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Legal Jihad: Federal Panel Finds Bias in Ouster of “intifada” Principal

They never stop agitating. The failing Islamic public school in Brooklyn is making news again. A federal commission found "bias" in the forced resignation of Dhabah Almontaser, the jihad loving former principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn. Please see all of my coverage on the Arab school here.

Ibrahim Hooper,
spokesman for CAIR, told the
Minneapolis Star Tribune in a 1993 interview: "
I wouldn't want
to create the impression that I wouldn't like the
government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future. 
But I'm
not going to do anything violent to promote that. I'm going to do it
through
education."

That school should never have opened up to begin with. No taxpayer dollars for Islamic schools. Here are some pointers on Almontaser:

 Almontaser has called
America
a racist country.

· She has said that the U.S. brought the 9/11
attack upon
itself.
· She opposes the War on
Terror.
· She supports numerous radical
organizations,
including the Council for American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR)
, an
unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Trial for terrorist
financing, where
CAIR’s relationship to Hamas, a designated terrorist organization, has
been
repeatedly argued by the prosecution.
· She accepted an annual award from
CAIR in
2005
.
· She is on the board of the Muslim
Consultative
Network, whose members include unindicted co-conspirator CAIR and the
radical
Islamic Circle of North America. The Muslim Consultative Network is a
major
sponsor of the Almontaser Reinstatement Effort.
· Has been a spokesperson for the Muslim
American
Society for a NYC 9/11 event.
· Refused to answer a NY Sun reporter as to
whether
or not Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorist
organizations
· Refused to say that the Intifada was a
Palestinian
terror campaign against innocent Israeli civilians, children, women, and
men.
· Dabah has appointed radical Imams to her
schools Board
of Advisors.

Adam Brodsky wrote in 2008:

Once a school opens, it's hard to reverse decisions. Almontaser's
lawsuit
against Mayor Mike and the city – she cites her First Amendment rights in
claiming she was wrongly forced to quit – shows that.

Folks can debate if Almontaser, a Yemeni-American, is a well-meaning
Muslim
moderate railroaded out of her dream to create "ambassadors of peace and
hope" –
as she, and the Times, insist.

They can weigh the paper's suggestion that she was fired in
large part
because of a Post story, which a judge said "misleadingly" reported her
comments
on the term "intifada."

Nyc_intifada 

The NYC Intifada T-shirt was
produced
and distributed by AWAAM, a group closely affiliated with Almontaser. 
They are
the lead organization supporting her reinstatement. 
Almontaser’s connection to the AWAAM group is not tenuous; she is both a founder and board member of the Yemeni American Association (SABA – YAA), and the AWAAM website (before it was quickly revised after the t-shirt exposé) directed “Contact Us” information to the YAA. The AAFSC, primary sponsors of KGIA, also sponsored the event where the t-shirts were sold.

Or they may decide that anti-Islamist experts like Daniel
Pipes, who labeled
her an "extremist," had her pegged better. And that the Gibran school
really is
"the kind of radicalizing effort it was said to be," as Stephen Schwartz
put it.

That debate might answer
questions like: Why did Almontaser feel compelled to
defend teen girls whose group sported t-shirts with the incendiary words
"Intifada NYC"?
What's with her ties to groups like the
Council on
American-Islamic Relations, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy
Land
terror-funding case with links to Hamas?

The New York Times is reporting that litigation warfare has prevailed.

Federal Panel Finds Bias in Ouster of
Principal
NY Times

A federal commission has determined that New York City’s Department of Education
discriminated
against the founding principal of an Arabic-language
public school by forcing her to resign in 2007 following a storm of
controversy driven by opponents of the school.

Acting on a complaint filed last year by the principal, Debbie
Almontaser
, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that
the department “succumbed to the very bias that creation of the school
was intended to dispel and a small segment of the public succeeded in
imposing its prejudices on D.O.E. as an employer,” according to a letter
issued by the commission on Tuesday.

The commission said that the department had discriminated against Ms.
Almontaser, a Muslim of Yemeni descent, “on account of her race,
religion and national origin.”

The findings, which are nonbinding, could mark a turning point in Ms.
Almontaser’s battle to reclaim her job as principal of the school, the
Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn.

The commission asked the Department of Education to reach a “just
resolution” with Ms. Almontaser and to consider her demands, which
include reinstatement to her old job, back pay, damages of $300,000 and
legal fees. Should the two sides fail to reach an agreement, the dispute
will end up in court, her lawyer said.

Commission officials declined to answer questions about the case, citing
federal confidentiality law, but Ms. Almontaser’s lawyer provided a
copy of the letter to The New York Times.

“There is no question that this is an important step in the road to her
ultimate vindication,” said Alan Levine, Ms. Almontaser’s lawyer. “Up
until now, the D.O.E. has really had its way and hasn’t had to answer
for its actions.”

In a statement, a lawyer for the city disputed the commission’s
findings.

The Department of Education “in no way discriminated against Ms.
Almontaser and she will not be reinstated,” said Paul Marks, the city’s
deputy chief of labor and employment law in the Law Department. “If she
continues to pursue litigation, we will vigorously defend against her
groundless allegations.”

The controversy surrounding the dual-language school began in early
2007, shortly after the city announced that Ms. Almontaser, a longtime teacher, would
lead it
. A group of opponents, including conservative commentators
and a City University trustee, mounted a campaign against the school and
Ms. Almontaser, claiming that she carried a militant Islamic agenda.

Despite Ms. Almontaser’s longstanding reputation as a moderate Muslim,
her critics succeeded in recasting her as a “9/11 denier” and a
“jihadist.”

The conflict came to a head that August, when Ms. Almontaser’s
opponents, who had formed the Stop the Madrassa Coalition, asserted that
she was connected to T-shirts bearing the words “Intifada NYC.” While
Ms. Almontaser was on the board of an organization that rented space to
the group that distributed the shirts, she was unaware of them, she
said. (The commission determined that she had no connection to the
T-shirts.)

Nonetheless, in response to mounting inquiries about the shirts, the
Department of Education pressured her to give an interview to The New
York Post, she said. In that interview, with a department employee
listening in, she explained that the root of the word intifada meant
“shaking off,” but that it had acquired other connotations because of
the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.

The next day, The Post published the article under the headline “City
Principal Is ‘Revolting’ — Tied to ‘Intifada NYC’ Tee Shirts,” stating
that Ms. Almontaser had “downplayed the significance” of the T-shirts.
(Federal judges later issued a ruling — related to a lawsuit brought by
Ms. Almontaser — stating that The Post had reported her words
“incorrectly and misleadingly.”)

It was The Post’s article, the commission wrote in its letter this week,
that prompted the Department of Education to force Ms. Almontaser to
resign. (City officials have said that she resigned voluntarily.)

“Significantly, it was not her actual remarks, but their elaboration by
the reporter — creating waves of explicit anti-Muslim bias from several
extremist sources — that caused D.O.E. to act,” the commission’s letter
said.

Pressure soon mounted for Ms. Almontaser to step down. Randi
Weingarten
, the head of the teacher’s union, published a letter in
The Post that was sharply critical of Ms. Almontaser. She finally resigned on Aug. 10,
under pressure from the mayor’s office, she said. Mayor Michael
R. Bloomberg
announced the resignation on his radio show, saying,
“she’s certainly not a terrorist,” while adding that she was “not all
that media savvy, maybe.”

Ms. Almontaser continued working with the department in an
administrative job, at her principal’s salary of about $120,000,
but
that job was eliminated and she was demoted.

The lawsuit that she filed against the city, claiming that her First
Amendment rights had been violated because she was forced to resign
after saying something controversial, was dismissed. She is appealing
that decision.

A lawyer for the Stop the Madrassa Coalition said he found the
commission’s determination predictable. “I think the E.E.O.C. is
constitutionally constructed to find discrimination in a high-profile
case,”
said the lawyer, David Yerushalmi.

I wonder how the Stop the Madrassa lawsuit filed against Dhabah Almontaser based upon her statements to the
press is going.

UPDATE: The Urban Grind is on it.

The Truth Must be Told

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