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…
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Almontaser Will Never be KGIA’s Principal But Who is Teaching These Children?

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.

New York City Parents On Collision Course Again With Dept. Of Education Over Khalil Gibran International Academy Move

New York City Parents On Collision Course Again With Dept. Of Education Over Khalil Gibran International Academy Move

By Sara Springer, special to PipeLineNews.org

February 29, 2008 – Brooklyn, NY – PipeLineNews.org – This week the NYC Department of Education informed the Khalil Gibran International Academy’s PTA that the school would be relocated for the September 2008 school year. Yet with all the planning, the intended target for KGIA, PS 287 in Fort Green, doesn’t have the required space and the proposed move is running into a firestorm of resistance from parents who feel their school is an inappropriate choice for the controversial Arabic school which has been called a madrassah.

In an effort to quell the growing dissent, on the evening of February 27, Garth Harries, DOE Officer of Portfolio Development, came to PS 287 where he faced an angry gathering of parents, outraged that their school had been chosen with little consultation.

As has been the case since the inception of KGIA, the DOE has been a model of non-transparency. That stonewalling continues, for example on February 4, the PTA requested a copy of KGIA’s curriculum, yet nearly a month later nothing has been forwarded.

A parent from the school told this reporter that she attempted to visit KGIA today, stating she “was poorly received,” and had not been allowed to enter. At the meeting she rose, chiding Harries, “The school is so secretive, how can you ask us to have a school here if we don’t know what’s going on?”

Indicative of the bad blood between parents and the DOE, another demanded, “How can we trust you when you lied to us about the high school [The School for Law and Justice] being here for one year?” This in reference to a promise by DOE that the high school [now in its fourth year] was to be moved after the first school year.

With the prospect of normalcy returning to PS 287 now dashed by the announcement of the KGIA move, parents and school officials fear that enrollment will decrease further because of the negative publicity surrounding KGIA. If the move goes forward, once again pre-k, kindergarten, and elementary age children will be forced to mix with high school students. This is a potentially unhealthy situation which caused one parent to state, “It’s not safe to be with high school kids. They’re out of control. We can’t bring kids into the playground.”

The President of another school’s PTA acknowledged the problem, of co-mingling children of such diverse ages, observing, “Older kids beat up younger kids.” Harries shrugged the objection off, noting that that this is happening all around the city.

Despite statements to the contrary made by his aides, Harries told the gathering that the decision to move wasn’t final, thus contradicting a statement by DOE representative, Gabrielle Ferghetti, who earlier had stated that the move is a “done deal.” As the PTA president explained, “She came to let us know. She didn’t answer my questions. It was a courtesy call.” Harries apologized, responding, “That young lady works for me. That’s not what she told me she said.”

The question of veracity always looms when dealing with the DOE and KGIA; are they capable of telling the truth?

Another perspective was expressed by a parent who noted the frustration of many as she accused Haries and the DOE of favoritism, “Are you here to help all schools or are you here to focus on a particular race, religion, and community? You’re focused on the success of KGIA. You are not concerned with the success of our school.”

One got the impression that the opposition within PS 287 against KGIA’s intrusion is rising, led by a savvy and knowledgeable group of parents who let the DOE know that their community school and children would no longer be made a pawn in Chancellor Klein’s divisive policy of forced multiculturalism.

As the evening concluded a defiant spirit was in the air, with one parent challenging Harries, “Tell Chancellor Klein, don’t send messages through you. He’s not doing us a favor [by sending you]. Go back and tell the Chancellor the answer is no, no, no. We want him here and we want Mayor Bloomberg here. Tell the Chancellor you don’t mix Church and State.” Another parent added, “We as parents have the right to have what we want for our children. They can only take what we allow them to take.”

©1999-2008 Sara Springer, PipeLineNews.org LLC, all rights reserved. 

[http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=kgia2.29.08%2Ehtm]

 

 
 
 

P.S. 287 Parents Say No, No, No to KGIA

Last night the NYC Department of Education told Khalil Gibran International Academy’s PTA that their school was being relocated for the September 2008 school year.  After all the planning, the DOE has chosen a school that didn’t have the required space. 

Concerned NYC parents are once again confronted with the controversial KGIA affecting their children and school environment. Tonight Garth Harries, Officer of Portfolio Development, came to P.S. 287 in Fort Greene, Brooklyn to face an angry gathering of parents.  Their school has been chosen as KGIA’s new location.   

Precedents of DOE stonewalling and lack of transparency continue. 

On February 4th,

the PTA requested a copy of KGIA’s curriculum. 

Nothing has been forwarded. 

 A mother said she visited KGIA today.  A secretary came out and she “was poorly received”. She was not allowed in.  She asked Harries, “The school is so secretive, how can you ask us to have a school here if we don’t know what’s going on?”   

Another parent wanted to know, “How can we trust you when you lied to us about the high school (The School for Law and Justice) being here for one year?” Originally the high school was suppose to move after one year.  As is common DOE practice, parents are told this when in reality many years go by before a school is relocated.  The high school is leaving P.S. 287 after a four year stay.  Parents have been looking forward to next year when they would finally get their school back and reinstate programs lost when the high school moved in.  A parent noted that a high school is leaving the building and a middle and high school are entering.   

KGIA is moving in because the DOE says the building is under utilized.  However, parents maintain that the school lost enrollment when parents pulled their children out because older children were in the building.  Fears are high that enrollment will decrease should KGIA and its negative publicity move into their elementary school.  

Once again they are facing the problem of having teenagers mingle with pre-k, kindergarten, and elementary age school children.  One parent said, “It’s not safe to be with high school kids.  They’re out of control.  We can’t bring kids into the playground.”  A PTA President of another school described the dangerous practice of the DOE bringing middle and high school students into elementary schools. “Older kids beat up younger kids.”  Garth Harries’ answer was that this practice is happening all around the city. 

Harries was corrected by a parent when he told the gathering that the decision wasn’t final.  At a school leadership meeting three weeks ago DOE representative, Gabrielle Ferghetti, clearly stated to all that the move is a done deal. The PTA President explained, “She came to let us know.  She didn’t answer my questions.  It was a courtesy call.”   Harries apologized, responding, “That young lady works for me.  That’s not what she told me she said.”  The question with the DOE always remains, “Who is telling the truth?” 

After Harries repeatedly sang the praises of KGIA and justified its agenda several times, a mother expressed the frustration of many when she said, “Are you here to help all schools or are you here to focus on a particular race, religion, and community?  You’re focused on the success of KGIA.  You are not concerned with the success of our school.” 

A very savvy and knowledgeable group of parents gathered tonight to let the NYCDOE know that their community school and children would no longer be taken advantage of.  A hard-working community, many of whom are single-mothers, will not let the fact that the DOE thinks they are too busy and exhausted with earning a living to care about what’s happening with their children.  This group of parents will do whatever it takes.  As one parent said, “Tell Chancellor Klein, don’t send messages through you.  He’s not doing us a favor [by sending you].  Go back and tell the Chancellor the answer is no, no, no.  We want him here and we want Mayor Bloomberg here. Tell the Chancellor you don’t mix Church and State.”  Another parent added, “We as parents have the right to have what we want for our children.  They can only take what we allow them to take.” 

The New Blasphemy? Ignoring Islamic Law

OPINION:

The following is quoted from an article appearing in The Washington Times , January 18, 2008 by Diana West.

“And not just blasphemy laws. Jihad doctrine; Shariah (Islamic law); designs for a global caliphate through jihad (terrorism) and the spread of Shariah (Islamization): We pretend they are not factors in the free world’s experience with Islam”.

     This statement hit home as just this evening my daughter was describing her global history class.  She commented on the fact that Islam was studied for several weeks.  A handout she received states, “We are so accustomed to regard our culture as essentially that of the West that it is difficult for us to realize that there was an age when the most civilized region of Western Europe was Islamic Spain.  Western culture grew up under the shadow of the more advanced civilisation of Islam, and it was from the Muslims that mediaeval Christendom recovered its share in the inheritance of Greek science and philosophy”.  Do you understand the idea behind this statement?  Our western culture has been in a few words destroyed and usurped by the civilized Islamic Spain. 

      I asked her if there was any mention of what Islamic Law was, the violence that surrounded the establishment of Islam, the lack of rights for women, treatment of homosexuals, honor killings.  Her response was astounding.  She said, “of course not, it’s all P.C., Islam was and is glorious and Christianity was discussed in terms of the barbaric Crusades.”  Judaism was covered in one period.  They learned about the Ten Commandments and were given a map of Israel from the year 1000B.C., labeled, “Hebrew Palestine” even though there were no Palestinians before 1967 and the name did not come into being until the Romans renamed Israel in order to humiliate them. 

     In schools these days, this is the history our children are being taught.  In some schools Islam is taught for many more weeks.  We are receiving reports of students coloring in prayer rugs, building mosques, memorizing parts of the Koran, and re-enacting the politics between the Israelis and Palestinians.  There is no balance.  All aspects of the the subject in question are not taught.  Children are taught that Islam is a peaceful religion.  Yes, there are aspects of the Koran that teach peace.  However the Koran also preaches hate, violence, and death.  Is that being taught? No, absolutely not.  Revisionist history is the curriculum for today’s students.  What ever happened to the much vaunted “critical thinking” that educators keep stressing?  What kind of critical thinking can there be if the entire picture isn’t revealed?

      The Khalil Gibran International Academy’s is partnering with the Arab-American Anti-Defamation Committee.  It is the first organization listed on the NYCDOE website for KGIA.  Take a look at their education page.  According to their information much of what we attribute to  Western civilization is a result of Islam.   [http://www.adc.org/index.php?id=203]  History has taken a u-turn and no one is paying attention.

     Oh and by the way,  Christianity was discussed sporadically. They learned about the barbaric Crusades, persecution of the Jews, and the expansion of Christian Europe which included the long struggle against Muslim rule.  No mention of beheadings, Dhimmi status, or the jizya tax for non-Muslims.

     Every parent must ask their children what they are learning in school.  Look at their homework, the textbooks, and class notes.  Please write to us if you find anything going on in your child’s school you feel is inappropriate.  We can help you. Children are suppose to learn about the world religions, not be taught the religions.  However they must be taught all of it, the positive and negative.  As Diana West writes, there is a “P.C. ignorance of Islamic Law.”  I think my daughter understood the real lesson.

Following is the entire article:

Western blindness
http://washingtontimes.com/article/20080118/EDITORIAL04/280469968/1013/EDITORIA
January 18, 2008

By Diana West – Mazir-i-sharif.Ring a bell? In 2001, a 32-year-old Marine captain and CIA officer named John Micheal Spann was killed there in a prison riot, thus becoming the first American combat death in Afghanistan. Not incidentally, Spann, before violence broke out, had interrogated an uncooperative John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban. This all took place before the United States military completely toppled Afghanistan’s Taliban oppressors.Nearly seven years later, American-liberated Mazir-i-sharif has again made headlines — well, one or two — as the site of the prison where a 23-year-old Afghan journalist has been detained for three months (and counting) on blasphemy charges. These charges derive, Reuters reports, from Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh “distributing an article which said Prophet Mohammed had ignored the rights of women.” As President Bush might say… well, what might President Bush say: Let freedom reign?Then there’s Halabja.Remember Halabja? The name is notorious for being the town where in 1988, 15 years before Operation Iraqi Freedom, Saddam Hussein gassed thousands of Kurdish civilians to death. This month, American-liberated Halabja made headlines as the site of the court that sentenced a Kurdish author in absentia to six months in prison for blasphemy: namely, for writing in a book that Mohammed had 19 wives, married a nine-year-old when he was 54, and took part in murder and rape. (These points, Robert Spencer notes at jihadwatch.com, “can be readily established from early texts written by pious Muslims.”) The author, Mariwan Halabjaee, who has asylum in Norway, says there’s also a fatwa calling for his death unless he asks forgiveness.Think about it. Where Americans have died, not just to de-fang jihadist threats but to “democratize” Islamic populations, freedom of speech is against the law. And not the law according to “militants,” or “extremists,” but the law as enforced by democratically elected governments that we, as a nation, support with everything we’ve got. What would Mr. Bush say to that?I doubt he’d know what to say. Neither, for that matter, would anyone in his cabinet, starting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Nor, I doubt, would the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm. Mike Mullen. Nor — to open things up — would the presidential candidates, the Fox News All-Stars or Simon Cowell. The fact is, to discuss blasphemy laws in Afghanistan and Iraq (Kurdistan, even) is to discuss Islam — specifically, its laws and doctrines. And we, as a politically correct people, don’t know how to do that. Instead, we act as though they don’t exist.And not just blasphemy laws. Jihad doctrine; Shariah (Islamic law); designs for a global caliphate through jihad (terrorism) and the spread of Shariah (Islamization): We pretend they are not factors in the free world’s experience with Islam.We certainly don’t discuss their implications for the freeness of the world. Look at what passes for “debate” among our presidential candidates: Republicans argue over who supported “the surge” first; Democrats argue over who will withdraw troops first.Such resolute blindness on Islam probably explains the institutional apathy— including (with few exceptions) conservative apathy — on the termination of Pentagon analyst Maj. Stephen Coughlin, which I wrote about last week. The military’s primary expert on Islamic law, Mr. Coughlin was reportedly fired at the behest of a highly placed Pentagon aide named Hesham Islam whom Steven Emerson has since thumb-nailed as “an Islamist with a pro-Muslim Brotherhood bent.” Thankfully, Rep. Sue Myrick of the bipartisan House Anti-Terrorism Caucus is considering action, but there is little public sense that this outrage of a story is happening to us as a nation.

But it’s something that should deeply concern Americans, particularly as a nation with soldiers under arms. Mr. Coughlin’s meticulously researched legal brief not only links Islamic law to Islamic terrorism, but also demonstrates the professional negligence involved in ignoring Islamic law when devising strategies against Islamic terrorism.

Of course, that right there may explain the silence, particularly among many conservatives. The kind of negligence Mr. Coughlin is talking about, deriving from a PC ignorance of Islamic law, is quite evident in the strategies and tactics of the so-called war on terror that conservatives have widely championed — up to and including “the surge” in Iraq, which, for example, presupposes that American-won security will trigger a set of cultural behaviors and aspirations in Iraqi society best described as non-Islamic.In other words, we seem to have arrived at a strange junction where neither jihadist apologists nor surge enthusiasts want to hear the facts about Islamic law. You might say it’s become the new blasphemy.

A report on KGIA Advisory Member Abdur-Rashid’s Troubling Ties

Thanks to Joe Kaufman and FrontPageMagazine.com for this article, and Beila Rabinowitz, the Director of Militant Islam Monitor, who contributed to this report.

Islamist Payola in the City of Brotherly Love

By Joe Kaufman
FrontPageMagazine.com | 1/3/2008

The history of the United States runs through Philadelphia. It is there that the American Revolution was born. However, a new revolution threatens to take hold of Philly, a Muslim one. It is led by one of Philadelphia’s favorite sons, singer/songwriter/producer Kenny Gamble (a.k.a. Luqman Abdul Haqq), who has a master plan to renovate a once great part of the city using taxpayers’ money. While on face value his intentions appear to be worthy, Gamble’s revitalization plan for Philadelphia has sinister implications, leading to the question: Will Philadelphia remain “the City of Brotherly Love” or will it become a city of Muslim Brotherly hate?

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) or Ikhwan in America exists, in large part, within two immigrant populations. One is the Arab Muslim community, falling under the aegis of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and to a smaller extent the Muslim American Society (MAS). The other is the South Asian Muslim community, positioned under the umbrella of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a subsidiary of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in Pakistan. These groups form the core of MB America.

Still, there is a third U.S. Muslim population of much less acclaim/notoriety. It is the African American Muslim community, and it consists mainly of converts who fall within a number of categories, many of which overlap, including black power advocates, racial separatists, ex-felons, anti-Semites and hate America firsters. There are two organizations that encompass all of the above: the Nation of Islam (NOI), a black supremacist group that is built upon the hatred of whites and Jews, and the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), the African American version of ISNA and ICNA.

MANA was founded in May of 2000, in response to the arrest of cop killer H. Rap Brown, a.k.a. Jamil Al-Amin. According to the group, it was officially formed on January 27, 2001. Today, MANA coordinates a vast network of mosques and Islamic organizations.

While MANA is almost entirely an African-American-based entity, the group has aligned itself most closely with Arab and South Asian “Brotherhood” organizations. In fact, MANA’s Amir (President), Siraj Wahhaj, is the former Vice President of ISNA U.S., and MANA’s General Secretary, Ihsan Bagby, is a national board member of both ISNA and the Hamas-related Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

One of the functions of MANA is to hold yearly conferences. The group’s most recent event took place this past November in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, entitled ‘The State of the Black American Muslim Community.’ At the affair, certain outside organizations, such as CAIR, were permitted to set up shop to showcase their materials. One of the groups, the Philadelphia-based International Islamic Information Network (IIIN), propagates lectures given by Saleh as-Suhaimi, who stated during one of his speeches that a wife needs to practice “obedience” to her husband and cannot go “outside the house without his permission,” and if “it comes to a point where he has to hit her, that it does not break the skin or does not break a bone or does not leave a mark or a bruise…”

Most of those attending the conference were people unknown to the non-Muslim world. But one in particular has been in the public eye for decades.

Kenneth Gamble is an icon within the music business, in part responsible for over 170 platinum and gold albums and songs, including “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Love Train,” and “Me and Mrs. Jones.” As stated by John A. Jackson, in his A House on Fire: The Rise and Fall of Philadelphia Soul, by the end of 1974, Gamble along with his partners Leon Huff and Thom Bell “were the top three soul producers in the pop music industry.”

According to Jackson, though, things started to unravel for Gamble, when, in 1975, the record company he helped create, Philadelphia International, became embroiled in a payola scandal. That, the demanding workload placed upon him, his heavily mortgaged business headquarters, and his failing marriage, all led up to a nervous breakdown. It was around this time that Gamble began to turn to Islam.

The first group that had an impact on his newfound religion was the Nation of Islam, a black supremacist movement that was founded in the ‘30s. About NOI, Gamble stated during an interview on Saudi TV Channel 2, “[T]he Nation of Islam… was a tremendous brotherhood that promoted self-help and ‘do for self.’ And being a conscious person, I looked at our communities and I looked at us as a people, and I thought that that was something that the African American community really needed to think about and to get involved in…” [Currently, Gamble is involved in the NOI-associated “10,000 Men.”]

But Gamble – now, Luqman Abdul Haqq – was not to reach the true Brotherhood, until April 21, 2001, when he was chosen to be on the first Executive Committee (Diwan) of MANA. The following day, almost a year after its founding, the establishment of MANA was announced. The event took place at the Philadelphia Masjid, which was at the time headed by Shamsud-din Ali (a.k.a. Clarence Fowler), who is rumored to be a friend of Gamble. Ali, an ex-leader of the notorious Black Mafia, had previously been incarcerated for murder and is presently serving out an 87 month jail sentence for charges that include racketeering.

Today, Gamble sits on MANA’s Majlis Ash Shura, the ruling body which sets the policy and agenda for the group. Others sitting on the Majlis with him include:

  • Johari Abdul Malik, imam of the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, labeled by investigative journalist Paul Sperry as “The Most Dangerous Mosque in America.” Malik, in November of 2004, stated that it was better to be a Muslim under poor conditions than to be a “kaffir under any conditions” and warned that Islam, one day, would overtake Christianity as the “first religion in America.”
  • Talib Abdur-Rashid, imam of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood (MIB) and member of the Advisory Board of the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA), a controversial Arabic language school in New York City. Abdur-Rashid, in January of 2007, on a Tampa, Florida radio program stated that many black churches are controlled by white churches and that “usually when you’ll find an African American pastor speaking in that negative kind of way, there’s a hidden devil, so to speak, somewhere in the background egging him on.”
  • Altaf Husain, former President of the Muslim Students Association (MSA). Husain is the U.S. Correspondent for Islam Online, a site that issues religious rulings (Fatwas) in support of: Palestinian suicide bombings, terrorist attacks against American troops, and the death penalty for homosexuals, including the throwing of homosexuals from tall buildings (“Death Falls”).

Gamble’s interaction with MANA goes far beyond the organization and well into his community. Within the “ACTIVISM” section of MANA’s website, MANA discusses Universal Companies (UC), its recovery plan for a part of Philadelphia that has been ravaged by drugs and violence. The effort, which is being led by Gamble, consists of children’s schools, a social services department, an entertainment foundation, and real estate holdings, which include low-income residential properties.

According to MANA, Universal Companies is “one of the best-kept secrets in Muslim America.” While this may or may not be so, the fact that UC is a Muslim institution is no secret at all, and this has some concerned that the effort is being done for the sole purpose of creating an all Muslim enclave within the heart of Philadelphia.

Gamble, providing a reason for this unease, stated the following to Saudi television: “One of the intentions that we had from the beginning was to create a model, so that, in the coming years, Muslims would be able to live close to each other, that they would live closer to the masjid (mosque), that they would eventually be able to open up businesses so that they would be able to employ each other and develop community life.”

The UC “masjid” that Gamble is referring to is the United Muslim Masjid, whose website’s homepage currently features pictures from MANA’s November conference. The address of UMM is 810 South 15th Street, which places it on the same block as Universal Companies, located at 800 South 15th Street, and Salaam Enterprises, a social services organization run by Gamble’s wife, Faatimah, at 814 South 15th Street.

Of interest is another group, the United Muslim Movement (UMM), found at the same address as UC. According to UC’s website, it (UC) has been in operation since 1993, yet it was incorporated only in June of 2002. On the other hand, UMM was incorporated in June of 1994. In addition, the website for UC began in May of 2001, while UMM’s site was shut down just after, in July of 2001.

As well, the missions of the two groups are nearly identical. As stated by Gamble, along with having Muslims “living closer to the masjid,” “Universal Companies goal and objective is to be involved in the political, the social, the economic, educational activities that go on that make up all those systems that make up a community.” According to the former website of UMM, “Our goal is to build both a central Masjid in the City of Philadelphia and a strong organization responding to social, economical, political, educational, and religious needs facing our communities.”

Question: When Universal Companies states that it started in 1993, does it really mean that the United Muslim Movement started then? And if the answer is yes, does that then mean that the two groups are really one and the same? This leads to concern number two, that not only is Universal Companies in existence to form an all Muslim Philly enclave, but that it is being done with the blessings and money of the city and the state of Pennsylvania.

On the ex-UMM site, one could read that it was part of the group’s mission to “establish the religion of Islam with the clear representation of the Quran and the Sunnah…” If the group wished to receive funds from the government, surely it would not be able to do so with this type of rhetoric, not to mention the religious significance of the group’s name. As well, the UMM site listed its member organizations as including ICNA, ISNA and the American Muslim Council (AMC), three groups tied to terror. Therefore, a name change was in order, and what could be more innocuous sounding than “Universal Companies”?

There are two further corporations that share the address of UC and UMM. They are Universal Community Homes (UCH) and the Universal Institute Charter School (UICS). Both of these entities play a large role within Universal Companies; the President of the Board of Trustees of the school is UC’s President and CEO, Abdur-Raheem Islam. As well, both UCH and UICS are financed via the taxpayers of Pennsylvania.

About the role the city and state play, with respect to UC, Gamble stated: “The city of Philadelphia has been an intrical part of what we’ve been doing, and they have participated in economic growth, as far as our real estate ventures. We’ve gotten tremendous recognition from them – as much as they can do – and I think you couldn’t do a project like this without having a public/private partnership. You need not only the city of Philadelphia, but we also have a great relationship with the state of Pennsylvania. And that is the way business is done here in America…”

In fact, the participation and recognition from the city and state towards Gamble’s organization has been worth millions of dollars. In April of 2003, the city of Philadelphia issued a press release announcing a $100 million revitalization plan, whereby Universal Companies would build or renovate nearly 400 homes in South Philadelphia, through the local government’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI).

Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street is quoted in the release as saying, “NTI has provided us with a unique opportunity to rethink our neighborhoods and develop well thought out solutions to 50 years of decay and neglect; it was intended to be a catalyst, to help foster change, to spur development, to forge much needed partnerships with great organizations such as Universal Companies. Kenny and I have been talking about this Philadelphia renaissance for more than two decades.”

In February of 2003, a report came out discussing how Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell was providing $250,000 towards Gamble’s plan to move New York City’s R & B Foundation to Philadelphia, to become part of Universal Companies’ “Entertainment and Economic Development Strategy.” Gamble now sits on the board of the foundation.

One can say that Mayor Street and Governor Rendell have been kind to Gamble because of what they believe he offers to his community. However, one cannot overlook the kindness that Gamble has provided both of them. According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, between June of 2001 and April of 2006, Kenneth Gamble has contributed $44,000 and $27,000, respectively, to Street’s and Rendell’s campaigns for Mayor and Governor.

In June of 1975, Gamble and 18 others were indicted in a payola scandal, in which the Justice Department accused Gamble’s record label of offering bribes in return for airplay. In the end, he was fined $2500. Today, while he is still tied to the music business – he will be inducted into the 2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – Gamble has sought out new avenues to deal in. Unlike before, though, his present ventures are tied to a radical form of religion, one that puts a Muslim Brotherhood organization, MANA; a black supremacist group, NOI; and his own Islamic organization, the United Muslim Movement (Universal Companies), on center stage.

Why would the local and state government get so involved in something that could prove potentially dangerous for its citizens? Is it blind ambition or is it money for money? Has Kenny Gamble learned from the past or is this 1975 all over again? Regardless of the answers, if things continue as they are going, very soon the city of Philadelphia will be experiencing its first taste of Sharia law – a sad note indeed for America’s birthplace.

Beila Rabinowitz, the Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.


Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate, the founder of CAIR Watch, and the spokesman for Terror-Free Oil Initiative.

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#