The whole idea of a taxpayer funded public Arabic school runs afoul of every basic tenet of the separation of church and state. A bad (and very dangerous) precedent. Cogent reason against twisted, convoluted arguments fall on deaf ears. Mayor Bloomberg's willful ignorance in a city that at times feels more like a war zone is incomprehensible.
Under Mr. Bloomberg, the Department of Education has established two public schools — one Greek and one Arabic — that challenge the divide between church and state. For the past five years, the Bronx Household of Faith, has conducted Sunday morning services out of Public School 291, but now has been banned from doing so. A co-leader of the inner city congregational church, Robert Hall, has vowed to appeal the ruling. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Hall pointed to the Khalil Gibran International Academy as an example of how the DOE is inconsistent in its rulings on who may use its space. He said his church was being singled out and added, "You cannot separate Arabic culture from Islam. Here we are in the fall, ready to have a publicly-funded religious school." An education department spokeswoman denied this, but Mr. Hall promised to pursue the matter through the courts. More here at the NY Sun.
The infiltration and c0-opting of America's educational institutions tend to have the nefarious. This is no different. The backgrounds of those behind the NY Arabic public school get uglier and uglier.
By Beila Rabinowitz and William Mayer
July 17, 2007 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In previous articles the writers have documented why Dhabah aka "Debbie" Almontaser, the Yemeni born principal designate of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, does not belong in the public school system.
She promotes an Islamist agenda, operates in an environment populated by radical Muslim organizations and individuals, holds extreme leftist political views and aims to use the KGIA as a tool of indoctrination. [see Khalil Gibran Jihad School - Indoctrination Not Education]
Almontaser has a close working relationship with Linda Sarsour, a radical Islamist activist with a power base in Brooklyn's Bay Ridge district. Sarsour is the director of the Arab American Association of New York, a provider of social services including immigration assistance and legal aid to Arab community. She along with Almontaser are board member of the AAA's Dialogue Project and Sarsour is the Co-Chair of the Dialogue Project's Interfaith Events program.
Sarsour's association with Almontaser provides an alarming insight into the forces that will drive KGIA if the school becomes a reality in September.
This relationship poses a serious challenge to those who blindly maintain that KGIA is just another New York City charter school, because Linda Sarsour is tied to the terrorist organization Hamas as well as other radical causes. Deepening the concern, the community from which Sarsour operates shares her views as well as her support for Islamism.
In a 2004 piece by Sarmad S. Ali, "Kerry Drew Disenchanted Arabs in Bay Ridge" published in the Columbia Journalism Review, Linda Sarsour matter-of-factly documents her family's ties to Hamas as depicted in the Arab language terrorist newspaper that she is reading while being interviewed: Read the whole thing here.
In 2005 Almontaser co-founded the Yemeni American Association [YAA] and imam Hisham from the Al Farooq mosque presided at the organization's opening. Almontaser's husband, Sa'ad Almontaser, serves as the vice president of the YAA.
In 2006 Shahawar Matin Siraj a Bay Ridge resident, was convicted and sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in a plot to bomb the Herald Square subway station in Manhattan.
The case was largely built on evidence gathered by Arabic speaking informants.
When New York Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly met with local Muslims to hear their "concerns about issues of public safety," as the New York Times reported, "Only after several questions did anyone mention the trial. Debbie Almontaser, a board member of a Muslim women's organization, told Mr. Kelly that she was saddened that the police had resorted to "F.B.I. tactics," and that she thought this was polarizing the Muslim community. Applause swept the room." [source NY Times]
As these writers noted in New York Jihad School Principal Almontaser Decried "FBI" Tactics Towards Convicted Terrorist, "Only in Almontaser's insular world, preventing a crime that could have killed hundreds is viewed as "polarizing."
A majority of Bay Ridges' Muslims believe that 9/11 was staged by the U.S. government.
"At the trial of subway bomber Matin Siraj his defense lawyers said their client's belief that 9/11 was staged by the United States was the common view held by the majority of Muslims in . April 2007 Siraj's defense maintained that his views that the United States government was involved in the 9-11 attacks were "community-based notions" held among many muslims."
"In fact, in that entire Muslim community...the thought that the American government was responsible for bringing down the towers on 9-11 was common," said one of Siraj's attorneys, Martin Stolar. [source http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/29/21/29_21guilty.html]
In a disturbing piece ["Zionist Organization Supports Gibran School Principal, ADL Support Could Affect School's Success!"] published in Aramica, an Arab newspaper headquartered in Bay Ridge, publisher Antoine Faisal essentially charges Dhabah Almontaser with collaborating with the "enemy."
"What could she [Almontaser] possibly have done to anger members of her own community? How about betray them by working with a Zionist organization?" [source http://www.viewda.com/webpaper/aramica]
That enemy, the "Zionists" here, takes the form of the Jewish organization, the Anti Defamation League which Faisal equates with the Ku Klux Klan.