA is not a religious school. He declined, however, to allow me to visit the school to see for myself, “due to the hectic schedule for statewide testing.” But after I e-mailed him that the Minnesota Department of Education had told me that testing would not begin for several weeks, Zaman did not respond — even to urgent calls and e-mails seeking comment before my first column on TIZA.
Now, however, an eyewitness has stepped forward. Amanda Getz of Bloomingtonis a substitute teacher. She worked as a substitute in two fifth-grade classrooms at TIZAon Friday, March 14. Her experience suggests that school-sponsored religious activity plays an integral role at TIZA.
Arriving on a Friday, the Muslim holy day, she says she was told that the day’s schedule included a “school assembly” in the gym after lunch.
Before the assembly, she says she was told, her duties would include taking her fifth-grade students to the bathroom, four at a time, to perform “their ritual washing.”
Afterward, Getz said, “teachers led the kids into the gym, where a man dressed in white with a white cap, who had been at the school all day,” was preparing to lead prayer. Beside him, another man “was prostrating himself in prayer on a carpet as the students entered.”
“The prayer I saw was not voluntary,” Getz said. “The kids were corralled by adults and required to go to the assembly where prayer occurred.”
Islamic Studies was also incorporated into the school day. “When I arrived, I was told ‘after school we have Islamic Studies,’ and I might have to stay for hall duty,” Getzsaid. “The teachers had written assignments on the blackboard for classes like math and social studies. Islamic Studies was the last one — the board said the kids were studying the Qu’ran. The students were told to copy it into their planner, along with everything else. That gave me the impression that Islamic Studies was a subject like any other.”
After school, Getz’s fifth-graders stayed in their classroom and the man in white who had led prayer in the gym came in to teach Islamic Studies. TIZA has in effect extended the school day — buses leave only after Islamic Studies is over. Getz did not see evidence of other extra-curricular activity, except for a group of small children playing outside. Significantly, 77 percent of TIZA parents say that their “main reason for choosing TIZA … was because of after-school programs conducted by various non-profit organizations at the end of the school period in the school building,” according to a TIZA report. TIZA may be the only school in Minnesota with this distinction.
Why does the Minnesota Department of Education allow this sort of religious activity at a public school? According to Zaman, the department inspects TIZA regularly — and has done so “numerous times” — to ensure that it is not a religious school.
But the department’s records document only three site visits to TIZA in five years — two in 2003-04 and one in 2007, according to Assistant Commissioner Morgan Brown. None of the visits focused specifically on religious practices.
The department is set up to operate on a “complaint basis,” and “since 2004, we haven’t gotten a single complaint about TIZA,” Brown said. In 2004, he sent two letters to the school inquiring about religious activity reported by visiting department staffers and in a news article. Brown was satisfied with Zaman’s assurance that prayer is “voluntary” and “student-led,” he said. The department did not attempt to confirm this independently, and did not ask how 5- to 11-year-olds could be initiating prayer. (At the time, TIZA was a K-5 school.)
Zaman agreed to respond by e-mail to concerns raised about the school’s practices. Student “prayer is not mandated by TIZA,” he wrote, and so is legal. On Friday afternoons, “students are released … to either join a parent-led service or for study hall.” Islamic Studies is provided by the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, and other “nonsectarian” after-school options are available, he added.
Yet prayer at TIZA does not appear to be spontaneously initiated by students, but rather scheduled, organized and promoted by school authorities.
Request for volunteers
Until recently, TIZA’s website included a request for volunteers to help with “Friday prayers.” In an e-mail, Zaman explained this as an attempt to ensure that “no TIZA staff members were involved in organizing the Friday prayers.”
But an end run of this kind cannot remove the fact of school sponsorship of prayer services, which take place in the school building during school hours. Zamandoes not deny that “some” Muslim teachers “probably” attend. According to federal guidelines on prayer in schools, teachers at a public school cannot participate in prayer with students.
In addition, schools cannot favor one religion by offering services for only its adherents, or promote after-school religious instruction for only one group. The ACLU of Minnesotahas launched an investigation of TIZA, and the Minnesota Department of Education has also begun a review.
TIZA’s operation as a public, taxpayer-funded school is troubling on several fronts. TIZA is skirting the law by operating what is essentially an Islamic school at taxpayer expense. The Department of Education has failed to provide the oversight necessary to catch these illegalities, and appears to lack the tools to do so. In addition, there’s a double standard at work here — if TIZA were a Christian school, it would likely be gone in a heartbeat.
TIZA is now being held up as a national model for a new kind of charter school. If it passes legal muster, Minnesota taxpayers may soon find themselves footing the bill for a separate system of education for Muslims.

Revisionist History in the Classroom

After four separate Freedom of Information Law requests and four court hearings, the Department of Education has not responded to our demands for complete transparency.  The reason for KGIA’s existence is to teach the Arabic language and Arabic Culture; however, the curricula and textbooks have not been revealed.   As we pursue the truth, everyone continues to wonder exactly what is being taught in the Khalil Gibran International Academy.  Are they learning that Muslims discovered America?  If so, why?  The answer is that if the Islamists can establish their presence as the original inhabitants of North America then the land becomes part of the Ummah, the Islamic lands.  The caliphate now extends to the United States.  According to the open source Wikkipedia the Ummah is-

Present day meaning

Some modern Islamists use the term “Islamic Ummah” or “Muslim Ummah” to refer to all the people in the lands and countries where Muslims predominantly reside, and which were once under the control of the Islamic Caliphate. They thus include non-Muslim minorities as members of the ummah. Shariah (Islamic law) would apply to the citizens of the state. In such a unified “Islamic Umma,” the non-Muslim citizens would be subject to Dhimmi limitations and conditions.

The Council on American Islamic Relations has endorsed the school and stated that they are participating with KGIA.  See CAIR-NY-founded American Muslim Lawyers Association and the American Mideast Leadership Network, run by a Hezbollah apologist.  Considering its status as a  named unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land terrorist funding case and its years of plying Islamic literature to American Public Libraries the question is, “What have they supplied KGIA’s library with?”  This is just one of many questions we need answers to.

Following is a 2004 article reprinted from the American Thinker by Ed Lasky.  Islamic propaganda in American public schools has been exposed for years.  Exactly what was Mayor Bloomberg and the NYC Department of Education thinking when they endorsed and supported this school?

April 16, 2004

Your children may learn that Muslims discovered America

By Ed Lasky

A Native American tribe has forced distributors of an Arab studies guide for American teachers to remove an inaccurate and absurd passage that Muslim explorers preceded Columbus to North America, and eventually became Algonquin chiefs named Abdul—Rahim and Abdallah Ibn Malik!

The Middle East Policy Council, a Washington advocacy group that promotes this curriculum to school districts in 155 U.S. cities have apparently been somewhat unresponsive and dismissive of complaints. Ridiculous as this example is, it is illustrative of a far more disturbing development: the placement of propaganda in our schools by Muslim extremist groups. [Emphasis added] As the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation pointed out in a report issued this week titled, “The Stealth Curriculum:Manipulating America’s History Teachers” these efforts are intended “to use America’s public school classrooms to shape the minds of tomorrow’s citizens by manipulating what today’s teachers introducing into the lessons of today’s children”

The American Textbook Council has played a leading role in resisting Arab efforts to supply propaganda to our schools, and recently published a report, “Islam and the Textbooks”, by Gilbert T. Sewall, which reports this phenomenon. It can be found here.

These militants and their supporters have set their eyes on our children, and are attempting to brainwash them by supplying free textbooks which whitewash the truth regarding Muslim extremism, while promoting Arab and Palestinian political goals. These “teaching materials” also impugn and devalue America, Western nations, Israel. Judaism, and Christianity. The article, ‘Textbooks for Jihad,’ found here is a good analysis of these developments .

The Council  on American—Islamic Relations, some of whose members have been “outed” as terror supporters, has an active program to supply these this type of propaganda to libraries across the nation. Naturally, like schools, the librarians are more than happy to accept inexpensive, or free, material to fill their shelves. Yet these same books and audio—visual material are filling our children’s minds with lies that are tantamount to propaganda that teach hate. Efforts should be made by local activists and PTA or PTO members to scrutinize the reading lists at our “educational” institutions. [http://www.americanthinker.com/2004/04/your_children_may_learn_that_m.html]

Stop the Madrassa Press Release- “Open Letter from Educators”

Former SDS, Communist Party, and Weather Underground Extremists Defame Critics of Khalil Gibran Academy;
They Join Prior Supporters, Such as Cop-Killer Mumia Abu-Jamal and Rabbi Michael Paley, in Support of Almontaser & KGIA

New York, New York April 4, 2008 . Once again, radical Islamist groups and their enablers are attempting to silence American citizens through boycotts, name-calling, threats of lawsuits, defamatory accusations and other forms of intimidation.


This time,
as the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA) finds itself under new fire from angry parents in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn who feel KGIA is being imposed on their elementary school, hard Leftist KGIA supporters are attempting to bolster the failing “multi-cultural” experiment by defaming their critics. In a letter this week to Mayor Bloomberg, KGIA supporters label those who have questioned the creation, purpose, affiliates, management, and other issues regarding the Arabic school “a small group of fear-mongering bigots.”

Among those who signed the letter to Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein were a number of well- known former leaders of extremist Leftist organizations. For example, as reported by the open source Wikipedia, William Ayers, who is now at the
University of Illinois at Chicago, reportedly was “a Weather Underground member…. he became radicalized at the University of Michigan. During his years there, he became involved in the New Left and the SDS. Ayers went underground with several comrades after their co-conspirators’ bomb accidentally exploded on March 6, 1970, destroying a Greenwich Village townhouse and killing three members of the Weather Underground…. They avoided the police and FBI while bombing high-profile government buildings—including the United States Capitol (two bombs on March 1, 1970), The Pentagon (May 19, 1972), and the Harry S Truman Building which houses the United States Department of State (on January 29, 1975)—along with several banks, police department headquarters and precincts, state and federal courthouses, and state prison administrative offices. Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn raised two children, Zayd and Malik, underground before turning themselves in in 1981, when most charges were dropped because of prosecutorial misconduct during the long search for the fugitives…. Ayers published his memoirs in 2001 with the book Fugitive Days. His interview with the New York Times to promote his book was published on September 11, 200…. In this interview, he… was quoted as saying, “I don’t regret setting bombs; I feel we didn’t do enough.”…. In the fall of 2006, Ayers was asked not to attend a progressive educators’ conference on the basis that the organizers did not want to risk an association of their movement with his violent past. ”

Another of those defaming critics of KGIA is Michael Klonsky, of the Small Schools Workshop who, again according to the open source Wikipedia, “…helped organize the first chapter of Students for a Democratic Society in the area. He became active in national SDS early in 1967…. During his community organizing, Klonsky began developing a proto-Marxist ideology which emphasized community and worker organizing…. In late 1969, Klonsky founded the October League, a communist party which in 1977 became the Communist Party, Marxist-Leninist. He was elected the party’s chairman…. Klonsky made several trips to China beginning in July 1977, where he was warmly received by government and Communist Party of China officials and treated to state dinners… “
Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition (STM) has filed Freedom of Information Law requests to obtain complete information concerning textbooks, lesson plans and design documents to be used at KGIA. Because the DOE did not comply STM was forced to file an Article 78 petition in Manhattan Supreme Court. Not surprisingly the documents turned over pursuant to the FOIL requests substantiated STM concerns. To date the school does not have proper textbooks, curricla, or lesson plans for teaching middle and high school Arabic language and culture. What was discovered from FOIL requests is that KGIA was poorly designed and poorly thought-out. In recent months STM has stepped up its calls for immediate closure of KGIA, and expanded its fight nationwide to halt the imposition of radical Islamist agendas in curricula, Arab language programs, history classes, textbooks, teacher training, and charter schools. STM does not oppose the teaching of Arabic language or Arabic culture in a balanced public school curriculum offering several languages and covering all cultures.

We will not be silenced and we stand in solidarity with others who have been defamed or targeted for exposing the dangers of Islamo-fasxism and jihadism.


# # #

Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition is a grassroots organization working to
help parents and teachers investigate, expose and eliminate Islamist and other ideological influence on textbooks, curricula and courses. . For more information please visit www.stopthemadrassa.wordpress.org..

###

Text of Open Letter from Educators in Support of the Khalil Gibran International Academy and Principal Debbie Almontaser to:

Michael Bloomberg Joel Klein
Mayor of New York City Chancellor of New York City Department of Education
Dear Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein,
In 2007 the New York City Public Schools approved the establishment of the first-ever NY public school focusing on Arabic language and culture. This new small dual-language school, Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA), addressed a need and dream of many in New York’s Arab communities. Leading the campaign for this specialty academy was Debbie Almontaser, a respected educator and community leader, who was selected to become the school’s founding principal.
Before the school ever opened its doors, Almontaser was forced to resign. When Debbie Almontaser was forced out as principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, a blow was struck against the rights and academic freedom of educators everywhere. Principal Almontaser was the guiding light and the pioneer behind the founding of the new school, which was envisioned as part of a vibrant small-schools movement fostering personalization, autonomy, and the empowerment of teachers.
A campaign of lies, racial fear, and anti-Arab prejudice, emanating from a conservative media group including the New York Post and supported by Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein, forced Almontaser from her post. Prior to and during the first semester of the school’s existence, Almontaser was replaced by two principals, neither of whom possesses her exceptional academic qualifications, her leadership capabilities, her relationship with the school community, nor her knowledge of Arabic language and culture.
KGIA was attacked by a small group of fear-mongering bigots. It was labeled a “terrorist school” and a “madrassa.” But this campaign of slander has been met by a broad coalition supporting the school and its intended principal, including leading organizations spanning the many diverse communities in New York. This coalition is pursuing every channel to restore Almontaser to her rightful position and to clear her name and her reputation.
Debbie Almontaser did nothing wrong. She committed no crime. She violated no rules nor any terms of her contract. She was forced to resign after doing nothing more than answering a reporter’s question about the root meaning of the word “intifada.”
For those of us working in the field of education, the treatment of Debbie Almontaser represents a threat not only to our rights as educators and citizens in a democratic society; it is also an attack on the small-schools movement and on the push for diversity and equity within our system of public education. Will bigotry be allowed to decide which public schools can exist and who can lead them?
We the undersigned insist that Debbie Almontaser be returned to her post as founding principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy.
Bernadette Anand, Bank Street Graduate School of Education
Gary Anderson, Steinhardt School of Education, N.Y.U.
Rick Ayers, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education
William Ayers, University of Illinois at Chicago
Carmen Colon, Association of NYC’s Educated Communities
Kathleen Cushman, Education Writer
Lisa Delpit, Center for Urban Education and Innovation, F.I.U.
Michelle Fine, The Graduate Center – City University of New York
Ofelia Garcia, Teachers College, Columbia University
Maxine Greene, Teachers College, Columbia University
Kris D. Gutierrez, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA
Paula Hajar, Bronx Charter School for Better Learning
Annette Henry, Education Program, University of Washington, Tacoma
Jay P. Heubert, Teachers College, Columbia University
Mike Klonsky, Small Schools Workshop
Susan Klonsky, Small Schools Workshop
Kevin Kumashiro, University of Illinois at Chicago
Gloria Ladson-Billings, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Carol Lee, Northwestern University
Sally Lee, Teachers Unite
Linda Levine, Bank Street Graduate School of Education
Tara Mack, Education for Liberation Network
Edwin Mayorga, New York Collective of Radical Educators
Deborah W. Meier, Steinhardt School of Education, N.Y.U.
Jon Moscow, The Brotherhood/Sister Sol
Arwa Nasser, United Nations International School
Donna Nevel, Center for Immigrant Families
Pedro A. Noguera, Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, N.Y.U.
Gary Orfield, Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, UCLA
Granville Leo Stevens, Independent Parents Organizations
*affiliations listed for identification purposes

KGIA: NY PUBLIC SCHOOL Madrassah is Moved for 3RD Time

Reprinted from Atlasshrugs- 
Like pitbulls seized on an unwitting victim the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA), New York’s Public Arabic school, is refusing to release an innocent parent student body from its chokehold. The currently failing school is moving to a top performing school in the Fort Green section. And the parents are not happy about it.
Mark Steyn understands the implications. Mark Steyn said this  of the Arabic public school opening in NY on my show a few months back;
” it shows how we mischaracterized, we willfully misunderstand Islam. Yes, on the face of it yes Arabic is a language in a sense there is would be no difference between opening a foreign language school – a Spanish language school or a french language school – but in fact Arabic is more than a language. It is explicated the language of Islam so in that sense it is part of the Islamic religious imperial project. Radical Islam advances through the Arabic language. And you go all kinds of places that aren’t in the Arab world now like Pakistan, Indonesia, Central Asia, the Balk ins, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Canada and the United States and you will here those Imams preaching in Arabic. Arabic is not just another language like French or Italian, it is the spearhead of an idea logical project that is deeply opposed to the United States
We need a specific amendment declaring seperation of Mosque and state becuase whatever we got now ain’t working.
But Some Parents at P.S. 287 Object To Sharing Space
by Mary Frost
FORT GREENE — The Department of Education has confirmed that the Arabic-themed Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA) will be moving from Boerum Hill to a building occupied by P.S. 287, at 50 Navy St., near the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.

Parents also say that there are space issues at the school.

But parents at P.S. 287, who were told about the move at an “emergency” meeting Wednesday evening, say they are outraged.
“They ambushed us,” said Matrice Sherman, mother of two students at P.S. 287. “Garth Harries [DOE’s Chief Portfolio Officer], when he met with us last time, said there would be a dialog, and that they would hear our concerns.
“Who did he speak to? Not to the people at this school.”  Read more…