By William A. Mayer & Beila Rabinowitz
April 19, 2007 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Judging from the comments made by Dhabah Almontaser on the Norwegian Amnesty International website, the embattled principal designee of a proposed and publicly funded Arab separatist school [the Khalil Gibran International Academy] her professed moderation is a poorly constructed hoax, and that the school will be a vehicle for leftist and Islamist ideology.
Almontaser has been careful recently to court a public image of self-sacrificing community service under the media friendly guise of bringing people together, building bridges, working to show that Islam is not a predatory religion and that Muslim Americans are just like everyone else to allay critics fears that the proposed school will be a potential breeding ground for Arab and Muslim radicalism.
The perception Ms. Almontaser has attempted to create is an illusion, she is an Islamist whose pet project the Khalil Gibran school has no legitimate place in American education.
One insidious aspect of the response against the war on terror has been the phenomenon of Western Islamist groups aligning themselves with the hard left, organizations like International ANSWER and the War Resister's League.
Although it is not that surprising given this newfound affinity between radical Islam and Marxist revolutionaries, Ms. Almontaser seems quite comfortable in this environment, so much so that she was a keynote speaker at a September 11, 2002 demonstration organized by among others, the War Resisters League, the Saudi funded Hamas front group Council on American Islamic Relations [CAIR] and the Muslim American Society, the American wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Also speaking at the protest was Emira Habiby Browne, founder of the Arab American Family Support Center [AAFSC] a key promoter of and working partner with the Khalil Gibran school. [source Protest Flyer].
Adding further to Almontaser's leftist credentials is the above referenced, below excerpted interview published by the Norwegian branch of Amnesty International on October 10, 2002. Her statements in this interview are shockingly extreme, having more in common with the ideology of the 9/11 hijackers than not.
The complete interview may be viewed at [http://www.amnesty.no/web.nsf/ac1a1a01ea7194a3c1256a07004fad10/ffac5a3601aba908c1256c3d004ef7c5?OpenDocument].?President Bush is trying to destroy the United States that I love and of which I am a result. He has abandoned our forefather's ideals of a society of freedom; democracy and pluralism build by immigrants. He is a nightmare."Why do you think terrorists attacked the USA?
?We are in favor of combating terror, but that cannot be done by violating fundamental human rights, says Debbie Almontaser (37). - After the terror attacks last year our government has put aside our civil rights and it is particularly Muslim, Arab-American and South Asian families that suffer under this."
?I would love to see a peace-loving country as Norway calling the USA to the carpet, telling that enough is enough. I would like to see Norway taking the risk demanding that USA stops the killings, spreading suffering, emergency and fear in countries as Afghanistan, Iraq, Venezuela and Sudan, she says. - I would like to see Norway show its guts in the Security Council and protest against unfair and racist policies. Stop the sanctions against Iraq; can?t you see that it is the civil population that suffers?"
?This is my South Asian neighborhood; Debbie says proud and continues in a more serious manner. - About 80 people were arrested here just after September 11 last year, no one knows why. And they still observe us, a little while ago the FBI infiltrated our community, people speaking Arabic were spying on us. That has lead to new detentions."
?The harassment has decreased. - The tendency in New York is that people embrace their Muslim and Arab neighbors. However, the same cannot be said about the American government?s policy, that fuels up under prejudice and mistrust towards every person with origin in the Middle East or Southeast Asia, Debbie thinks."
?Earlier you could be arrested for being black and driving a car, now it has become a crime to fly when you are brown. I believe a lot of Arab Americans have realized that we are in the same boat as the black Americans; we must learn from their experiences and struggle against racism. I have realized that our foreign policy is racist; in the "war against terror" people of color are the target."?A year ago I could not answer such a question. To me it was just impossible to comprehend how someone could do such terrible, totally sick atrocities. Many said they were not surprised that terrorists attacked the US. That hurt me deeply. Today I believe that the terrorist attacks can have been triggered by the way the USA breaks its promises with countries across the world, especially in the Middle East and the fact that it has not been a fair mediator with its foreign policy. It is not true that the people in the Middle East and Southeast Asia hate our lifestyle, our freedom and our democracy. What disturbs them is that we in order to secure our own well being, deprive them of the possibility of achieving the same high living standard and freedom of choice that we have in the western world. Terror is the last resource of a desperate and oppressed people, but that does not mean that it is acceptable. People who do terrorist acts have lost the sense of right and wrong, each individual committing such acts should be punished with the maximum extent of the law. Only Allah is entitled to take lives.How do you think terror can be combated?"At least not by bombing a country into pieces! We did not bomb the hometown of Timothy McVeigh to combat terror when he exploded the Oklahoma bomb in 1995. Great Britain does not bomb North Ireland to fight down the IRA, and Spain does not kill hundreds of civilians in their search for ETA terrorists. So which right do we have to kill Afghan women and children, old and young in the search for Al Qaeda?Does the American people support president Bush? "war against terror"?
?Terror is combated by finding the terrorist cells, break them down and bring the responsible to justice. I am sure that our intelligence can find them. With the technology of today they survey what ever they want and are infiltrated in all kinds of communities."
?I have not seen the terror threat decrease by Bush? "war against terror." He is fighting a war against a ghost, o ghost called Osama bin Laden. What is the real and underlying motivations for the "war against terror" remains to see, but control over oil resources in the region and a shift in regime in Iraq is probably among Bush?s underlying goals."?Many are protesting, but many more support him. But most people do not know what is going on. It is you Europeans who know about such things. The American people believes that everything is all right and that the USA lives by its ideals of democracy, individual freedom and the American dream out there as well. So did I, until 11 September 2001. But I have experienced that when you talk to people and explain what is going on, then they are as strongly against the "war against terror" as I. That gives me hope for the future."
Dhabah Almontaser's hope lies outside the confines of the American dream, which she obviously no longer believes in.
She thinks that the president is a "nightmare" that he is "destroying the United States" and that "our government has put aside our civil rights." In her world the United States is engaged in a policy of "killings, spreading suffering, emergency and fear" while the "FBI infiltrated our community" which "has lead to new detentions."
She believes that America's policies are responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
Almontaser's critique of America is Orwellian, that the country is indistinguishable from a Soviet era gulag. It is her leftist/Islamist vision that will be inculcated into the students of the proposed Khalil Gibran school, reinforcing their sense of victimhood and radicalizing them. Her ideology is alien to America's core values and founding principles. Allowing her to create an even more potent vehicle - a government funded madrassah - from which to propagate an Islamist/leftist agenda would be a precedent setting victory for those who are seeking to force America into submission.
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