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islamirama
05-14-2008, 03:28 AM
Critics Cost Muslim Educator Her Dream School


Debbie Almontaser (1) dreamed of starting a public school like no other in New York City. Children of Arab descent would join students of other ethnicities, learning Arabic together. By graduation, they would be fluent in the language and groomed for the country's elite colleges. They would be ready, in Ms. Almontaser's words, to become "ambassadors of peace and hope."

Things have not gone according to plan. Only one-fifth of the 60 students at the Khalil Gibran International Academy are Arab-American. Since the school opened in Brooklyn last fall, children have been suspended for carrying weapons, repeatedly gotten into fights and taunted an Arabic teacher by calling her a "terrorist," staff members and students said in interviews.

The academy's troubles reach well beyond its cramped corridors in Boerum Hill. The school's creation provoked a controversy so incendiary that Ms. Almontaser stepped down as the founding principal just weeks before classes began last September. Ms. Almontaser, a teacher by training and an activist who had carefully built ties with Christians and Jews, said she was forced to resign by the mayor's office following a campaign that pitted her against a chorus of critics who claimed she had a militant Islamic agenda.

In newspaper articles and Internet postings, on television and talk radio, Ms. Almontaser was branded a "radical," a "jihadist" and a "9/11 denier." She stood accused of harboring unpatriotic leanings and of secretly planning to proselytize her students. Despite Ms. Almontaser's longstanding reputation as a Muslim moderate, her critics quickly succeeded in recasting her image.

The conflict tapped into a well of post-9/11 anxieties. But Ms. Almontaser's downfall was not merely the result of a spontaneous outcry by concerned parents and neighborhood activists. It was also the work of a growing and organized movement to stop Muslim citizens who are seeking an expanded role in American public life. The fight against the school, participants in the effort say, was only an early skirmish in a broader, national struggle.

"It's a battle that's really just begun," said Daniel Pipes, who directs a conservative research group, the Middle East Forum, and helped lead the charge against Ms. Almontaser and the school.

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, critics of radical Islam focused largely on terrorism, scrutinizing Muslim-American charities or asserting links between Muslim organizations and violent groups like Hamas (2) . But as the authorities have stepped up the war on terror, those critics have shifted their gaze to a new frontier, what they describe as law-abiding Muslim-Americans who are imposing their religious values in the public domain.

Mr. Pipes and others reel off a list of examples: Muslim cabdrivers in Minneapolis who have refused to take passengers carrying liquor; municipal pools and a gym at Harvard (3) that have adopted female-only hours to accommodate Muslim women; candidates for office who are suspected of supporting political Islam; and banks that are offering financial products compliant with sharia, the Islamic code of law.

The danger, Mr. Pipes says, is that the United States stands to become another England or France, a place where Muslims are balkanized and ultimately threaten to impose sharia.

"It is hard to see how violence, how terrorism will lead to the implementation of sharia," Mr. Pipes said. "It is much easier to see how, working through the system - the school system, the media, the religious organizations, the government, businesses and the like - you can promote radical Islam."

Mr. Pipes refers to this new enemy as the "lawful Islamists."

They are carrying out a "soft jihad," said Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a trustee of the City University of New York (4) and a vocal opponent of the Khalil Gibran school.

Muslim leaders, academics and others see the drive against the school as the latest in a series of discriminatory attacks intended to distort the truth and play on Americans' fear of terrorism. They say the campaign is also part of a wider effort to silence critics of Washington's policy on Israel and the Middle East.

NEW YORK TIMES

(1) - <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/refere...inline=nyt-per>
(2) - <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/refere...inline=nyt-org>
(3) - <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/refere...inline=nyt-org>
(4) - <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/refere...inline=nyt-org>
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Air Jordan
05-17-2008, 08:18 PM
Apparently, she got herself into hot water over an interview with the NY Post.

Ms. Almontaser’s remarks, made last weekend, were in response to questions from The Post over the phrase “Intifada NYC,” which was printed on T-shirts sold by Arab Women Active in the Arts and Media, a Brooklyn-based organization. The shirts have no relation to her school.

“The word basically means ‘shaking off,’ ” Ms. Almontaser told the paper. “That is the root word if you look it up in Arabic.”

With the help of the Education Department’s press office, she apologized on Monday, saying she regretted her remarks. “By minimizing the word’s historical associations, I implied that I condone violence and threats of violence,” she said in the statement. The word has come to be associated with Palestinian attacks on Israel.


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/11/ny.../11school.html

While it may well be technically true that "intifada" means "to shake off in Arabic", 99.9% of New Yorkers, if they have even heard the term, will associate it with the Palestinian uprising and will view a T-shirt saying "Intifada NYC" as a political statement implying the use of violence to effect change. Then there is that nasty business of the World Trade Center turning into a toxic heap and taking with it nearly 3,000 busboys and secretaries. Maybe she is a moderate, but she painted a bullseye on her own forehead.

She was in the employ of the NY Public School District at the time. She is not permitted unlimited free speech in that capacity. How long do you think a male school official would last if he advocated for the Man/Boy Love Association?

Welcome to New York, Debbie...now stop whining. The funny thing is, if you teach a bunch of native-born Americans how to speak fluent Arabic, probably 80% would end up working for the NSA or CIA :D
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Zarmina
05-19-2008, 06:35 AM
People like Daniel Pipes sickens me. He is a racist man with so much hatred for Muslims.
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islamirama
05-21-2008, 04:56 AM
Originally Posted by Zarmina
People like Daniel Pipes sickens me. He is a racist man with so much hatred for Muslims.
May Allah take care of him and that neo-christian extremists patty boy and other trash like them soon inshallah.
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Air Jordan
05-21-2008, 05:22 PM
Originally Posted by islamirama
May Allah take care of him and that neo-christian extremists patty boy and other trash like them soon inshallah.
It seems there is more than enough hatred to go around, eh?

This whole notion of calling upon a supreme being to cause the extinction of someone you find objectionable seems positively archaic. In fact, it doesn't seem very "religious" to me but instead suggests impotency on the part of the supplicant.

BTW, perhaps someone could explain to me why taxpayers anywhere should be obliged to provide foot wash basins for Muslim cabdrivers?

Pretty soon the Catholic cabbies will be demanding free rosaries and the Hopi shaman cabbies will be wanting free Peyote buttons.
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islamirama
05-22-2008, 03:16 AM
Originally Posted by Air Jordan
It seems there is more than enough hatred to go around, eh?

This whole notion of calling upon a supreme being to cause the extinction of someone you find objectionable seems positively archaic. In fact, it doesn't seem very "religious" to me but instead suggests impotency on the part of the supplicant.

BTW, perhaps someone could explain to me why taxpayers anywhere should be obliged to provide foot wash basins for Muslim cabdrivers?

Pretty soon the Catholic cabbies will be demanding free rosaries and the Hopi shaman cabbies will be wanting free Peyote buttons.
Foot wash basins are installed in many universities also. It's called reasonable accommodations by equal employment opportunities commission. Perhaps you should stop being a little narrow minded.

Would rather have me call for death of those lunatics or go hunt them down? Isn't my prayers my own business? and isn't it more peaceful than any other actions i could have taken?
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Air Jordan
05-22-2008, 04:19 AM
Originally Posted by islamirama
Foot wash basins are installed in many universities also. It's called reasonable accommodations by equal employment opportunities commission. Perhaps you should stop being a little narrow minded.
No, the EEOC likely responded to complaints from non-Muslims. Public universities get involed because they get tired of repairing the normal sinks. Perhaps you should shed your sense of entitlement.

Would rather have me call for death of those lunatics or go hunt them down? Isn't my prayers my own business? and isn't it more peaceful than any other actions i could have taken?

You are calling for their death. You simply lack the huevos to do it yourself and instead call for a presumably compassionate supreme being to do it for you. That seems somewhat ...oh what's the word.....
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wth1257
05-22-2008, 04:54 AM
Originally Posted by Air Jordan

BTW, perhaps someone could explain to me why taxpayers anywhere should be obliged to provide foot wash basins for Muslim cabdrivers?

Pretty soon the Catholic cabbies will be demanding free rosaries and the Hopi shaman cabbies will be wanting free Peyote buttons.

That's a silly comparison.

A foot sink isin't a fundamentally religious symbol, a rosary is, so long as it's not for the specific use of Muslims it shoulden't be a problem.

If the cab company had a lot of Jewish employes and wanted to have Kosher food avaliable at the employee cafateria, so long as non-Jewish employees can eat it as well that should be find.
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Air Jordan
05-22-2008, 05:42 AM
Originally Posted by wth1257
That's a silly comparison.

A foot sink isin't a fundamentally religious symbol, a rosary is, so long as it's not for the specific use of Muslims it shoulden't be a problem..
I disagree. The presence of foot wash basins at public universities is all about the practice of Islam. It's not a symbol, but it is important to daily prayer. Yes, of course, anyone could wash their feet but when have you seen a clamoring for such facilities by non-muslims?

It is not the same thing as a wheechair ramp.

.
If the cab company had a lot of Jewish employes and wanted to have Kosher food avaliable at the employee cafateria, so long as non-Jewish employees can eat it as well that should be find.
That is not comparable. You cite an example of a business catering to its employees to retain a happy work force. If a privately funded university (if there even is a such a thing anymore) chose to install foot baths to attract Saudi students paying tuition, that is a different matter. I am talkign about the taxpayers "footing" the bill :)
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islamirama
05-23-2008, 01:05 AM
Originally Posted by Air Jordan
No, the EEOC likely responded to complaints from non-Muslims. Public universities get involed because they get tired of repairing the normal sinks. Perhaps you should shed your sense of entitlement.
Universities install them out of courtesy for the students because they too go there and pay money for such serves. And it is not because they get tired of repairing them but rather a safety concern, they just don't want to be sued or anyone getting hurt (and get bad publicity).


You are calling for their death. You simply lack the huevos to do it yourself and instead call for a presumably compassionate supreme being to do it for you. That seems somewhat ...oh what's the word.....
I'm praying for the punishment of evil people. Are you going to put a limit on my freedom to even do that? and yet you folks cry barrels over freedom of speech and support what not trash that comes out of your kuffar people. You double standard hypocrites make me sick +o(
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Air Jordan
05-23-2008, 02:42 PM
I'm praying for the punishment of evil people. Are you going to put a limit on my freedom to even do that? and yet you folks cry barrels over freedom of speech and support what not trash that comes out of your kuffar people. You double standard hypocrites make me sick +o(
Oh, so it's only "punishment" you wish a compassionate supreme being to visit upon Daniel Pipes. My mistake. What kind of "punishment" were you thinking of? A bad case of chickenpox...two parking tickets in one day..perhaps a particularly nasty marinara sauce stain on his tuxedo during the 2008 Neocon Ball?

Here is what you actually said: "May Allah take care of him and that neo-christian extremists patty boy and other trash like them soon inshallah."

You will forgive my confusion as that seemed to have violent overtones. BTW...who is "neo-christian extremists patty boy"? Does he live on Pennsylvania Ave., perhaps?

Your prayers are your own. That is between you and your God. However, when you call publicly for the death of elected officials or even private citizens whose political opinions are different from your own, you should expect a bit of heat from "us kuffar people". There is nothing hypocritical about abridgments to free speech when calls to violence are involved. Your hatred is all too evident.

Originally Posted by islamirama
Universities install them out of courtesy for the students because they too go there and pay money for such serves. And it is not because they get tired of repairing them but rather a safety concern, they just don't want to be sued or anyone getting hurt (and get bad publicity).
Oh, the University of Michigan, Dearborn is getting some bad press alright. They are getting bad press because they agreed to cough up $25,000 dollars to install footbaths after pressure from the Muslim Student's Association (a virtual arm of CAIR). Installing the footbaths is a "reasonable accomodation". Asking the taxpayers or, in the this case, the non-Muslim students to pay for it is not.
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islamirama
05-24-2008, 08:32 PM
Originally Posted by Air Jordan
Oh, so it's only "punishment" you wish a compassionate supreme being to visit upon Daniel Pipes. My mistake. What kind of "punishment" were you thinking of? A bad case of chickenpox...two parking tickets in one day..perhaps a particularly nasty marinara sauce stain on his tuxedo during the 2008 Neocon Ball?

Here is what you actually said: "May Allah take care of him and that neo-christian extremists patty boy and other trash like them soon inshallah."

You will forgive my confusion as that seemed to have violent overtones. BTW...who is "neo-christian extremists patty boy"? Does he live on Pennsylvania Ave., perhaps?

Your prayers are your own. That is between you and your God. However, when you call publicly for the death of elected officials or even private citizens whose political opinions are different from your own, you should expect a bit of heat from "us kuffar people". There is nothing hypocritical about abridgments to free speech when calls to violence are involved. Your hatred is all too evident.
boo hoo, go cry me a river.

Oh, the University of Michigan, Dearborn is getting some bad press alright. They are getting bad press because they agreed to cough up $25,000 dollars to install footbaths after pressure from the Muslim Student's Association (a virtual arm of CAIR). Installing the footbaths is a "reasonable accomodation". Asking the taxpayers or, in the this case, the non-Muslim students to pay for it is not.
students are customers of the university as well, if the university doesn' wan their backs sued or want to please all of their customers then they going to have to work with all parties. There's so many kuffar activities that Musilm's money is used for but you don't see muslims crying about it. Those taxpayers include muslims as well. And university had it's own budget and funding and can use it as it pleases, so again, quit crying about it like a baby.
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