By Beila Rabinowitz and William Mayer
May 14, 2007 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Stung by critics of her Islamist agenda, Dhabah Almontaser, the principle designate of New York's Khalil Gibran "jihad" school at the center of what has become an international controversy, appears to be hiding from the media. Local papers are complaining that Almontaser is refusing to be interviewed and not even returning their telephone calls.
?Almontaser does not speak publicly, further alienating the school from the Park Slope community.The Brooklyn Paper ?Anatomy of a Debacle." [source http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/30/19/30_19anatomy.html]
?Certainly the principal of the Arabic school, Debbie Almontaser, has not done her program any favors by not returning calls?Almontaser needs to learn, right now, that being open and accessible is the best way to earn the trust and support." [source http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/30/12/30_12editorial.html]
Almontaser?s intentional inaccessibility to the media appears to be a sign that she can?t fend off critics because her long record of radical activism speaks for itself.
If Almontaser, who has told public school students that the 9/11 attackers were not Muslims and believes that U.S. foreign policy is to blame for those attacks thinks that hiding will prevent further scrutiny, she is mistaken.
In her absence Lena Alhusseini has become the chief public defender of KGIA
?Debbie Almontaser, the future principal of the Academy, did not respond to repeated requests for comment, but Lena Alhusseini, the executive director of the Arab-American Family Support Center, the lead partner of the school, told The Brooklyn Paper that the Academy is not about politics." [source http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/30/19/30_19arabicschool.html]
Lena Alhusseini, whose organization, the Arab American Family Support Center [AAFSC] KGIA's lead partner, is hardly the ideal "go to" spokesperson.
As the AAFSC website describes her, "Born in Jerusalem and raised in Saudi Arabia and the UK, Alhusseini is of Palestinian origin."
Identifying her as hailing from Jerusalem, not Israel is a clear indication of a political agenda. Her bio's emphasis on her "Palestinian origin" denotes a belief that Jerusalem is part of Palestine, not Israel.
Beyond that, Alhusseini's political involvement parallels that of Almontaser's.
In the above image Ms. Alhusseini is shown at a Muslim mental health conference, appearing with imam Johari Abdul-Malik and Sayyid Sayeed.
Abdul-Malik is the Outreach Director of the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center in Virginia. According to Paul Sperry, noted terror authority and author of "Infiltration," Abdul-Malik's Islamic Center is the most dangerous mosque in America and hosted at least two of the 9/11 hijackers.
Abdul-Malik has raised funds for the legal aid and called for the release of Ali Al Tamimi a Muslim lecturer who was jailed for life in 2005 as a terrorist recruiter who incited his followers to train for violent jihad in the United States. Abdul-Malik's website claims that he was "Trained and Mentored by Imam Siraj Wahhaj since 1988." [source http://www.imamjohari.com/biography.htm] Wahhaj was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Sayyid Sayeed is the former head of the Islamic Society of North America a Wahhabist funded da?wa enterprise which aims to Islamize America, jihad through conversion.
According to counter terrorism expert Steven Emerson ISNA "is a radical group hiding under a false veneer of moderation" which "convenes annual conferences where Islamist militants have been given a platform to incite violence and promote hatred."
Almontaser, Alhusseini and their associates are intensely political players and veteran Islamists. Providing them with a public school in which to promote their agendas poses a threat to students and the public at large.
Rabbi Micah Kelber a KGIA advisory board inadvertantly contradicted Alhusseini's disingenuous claim that the school will not be political. He states that the intent of the school will be to provide future political leaders to solve the Middle East stalemate.
?Teaching a new generation of kids different ways of talking to each other is the only way we can solve these kinds of diplomatic conflicts in the Middle East," Kelber told The Brooklyn Paper. [source http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/30/19/30_19arabicschool.html]
Given the role that both Almontaser and now Alhusseini have assumed in the push for the school it is difficult to conclude that KGIA will be anything other than an agendized, radicalizing force - a publicly funded madrassah.
In an effort to shed her heretofore frumpy and fundamentalist public image, Almontaser's last interview featured her minus cowl and robe, instead stylishly clad in a chic headscarf, floral patterned clothing, jewelry and makeup.
In the course of that interview Almontaser contradicted the claims made by the Department of Eduation spokesman David Cantor that ?the school would not be a vehicle for political ideology" by stating:
?She said the school won't shy away from sensitive topics such as colonialism and the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. "Teachers are going to be expected to provide students with multiple perspectives on whatever the issue is," Almontaser said. "Students will, through the critical-thinking skills that they will develop, make informed decisions on the perspective that they want to believe." [source http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070416/D8OHJIK80.html]
The claims of Almontaser and now Alhusseini that KGIA will not promote a political or religious point of view and that students will ?be allowed to decide for themselves" are obfuscations, refuted by their own public statements including Almontaser?s 9/11 denial:
"I don't recognize the people who committed the attacks as either Arabs or Muslims" [source http://www.jrn.columbia.edu/studentwork/cns/2002-06-10/584.asp]
The political agenda of KGIA's principal designate, demonstrated over many years will be inseparable from the educational ethos of the school in practice, it can?t be otherwise.
As PipeLineNews noted in previous pieces, there are serious political and religious concerns associated with plans to instruct KGIA's students in Arabic.
As Dr. Daniel Pipes explains:
"Evidence from Algeria also points to the impact of Arabic instruction, as documented in James Coffman's breakthrough 1995 article "Does the Arabic Language Encourage Radical Islam?" He compared Algerian students taught in French versus those taught in Arabic and found that Arabized students show decidedly greater support for the Islamist movement and greater mistrust of the West. Arabized students tend to repeat the same simplistic stories and rumors that abound in the Arabic-language press, particularly Al-Munqidh, the newspaper of the Islamic Salvation Front. They tell about sightings of the word "Allah" written in the afternoon sky, the infiltration into Algeria of Israeli women spies infected with AIDS, the "disproving" of Christianity on a local religious program, and the mass conversion to Islam by millions of Americans."
He further notes:
?Franck Salameh taught Arabic at the most prestigious American language school, Middlebury College in Vermont. In an article for the Middle East Quarterly, "even as students leave Middlebury with better Arabic, they also leave indoctrinated with a tendentious Arab nationalist reading of Middle Eastern history. [source http://www.danielpipes.org/article/4441]
If even the most prestigious U.S. language school?s Arabic language programs are reflective of an ?Arab nationalist" viewpoint, indicative of an ?Arabist" agenda, it?s simply folly to assume that KGIA be immune.
?Arab nationalists and Arabists hold the countries of the modern Middle East as illegitimate entities contrived by Western colonizers against the wishes and aspirations of indigenous Arabs," [http://www.meforum.org/article/986]
Please note Ms. Almontaser?s above referenced intent to broach highly politically charged subjects such as ?colonialism" in this context an anti-Western notion.
Since her last interview more evidence has been publicized detailing Almontaser's deep ties to Islamist organizations such as the Islamic Circle of North America [ICNA], the Muslim American Society [MAS, the American branch of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood] and sits on the board of directors of the Muslim Consultative Network [MCN].
The MCN is chaired by ICNA President Adem Carroll. ICNA counts among its members CAIR NY's [the Saudi funded Hamas front group] former [and most recent] Executive Director, Wissam Nasr and Shamsi Ali, the Imam of the 96th Street mosque who also sits on the Khalil Gibran School advisory board. In 2001 Ali was profiled in a BBC article and his school was described as a "madrassah."
Tonight the PTA of the Boerum Hill school where Khalil Gibran is supposed to be housed [after having been moved from PS 282 when parents and teachers objected to its presence] has called for an emergency meeting to focus their opposition to the school.
While the concerns of Boerum Hill's PTA center on space and usage, more fundamental issues, going to the heart of how KGIA will operate have greater implications.
Unfortunately the toxic environment of excessive multiculturalism fostered by segments of New York's educational and cultural establishment - whereby concerns by critics of this institution have been met by ad hominem attacks - has obscured the main issue; the threat of a taxpayer funded institution which promotes radical Islamist indoctrination in the guise of education.
©1999-2007 Beila Rabinowitz, William Mayer, PipeLineNews.org LLC, all rights reserved.