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Advisory Board Biographies

STOP THE MADRASSA is a grass roots coalition of citizen groups and individuals concerned about the NYC Department of Education’s non-responsive posture regarding the creation of a new public school to teach Arabic history, culture and language: the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA).

The school is projected to open soon – in September 2007 – but Mayor Bloomberg and the NY Department of Education have refused to answer the public’s questions. The community’s concerns have been dismissed and silenced by the school bureaucrats. City and state officials who are creating this special Arabic/Middle Eastern public school have either failed to properly conduct the necessary background and preparatory work to open such a school, or they are purposefully evading their legal obligations to inform the public of the status of their work.

We ask the authorities of New York City and the State of New York to reconsider the opening of this badly managed and inflammatory educational “experiment” for this fall’s semester.

After parents at Park Slope in Brooklyn successfully opposed the Department of Education’s placement of KGIA in their building, the City placed the school at 345 Dean Street in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, a building that currently houses the Brooklyn High School of the Arts and the Math and Science Exploratory Middle School. We demand to know why.

To date, despite numerous requests, the City has provided no explanation to members of the coalition or the public at large about the precise nature of the curricula, the text books that will be used, the publishers of those texts, or the lesson plans. Further, no one from the City has provided information about the selection process of the teachers for the “Arabic” and “Middle Eastern” subjects, whether they will be certified, and if not, how they will be effectively supervised. We demand to know why.

Our citizens coalition continues to investigate and protest the school by all possible means, including our New York City chapters of the United American Committee, NY-ICE, Gathering of Eagles, the Center for Vigilant Freedom, and a wide variety of neighborhood groups, online forums and individuals. We attend PTA meetings and community meetings, conduct constant letter-writing campaigns to media and authorities, to Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein in particular. Our activists are taking this fight to the media and the questions about the school continue to be raised by the N.Y. Sun (http://www.nysun.com/specials/gibran.php) and major blogs. We have submitted two Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests for curricula materials and other documents, but have received nothing to date. On July 23, our lawyer submitted a third FOIL Request to New York City and the state. We demand answers to our questions.

Why is there so much pressure to open this school in September 2007 without going through the usual and proper procedures for review? Why are community and parent concerns not being answered now, before the school opens in any location? Why is this school being given preferential treatment at the expense of existing schools in the New York City Public School system? These and many other questions remain unanswered. Yet even as our questions go unanswered, our coalition has continued to grow.

Chancellor Joel Klein has attempted to deflect all public inquiry with a statement-of-reassurance regarding KGIA : “If any school became a religious school, as some people say Khalil Gibran would be, or it became a national school, in the sense that it really wasn’t an American public school, I would shut it down,said Klein. “I promise you that.”

Keep your promise, Mr. Klein. Shut down the Khalil Gibran International Academy. Now.

This school opened in September!

  • WHEN will our questions regarding faculty and curricula be addressed?
  • Has anyone who reads Arabic seen the textbooks that will be used?
  • Will certified teachers who are Coptic Christian Arabs, Jewish Arabs, and Christian Arabs, be recruited?
  • Which Arabic history of the Middle East will be taught? The Islamic? The Christian? The Jewish?
  • Who will teach American and European history, math, English?
  • Will KGIA meet the N.Y. State guidelines for a NY Public school?
  • Will students be taught be in English?
  • How can a new school open when the proper forms and deadlines have NOT been met?
  • How will the prayer requests of KGIA’s Muslim students be accommodated in a public school?
  • What will be the reaction to someone eating a pork or ham sandwich if they are in proximity of one of KGIA’s students?
  • Will Halal food be served in the cafeteria?
  • Will KGIA’s students be part of the general school population or sequestered and separated?
  • Will there be concessions made to accommodate the “modesty” requirements of Muslim students?
  • How will wudu, or the process of ritual washing – which must precede prayer – take place? In the public lavatories?
  • What will happen if someone says “Osama” within earshot of a KGIA student? Are KGIA and the NYC Department of Education prepared to defend themselves against such lawsuits from CAIR and deal with the resultant bad publicity?
  • Has anyone seen the lesson plans?
  • Is the Principal certified according to specific N.Y. State qualifications?

These are only some of the legitimate questions and concerns that NYC parents and taxpayers have regarding KGIA. Why has the New York City Department of Education not offered Arabic as a language block throughout the NY Public School system? Our coalition acknowledges the need for more Arabic speakers, but why create a whole school to teach one language? Why encourage the isolation and non-assimilation of Arabic speaking students by creating a school within a school, with a focus on an Arabic viewpoint for teaching world history? Principal Dhabah Almontaser has been quoted as saying the Arabic classes will not even be offered during school hours and will be taught from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m, so the Islamic culture and history components will be the daily emphasis.

The Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition remains at the center of this fight for integrity in our public schools. For further information see https://stopthemadrassa.wordpress.com .

Keep your promise, Mr. Klein. Shut down the Khalil Gibran International Academy. Now.

Volunteer Today! If you are concerned about Madrassa schools becoming part of the New York City public education tradition, please volunteer to help with media and community outreach, organizing, legal research (under the guidance of our lawyers and paralegals), investigations and research of Islamist curricula being used in New York City and nationwide.

22 Responses to “About”

  1. Flag Man Says:

    Great Site Guys

  2. Flag Man Says:

    Great Job Everyone!!!!!

  3. DanNY Says:

    Keep up the good work!

  4. firster555 Says:

    Excellent, keep it up. One question, how do you post, I seem to be having some problems.

  5. Tasha Says:

    one suggestion, if they continue to ‘refuse’ to address the legit concerns–demand then, that if they insist on teaching Arabic Culture/history–

    insist they teach all of it–including the violent conquests, gang rapes of women and young girls, fraternicide [killing of boys/sons of the enslaved gang raped women in the concubinages–Ottoman Empire good example there],

    and that it still goes on today, e.g. Darfur.

    Like the Columbus Day protests, regarding the genocide of Native American Indians,
    then its only fair, to teach the genocide against the Armenians, by Turkish Islam,

    genocide against non-Muslims in Arab lands, and how Islam got so widespread,

    genocide, rape, enslavement of peoples, women, esp young girls at the age of nine even….

    and make sure they show a lot of graphic pictures of how its still going on today. They want to insist on teaching Islam–

    then, I’d make sure they teach all of it. If the administration still refuses–well, then I think the next step is in order, a holiday and a protest, just like Columbus Day is protested.

    In fact–if memory serves me right, Italy at one time was taking over by the Moors, you could always start there…

    just an idea. They want to play–I say–give them hell. Because this is far more than just about ‘inclusion of a culture or language’ and we all know it.


  6. velvethammer Says:

    I applaud your effort. Keep up the good work.
    This outrage must be stopped.
    For God’s sake this is America!

  7. Chuck Says:

    Tonight on the Hannidy & Colmes show I first learned of the proposed KGIA school. First, I am not from New York City, but am concerned that allowing the school to be established without clarification of its purpose and intent, as posed by your many questions, could be the first of many such schools across the country. Since taxpayer’s money is being used the taxpayer must know what is the purpose of such a school, and how it will, or will not, comply with Board of Education standards.

    Your organization has my support in your effort. Keep up the pressure.


  8. Gibran's Lebanese-American Cousin Says:

    America MUST Wake Up and realize what is happening here! This war is not a bumper sticker it is real and the enemy is in our midst planning our destruction. This school is an affront to the millions of Maronite Christians slaughtered by Hezbollah and Hamas and radical Islamists who seek to subjugate, terrorize and KILL every living thing on earth that isn’t in their pervese image. Kahlil Gibran was a dear and good man who cries out to us from the grave for our help to end this profane use of his name to advance the ignorance and evil of Islamic fascists. NO MORE PC…let’s call this what it is. Would we have allowed Hitler’s henchmen to open a military academy in NYC in 1940 to teach our children how to become “good Nazi’s”?

  9. Jackie Says:

    I heard about this Madrassa opening in NY using taxpayers money on Hannity and Colmes last night. I was furious. What happened to seperation of church and state? Our government is 2 facing the American people. They want to take away prayer, Christmas and anything that has to do with Christianity. Yet our government is sucking up to the Arabs. The school chancelor said that he would close the school down if anything other than the required education was being taught. That’s a laugh. He can not even handle the problems going on in the public schools. I also find it disturbing that this project has not been heard on any news channel until Hannity and Colmes. Are they trying to keep this a secret since they know they are wrong? The U.S. government continues to let down the American people. It’s a wonder why we even vote. Not one of these political figures do right by the American people. Our founding fathers must be rolling in their graves.

  10. stopthemadrassa Says:

    Madrassa has come to mean a school run by Islamic fundamentalists worldwide – Pakistan comes to mind. And to correct the statement above, the school is being founded by a Muslim, Dhabah Almontaser. If it were a private school that did not take taxpayer money, the fact that the only Muslims on the board are three imams would be of less concern. But it is a public school, and fully 12 of the board of advisors are all religious clerics, including the three Islamist imams (Islamist in the sense that they have used political influence to spread shar’iah law in the U.S. as preferable to U.S. Constitutional law, or forced censorship on U.S. institutions through threats of possible violence from the Muslim community). So the question rises about why a public school advisory board would have nothing but religious advisors, and why an “Arabic” school would have no advisors who were Arabic other than Muslim imams – are there no Christian Arab educators anywhere in NYC, even though they are the majority of Arabs in the U.S.? Or at least are there no secular Muslims, who are educators but not Imams? And at no point did someone in the educational establishment consider asking for non-Imam or non-Muslim Arabic speaking representation on the Board, or did they just assume that separation of church and state doesn’t apply to Islam?

    According to Almontaser, they’re not even bothering to teach Arabic during the day now- it will be part of an after school program (and therefore may not be available to all the students anyway). If that is the case, then what country’s “Arabic culture” will be taught during the day (the only unique item left for this school that justifies its existence)? What parts of “Arabic culture” will be taught – jurisprudence under Sharia law? Proper dress and behavior for girls under sharia law? The “history” of the “prophet” and the “revelation” of the Koran? Dhabah Almontaser has chosen to be on a board with a leading advocate of applying sharia laws to replace U.S. laws…will she teach about Islamist persecution of religious minorities across the centuries?

    This isn’t an Arabic school. This is a school that pretended to be teaching Arabic, and is now doing a bait and switch to become a politically driven school teaching an Islamist view. It’s a probe of U.S. resistance to shariah law and our willingness to give up separation of mosque and state, while we maintain separation of church and state for all other religions.

  11. Oryx Says:

    This is an important bulwark in a growing defense against Islam’s drive for hegemony, not only in the US but around the world. I agree, it is a legal and social test case for the proponents of this dubious educational project. We should never underestimate the cunning and skill– and powerful funding, especially by the Saudis– that goes into such secretive, defenisve campaigns of deception and disinformation and, ultimately, sedition.

    I would only add to the previous post that among other critical facts about Islam that Muslims would rather remain hidden, is that there is quite literally no separation between church and state in their religion, or separation of any other concepts or realities in their world. Islam is all-encompassing, it is a “program for life” and the only meaningful “separation” for them is the one between Dar al-Islam (the world of the Muslim) and Dar al-Harb, the world of the infidel. The ultimate goal of Islam and its followers is to correct this irksome condition by converting, subjugating or exterminating all non-Muslims. Will this be taught in the new curriculum?

    You efforts to close this school, or at least get answers to reasonable– actually essential– questions from the authorities will not be in vain, no matter the outcome. I wish you all the best and look forward to learning of your progress.

  12. Barb Rathoff Says:

    Saw this story on Glenn Beck last night–WTFO???? I cannot believe this–list is unbelieveable–if a Catholic school asked for federal funds I can only imagine the uproar–and rightly so……………………
    Good on you–let me know who I need to right–where is the ACLU?????????????

  13. tim fitzgerald Says:

    keep the pressure on this is america for goodness sakes!

  14. Insightful Says:

    Rather than giving special accommodation to Islam (as seems to be the intent here) the society should understand that we are speaking of a political movement, not a private religion. This nonsense of a special school for “Arabic” is just another front in the war against infidels, as mandated by the Koran, Hadith, and Sira and as believed by millions. The people who quote “There is no compulsion in religion” are not telling the truth of what mainstream Islam teaches and what it’s emotional content yields.

    The NYC political leadership supporting this school are beneath contempt, either ignorant or cowardly.

    This country was founded on Enlightenment and Christian ideals. Islamic nations are unable to move beyond in’shallah fatalism, unable to live in peace, unable to prosper. Islam is a failed thought system, yet marches on because its adherents believe so deeply. They must be disabused of the notion that their failed theories about “the Prophet’s revelations” (revelations that conveniently allowed for sexual and sadistic pleasures) will be allowed to make the United States into a place of horror like Malmo, Sweden.

    Thank you for taking a stand against creeping sharia. We need to address the horror of Islamic political activity with the strongest measures possible under law — and to change the law to remove protections that are inappropriate to a dangerous, fifth column in our midst.

  15. Bill Says:

    I think the vast majority of the posters miss the crucial point here. Sure, such a school will be a magnet for Islamicists and the children of Islamicists. But even if they were handng out US flags and lollipops at this school (instead of ‘Intifada NYC’ shirts), it’d be an outrage on the basis of the blatant ethnic separatsim alone.

    It’s obvious purpose of this school is to prevent Arab children from assimilating into the US mainstream, NOT to build bridges between east and west. This is a bridge burner, not a bridge builder.

    Look, it’s obvious the Arab ‘activists’ are seeking to repeat what ‘Latino’ activists of a generation or two ago succeeded in doing, which is to turn what was once perceived as a largely white ethinc group into a ‘people of color’ before whom the general population must eternally genuflect, accomodate, and serve pennance. The destructive PC guilt trip has gone far enough – this is where we draw the line and say HELL NO.

  16. Andy Echeandia Says:

    I saw Sara springer on Hannity and Colmes. She laid out a basic picture of what is going on. Those like Tasha who replied don’t get it. STOP equating THIS very real danger with distractions like Darfour.The islamic jihad is coming to our shores, in forms like this “benign” school to only teach arabic to our children. This my friends, is one of the negative results of the multicultural mindset which has overtaken thought process of a majority of well intentioned but naive educators in the NYC public school system. Some of those who are only now beginning to see the enemy for what they really are (sadly some still don’t), have only themselves to blame, as this madrassa has been fueled by an environment filled by multicultuiral psychobabble.
    Islam is the enemy. You are either a follower of mohammad and believe in allah or you are an infidel and must be killed (don’t believe me, look it uip for yourselves in the koran)! we can take a first step by letting these imams and the mohammedan community understand that they are subject to the SAME rules and laws of this country just like you and me. If they cannot conform, LEAVE THE USA! By helping to shut down this front for the promegation of islamic fundamentalism (a pillar for the philosophy of the terrorists) you can take a step in fighting the enemy which seeks to undermine and tear apart the fabric of our American society!Let’s do what we can to help this group STOP THE MADRASSA!!!

  17. Mark Says:

    Please, oh PLEASE, remember that We are AT WAR!!!! Do We not remember that Our PENTAGON was attacked on 9-11?? This was a military “hit”. The media has totally shifted Our focus to The World Trade Center (which, don’t get Me wrong, was a HUGE tragedy) but Our soil was attacked by islam. And now Our tax dollars are going to support a school on Our soil to Our enemy? This MUST BE STOPPED. These “imams”, which teach a false religion, do NOT want to be Our friends. They do NOT want to teach children peace and tolerance. They do not belong here. They do NOT deserve Our tax dollars to spread their agenda on Our soil. One last point…… during WW2, fine japanese citizens were rounded up and placed in internment camps while We were AT WAR. Now, 60 years later while We are AT WAR, We are allowing the enemy to teach children with Our money? Are We that insane? Will this be the only school doing this if gone unchecked? Do not turn Your back on this important undermining of Our country that Our forefathers bled and died to protect. Stop them ALL now!!!

  18. firster555 Says:

    Not sure exactly where I should post this so I am guessing here. Anyway, on Sept. 9, 2007 in New York City there will be a muslim day parade. Everyones favorite almost to be but ex school principal Dhabba will be one of the honored guests. The rest is much worse. For more details on this travesty check frontpagemag.com

  19. firster555 Says:

    Sorry, not sure about her being an honored guest, I don’t doubt that she will be though. She was an active participant in previous parades. This parade is for real though. Anyone up for a Judeo-Christian day parade. Crucifixes and Stars of David marching down Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn?

  20. Suzanne Chavez Sykes Says:

    I am from New Mexico where the main focus is the assimilation of illegal and legal immigrants. That is a heck of problem, but to have a public school such the K.G. school in N.Y. is mind boggling! How did they get to this point of readiness under everyone’s nose? All the questions about the school procedures being met are important, but the fact that it exists at this time of war is what I can’t get past. Bloomberg is a neglectful Mayor and should be seriously looked at. I will help by way of donation. Fight the good fight! Suzanne Chavez-Sykes

  21. Div Menon Says:

    Islam is a malign tumor that has afflicted the world politic and it is metastasizing quickly across the Western countries. The need for imminent chemotherapy, radiation etc are needed on a war footing. As the wrong policies of Europe is turning the continent into Eurabia, America is in imminent danger of turning into Ameribia. So people of the entire non-muslim world should forget their pseudo liberalism and mete out the death knell to Islam outside Arabia. Otherwise the whole fabric of western culture will be torn to shreds and replaced by barbarism of the worst kind.

  22. “Jews Against Islamophobia” Align with the Jihad - Says:

    […] English-Arabic dual language public school. Wiesenfeld was New York chair of Stop the Madrassa, a self-described “community coalition” that formed in June 2007 to prevent KGIA from opening. Another key player […]

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