A new public school in New York slated to teach Arabic language and culture will impose a radical Islamist agenda in its classrooms.
"We are paying with our public dollar for a religious school, a madrassa," Pamela Hall, a member of the "Stop the Madrassa" group told CNN.
"The Arabic immigrant students will be isolated," Hall told the cable network. "Whether that materializes instantly into terrorists, that's a huge statement to make. But are these students not assimilating and becoming part of the American fabric? And is that potentially a problem? We think so, yes."
The school, Khalil Gibran International Academy, says its goal is "to prepare students for college and successful careers and to foster an understanding of different cultures, a love of learning, and desire for excellence in all of its students."
Not so says the Thomas More Law Center. “This proposed public school is nothing more than an incubator for the radicalization that leads to terrorism, as a NYPD Intelligence Report warned Americans just about two weeks ago,” Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center told NewsMax.
“Rather than use the public school system to assimilate Muslims and other immigrants into American culture, New York City is doing everything it can to keep them isolated – a target rich environment for recruiting potential new homegrown terrorists and a recipe for a future 911 disaster, according to my read of the NYPD Report,” said Thompson.
Added Thompson, “As uncomfortable as it makes one feel, we must understand that the political goal of radical Islam is to destroy our Judeo-Christian culture. And the KGIA is a Trojan Horse New York City is building for radical Islam with taxpayer money. That the Quran calls for Muslims to subjugate the world, especially Christians and Jews, is a fact that anyone can look up.”
And the New York Sun noted that the school has now drawn the attention of a group founded to preserve the memory of Khalil Gibran, the Lebanese-American author and poet whose name the school bears. According to there Sun, The Friends of Gibran Council issued a press release that, based upon available information to date, the proposed school "would not honor the legacy of a great poet, an artist who achieved greatness in the U.S. as an emigrant fleeing Lebanon where his community has been suffering persecution in their ancestral home in Lebanon at the hands of religious powers."
Moreover, the Council notes that Gibran's ancestry was Lebanese, Christian, and Maronite, making the act of attaching his name to a school dedicated to Arab language and culture rather odd.
Not all the school's parents agreed with the criticism. "In terms of the curriculum, if it's a New York City public school, it has to go by New York City standards," Deborah Howard told CNN. "I'm Jewish. I would never be a part of a school that would in any way be involved with Islamic fundamentalists."
"To be attacked so viciously has been unbelievably unfair and quite sad," added Reyad Farraj, another parent on the design team.
According to CNN, the controversy originally centered around the school's Arab-American founding principal, Debbie Almontaser, who a couple of local tabloids alleged has ties to Islamic extremist organizations. It reached boiling point when Almontaser was quoted as defending the use of the word "intifada" on a T-shirt. She said in Arabic it simply means "shaking off," but is widely accepted as describing violent anti-Israel protests by Palestinians.
CNN reported that Almontaser resigned and was replaced by a Jewish principal who doesn't speak Arabic.
Garth Harries, chief executive of the city's Department of Education's Office of New Schools, told CNN 55 of the 60 slots have been filled at the school, which offers "a core sixth-grade curriculum." It will begin by teaching sixth-graders, then add a grade each year to end up with 500 to 600 students in grades 6-12, Department of Education spokeswoman Melody Meyer told The Associated Press last week.
CNN reported that about a dozen security guards and police officers were on patrol Tuesday when the Brooklyn school opened, mainly to deal with the horde of reporters covering the event.
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