By Beila Rabinowitz and William Mayer
May 17, 2007 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - During the height of the Danish cartoon controversy imam Khalid Latif - an advisory board member of New Yorks proposed Khalil Gibran school [and chaplain at NYU, NYPD and Rutgers university] - protested a NYU student groups intent to display the drawings by drafting an incendiary letter to universitys president John Sexton which contained veiled threats of violence.
"Dear President Sexton,
I hope all is well with you
I am writing to you in regards to an event that is scheduled to take place next Wednesday at New York University. This event is being sponsored by the Objectivist Club, an OSA club, and its purpose is to analyze the issue of free speech with an emphasis put on a series of cartoons recently published in a Danish newspaper that depicted the Prophet Muhammad , peace be upon him, and Islam in a highly offensive manner. These cartoons have lead to riots, protests, beatings, and even deaths on an international level and now the idea is being discussed whether or not they should be displayed at NYU at the aforementioned event...As such, I am asking you to not allow these cartoons to be displayed in any shape or form. The event itself and the topic that the students would like to discuss is not problematic in any way, but the pictures themselves are just hatred and there is really no justification in preaching something that breeds that kind of hate. One of the images shows what the author claims to be a rendering of the Prophet Muhammad wearing a turban that is shaped like a bomb, making it seem as if Islam is a religion that can be equated to terrorism. If ideas like that are not enough to keep these images from being displayed, the potential of what might happen after they are shown is something else that should be considered and not taken lightly.
As Chaplain for the Muslim community at NYU, my primary concern would be for those undergrads, grad students, faculty, staff, and admins who are Muslim and what kind of state displaying these cartoons would leave them in...
Aside from that, the repercussions that would take place outside of the university setting are potentially huge. All over the world Muslims have been coming together over this issue and in New York they would not hesitate in doing the same thing. New York itself is also one of the most metropolitan cities in the world and media attention that would be acquired would not limit itself to the city, but could go across the nation and even around the world as it already has with issues pertaining to these cartoons. NYU has facilities all over the world and Muslims also live all over the world. At that point in time no one will be thinking about the objectivist club that is an OSA organization made up of ten or twenty students. Rather, at that time all people will be thinking about is New York University and the decision it made. That decision however has not been made yet and I pray that, God-willing, when it is made, it will be the best one.
If there was ever a time to stand up for anyone, the time would be now. Racism that exists in any kind of form, against any people is never justified and these images are racist in nature, specifically against the Muslim community. Together we should stand up not just for our sake and for the sake of those around us, but also for the sake of our prophet alayhi salaam. Be you brown, black, yellow, or white, Allah has given us all the oppurtunity to protect the image of His most beloved, and it is upon us as individuals to decide how we respond. As i mentioned to president sexton, i mention to you all as well: I pray that inshallah all of our responses, when made, are the best ones.
Should you have any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to contact me at the information below.
wassalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah
Khalid Latif" [source http://tajdeed-list.net/pipermail/activists_tajdeed-list.net/2006-March/000055.html]
The circulating list also contained an endorsement of Latif's actions by Yvonne Ridley a Muslim convert who is active in left-wing UK politics and has distinguished herself as a vile anti-Semite as well as being a supporter of suicide bombing.
I did tell the students that I would try and rally support overseas so let's show the NYU administration that if they mess with our brothers and sisters in New York they mess with all of us. The following is a letter that has already been sent to President Sexton earlier by the imam of the Islamic centre.
Your sister in Islam
Yvonne Ridley"[source http://tajdeed-list.net/pipermail/activists_tajdeed-list.net/2006-March/000055.html
Latifs reference, All over the world Muslims have been coming together over this issue" could not be wasted on those familiar with the world-wide response of Muslim fundamentalists to the publishing of the cartoons - since the resultant riots which claimed dozens of lives were given prominence in the international media.
It is clear that Latif was threatening a similar response at NYU if the cartoons were displayed.
Latifs Islamist intimidation eventually won the day, with NYU crushing academic free speech in the process, banning the display of the cartoons under the guise of "security dictates."
The decision was criticized by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education [FIRE], The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is urging NYUs president to reverse course and stand up for freedom of speech." [source http://www.thefire.org/index.php/article/6930.html]
Latif's presence on the Khalil Gibran School advisory board will give him yet another platform from which to advance his fundamentalist views - only this time within the public school system.
Of note, Latif also sits on the board of the Muslim Consultative Network [MCN] which is run by Adem Carroll of the Islamic Circle of North America. [source http://www.mcnny.org/images/board.jpg]
ICNA is tied to the terrorist groups al-Qaeda, Hamas and Jamaat-e-Islamia.
Just this week counter terrorism expert Joe Kaufman published an article about ICNA entitled, "Helping hand to Hamas" in which he noted, "When ICNA was created, it was to act as the American counterpart to the Muslim Brotherhood of Pakistan, Jamaat-e-Islamia (JI)."
Not coincidentally KGIA principal designate Dhabah [Debbie] Almontaser) is also a MCN board member as is KGIA advisory board member Imam Talib Abdul-Rashid aka Imam Al Hajj.
Imam Latif's threat, that display of a cartoon at NYU would justify violence to be unleashed against the university, brings to mind the recent high profile case of Fouad Elbayly the imam of the Islamic Center of Johnstown who attempted to halt the appearance of an Islam critic on the University of Pittsburgh campus while calling for the death of apostates. Elbayly threatened in a similar manner, "I'm trying to control my people here...I don't want them to get hot and cause trouble."
Fortunately, two weeks ago Elbayly was forced to resign as a result of the controversy generated by his remarks. [source Imam Fouad Elbayly, Who Called For Death To Apostates Resigns From The Islamic Center of Johnstown, https://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=ali51007%2Ehtm]
Moreover this kind of behavior demonstrates in a very concrete manner the lack of respect the Islamists who are supporting KGIA have for the U.S. Bill of Rights, starting with the First Amendment, and the presence of Khalid Latif's presence on the Khalil Gibran Advisory Board is yet more proof of the radical Islamist nature of those associated with the school.
In a previous article on the subject of KGIA's ideological framework the writers demanded that Chancellor Joel Klein keep his promise and shut the school down because it intends to indoctrinate not educate [source https://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=jihadschool5707.htm]
New York DOE Chancellor Joel Klein knows that any attempt to shut down KGIA after it is an established fact will be virtually impossible.
Such efforts would inevitably be seized upon as a cause célèbre and countered with lawsuits claiming violations of free speech and bigotry. Therefore it is incumbent upon Mr. Klein to exercise his judgment now and keep his promise - "If the school becomes a political school with a political agenda - then you're absolutely right. I won't tolerate that" because the evidence demonstrating the pernicious nature of Khalil Gibran mounts with each passing day.
Concerned citizens should call the office of the Chancellor and demand that the KGIA plan be halted immediately as a threat to the public educational system and national security.
To express your concerns about this planned Arabic school, please write the New York City chancellor, Joel Klein, at JKlein@schools.nyc.gov.
©1999-2007 Beila Rabinowitz, William Mayer, PipeLineNews.org LLC, all rights reserved.