Saturday, August 11, 2007

Shaking Off Dhabah Almontaser

Back in July I reported on the proposed Khalil Gibran International Madrassa Academy in Brooklyn, and the efforts to stop it from opening in September. KGIA is a public school, funded by taxpayer dollars just like any other New York public school, but it will feature an Arab language curriculum with textbooks and course materials selected by people and organizations associated with radical Islam.

For months an organization known as Stop the Madrassa has worked tirelessly to alert the public to what is happening under their noses. Led by a dedicated New York resident named Pamela Hall, STM has come up against the full weight of the New York City establishment, with the mayor, the city council, the school authorities, and most of the MSM united against it.

Intifada NYCA few weeks ago STM happened to discover a series of T-shirts on sale at an Islamic festival in New York. The shirts featured the phrase “Intifada NYC” in their design — what a lovely, peaceful, multicultural sentiment! The organization that was selling the shirts included on its board Dhabah Almontaser, the principal of Khalil Gibran International Academy.

Stop the Madrassa organized a campaign to publicize the shirts, which are guaranteed not to endear these organizations and KGIA to the hearts of the NYC public. Ms. Almontaser did one of those entertaining little dances that public officials do when caught in flagrante, first denying, then denouncing, then spinning, then explaining, and then issuing a non-apology. Finally admitting that her organization did indeed sell the shirts in question, Ms. Almontaser ludicrously asserted that “intifada” was a harmless Arabic word that simply meant “shaking off”.

But by then the whole fiasco had erupted into the media, reaching beyond local TV to the national networks, and STM had gained The New York Post as an invaluable ally. Ms. Almontaser’s days were numbered, and the city was finally forced to throw her off the back of the sled.

An excerpt from yesterday’s post on Stop the Madrassa:
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The Islamist principal, Dhabah Almontaser, who had been put in charge of establishing a New York City public school for the ostensible purpose of teaching Arabic has submitted her resignation, according to an announcement made this morning by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on John Gambling’s radio show on WABC. The Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition — a group of parents, teachers, and concerned citizens — is relieved to learn that Ms. Almontaser will no longer be able to pursue her unmistakable ambition to use the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA) as a vehicle for promoting her radical ideological agenda.

Ms. Almontaser was forced to resign after she dissembled about her views concerning the term “intifada” — a word she tried to suggest did not have its plain meaning: a violent insurrection against freedom-loving Western societies. As the New York Post editorialized today, “[Almontaser] initially dismissed the significance of the term ‘intifada,’ saying it was merely an Arabic word meaning ‘shaking off,’ and claimed the shirts were ‘an opportunity for girls to express that they are part of New York City society…and shaking off oppression.’ That’s nonsense on its face; anyone foolish enough to believe it isn’t fit to hold a teacher’s license, let alone a principal’s warrant.”

Unfortunately, the removal of such a principal from this school less than a month before it opens is not sufficient. Serious questions about her handiwork — her choices with respect to KGIA’s curriculum, its textbooks, its teachers, the “retired Arabic-speaking community members” the Post reported that she wanted to bring in to “converse with the students during lunch periods,” etc. — remain to be satisfactorily addressed.

This is an important success for STM, but it’s only a small part of the battle. KGIA is still scheduled to open, with the same questionable curriculum and the same dubious resources behind it.

If you live in New York City, you’ve got a dog in this fight. Check in with Stop the Madrassa daily, because that’s where the latest and most complete information will be.

Little victories. We’ll take ’em where we can get ’em.


spackle said...

I love it. Whenever some tool gets caught saying or writing something obviously bad they always go for the linguistic defense. Bill Clinton with the word "is" comes to mind. But worse is the Islamists. They especially love playing word games with us non-arabic speakers. Like we are so stupid we cant tell that if the word quacks like a duck...well, you know the rest.

AWOL Civilization said...

If the madrassa and its fellow-travellers are not stopped, there will indeed be intifadas in New York. So intifada means "shaking off oppression," does it? Perhaps, but for these people oppression includes the entire gamut of Western culture. To "shake off" something like this requires a large dose of violence.

I know. I saw the Middle Eastern intifada from up close. Very up close. And it ain't pretty.

Unknown said...

For a muslim oppression, or injustice, design a situation where islam is not dominant.

So shaking the oppression only means enforcing islam.

Islam is very prone to double langage, taqyyia or kitman, and we must always be awawre the words have not the same meaning to a muslim or a non muslim.

The same for peace. Muslims say islam is the religion of peace but they dont say peace only will exist when there are anymore oppression or injustice (look the first line ;-)

Unknown said...

"Ms. Almontaser’s days were numbered, and the city was finally forced to throw her off the back of the sled."
Love the translation.
Here in the US its "had to throw her under the bus"
Either way the thought is the same:
Unfortunatly, I think the Trash will win in Europia :-(
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