NYC Public School Madrassa a Failure, Middle School set to Close due to Violence, Expulsions, Low Enrollment


StopthemadrssaPhoto courtesy of Pamela Hall


Yes, we were right. Again.

The first public school madrassa in Brooklyn is an abject failure. They are closing the middle school because of the low enrollment and perhaps the worst violence of any of the city schools. Last year I reported that the school was forced to suspend more than one-third of its student body for infractions ranging from hitting to weapons.

In March of 2010:

“Every day, they’re fighting,” said Voneeda Black, who nervously sends her 6-year-old to the elementary school with which Gibran shares a building.

“You don’t see parents,” she said. “Three or four times a week, there are cops here, if not more.”

It may be the worst record in the city.

So I think it appropriate to take a hard look at Gibran — a school founded on the flawed notion that segregating Arabists will lead to harmony.

Since it opened, the tiny school on the edge of DUMBO has had one of the city’s highest rates of violence. A teacher was taunted by kids as a “terrorist” in 2008. It’s gotten steadily worse.

More than a third — one in three! — of Gibran’s 114 students, grades six through eight, have been suspended this year, according to the Department of Education.

Twenty-two were yanked from school for five days. Eight kids were considered so rowdy or dangerous, they were banned from class six to 10 days.

Nineteen fights led to student injuries or intimidation. In two other cases, weapons were used. This number has climbed from last year’s 17 violent incidents and 26 suspensions.

So they are closing the middle school and reopening as a  a high school (!). Why is beyond me — just close this publicly funded madrassa.And you'll notice in the reportage the violence and school failure is never mentioned.

Join me — we have been fighting this madrassa, the Khalil Gibran International Academy, February 2007. August 2007: NY PUBLIC SCHOOL MADRASSA IMAM: “Jihad is our way, And death in the way of Allah is our promised end”

Write, call, email Michael Doomberg, mayor of New York and urge him to close this dangerous, violent school.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
PHONE 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside NYC)
FAX (212) 312-0700

Even the name of the school  is controversial — Eblan Farris  one of the Founders of The Friends of Gibran Counci is also a founding member of the United States Chapter of the World Council of the Cedars Revolution, which has as its main goal the freedom, democracy and independence of Lebanon, has stated emphatically that the Khalil Gibran name not be used for the madrassa.

City's First Arab-Language School Set For Changes NY 1

The city is making a big change to a controversial Arabic-themed school in Brooklyn.

The Department of Education says it is changing the Khalil Gibran Academy in Brooklyn from a middle school to a high school.

Under its proposal, the school would stop enrolling sixth grade students at the end of this school year, until it phases out the last class of eighth-grade students in 2013.

According to the DOE, the decision was made based on the fact that the school had difficulty recruiting and maintaining middle school students.

The Panel for Educational Policy will vote on this proposal next month.

In a separate proposal, the DOE also says the school would be moved to another building for the 2012-2013 school year. It would join Metropolitan Corporate Academy High School and the Brooklyn School for Career Development.

Founded in 2007, Khalil Gibran is the first dual-language school in the city to focus on Arab language and culture. While there are 70 dual-language schools in the city, Khalil Gibran was met with plenty of opposition when it was announced.

The school was most notably in the spotlight after Deborah Almontase, its founding principal, resigned under pressure from the school over criticism that she had a militant Islamic agenda.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in Almontaser's favor, but the DOE maintained it would not reinstate her.

the photo that exposed Almontaser and her militant ties and forced her resignation:


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.



· 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.
Background on organizations partnering with KGIA
1. The American Muslim Association of Lawyers (AMAL) offers internships, and helps with a course in human rights (in 6th grade…) (P. 7, p. 18). The AMAL website appears to be inactive (http://www.theamal.org/index.shtml) but the group (or at least their website) was founded by Omar Mohammedi, President of the New York Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), and lawyer for the infamous “6 imams” who have threatened to sue airline personnel and passengers for “profiling.” CAIR is currently under investigation in the Holy Land Terror-financing trial, as an unindicted co-conspirator.
2. The American Mideast Leadership Network will participate with the school as an important partner (pages 16-18). According to the Executive Summary, the AMLN will provide trips to “ stabilized” Middle Eastern countries, create internships, provide an after-school leadership program and provide intensive language opportunities. According to our research, they may do all this while acting as Hezbollah apologists, if their leader’s statements are representative. On July 31, 2006 Rami Nuseir, the President of the AMLN, stated on CNN that:
“A lot of people look at Hezbollah as a social service agency that provides a lot of help for the Lebanese people. And that’s where the sympathy comes from.”
3A main partner listed in the Executive Summary, the Columbia University Teachers College Department of International and Transcultural Studies teacher training in fact teaches about one religion and one only – Islam. KGIA only recognizes the teaching of a single religion in this ostensibly public school (page 8):
4. Arab Culture will be taught, however no where is there mention of Sephardic Jews, Ba hai’s, Coptic Christians, Druze, Lebanese Christians, or any other Arab culture except Islamic culture.
6. The DOE website for the KGIA lists as its first  partner the Arab-American Ant-Discrimination Committee. Its founder and President is none other than the former Democratic Senator James Abourezk who recently appeared on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar Television. Al-Manar is banned in the U.S. because Hezbollah is designated by the government as a terrorist organization. Azbourezk stated that the Arabs involved in 9/11 co-operated with Zionists, the Israel Lobby controls the U.S. Congress, Hamas and Hezbollah are “resistance” fighters, not terrorist organizations! Lastly Abourezk said that all Americans are racist.
Note that the ADC website provides biased educational instruction and curricula for middle and high schools and is overtly Islamic in its ideology. Not only is the ADC the first name on KGIA’s DOE website as the main partnering organization, this name was the first on the petition to reinstate Dhabah Almontaser as Principal.
7. The Arabic-American Family Suport Center located in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn is another key partner working with KGIA. Their website links to the Council on Islamic Education’s lesson plans. Why are NYC public school students being taught the nuances of Jihad?

· Define Jihad in its literal and applied meanings, as a principal and as an institution.

·  Describe legitimate conduct of war according to Islamic Law.
· Differentiate between rebellion and terrorism according to Muslim jurists.
This is what middle school children will be learning in a public school. The Executive Summary specifically states that the school will teach Islam and there were teacher training retreats held this past summer so that all teachers would be on the same wavelength.

As for school performance? It''s an abject failure.

KGIA, enthusiastically supported by, among others, convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal, former Weather Underground leader and bombing justifier William Ayers, former SDS and Communist Party organizer Michael Klonsky, and Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party (created by the late Nation of Islam racist Khalid Muhammed), and a local imam who proudly posted the Muslim Brotherhood slogan and symbol on his website, has been the focus of numerous media reports, including one published in today’s New York Times by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Andrea Elliott.

Ms. Elliott reports that shorly after KGIA’s opening day, “Chaos soon erupted inside. Students cut classes and got into fights with little consequence, said staff members, parents and students. At least 12 of the 60 students showed signs of behavioral problems or learning disabilities, said Leslie Kahn, a licensed social worker and counselor who was employed at the school until January. (Education Department officials, who denied repeated requests by The Times to visit the school, said there are currently six special-needs students there.)
“ ‘Something is flying through the air, every class, every day,’ Sean R. Grogan, a science teacher at the school, said in an interview. ‘Kids bang on the partitions, yell and scream, curse and swear. It’s out of control.’ The New York Times account continues, “Physical altercations are frequent, Mr. Grogan and others said, with Arab students and teachers the target of ethnic slurs. “I just don’t feel safe,” said an Arab-American student, 11, who will not return to the school next year.


Stop the Madrassa also is speaking out about the relationship between KGIA’s founding principal, Ms. Almontaser, and a deeply troubling “community statement” that was recently addressed to New York City Policy Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

According to journalist and author Stephen Suleiman Schwartz, who is executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, on November 23, 2007, in response to the above-mentioned community statement, a statement was issued “in the name of the ‘Muslim community,’ ” protesting the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) release last year of its vital report on terrorism. Among other demands, the community statement called on the NYPD to stop distributing the report to other jurisdictions’ law enforcement agencies, and, as Schwartz put it, “arrogated to themselves the right to decide what the city’s police should do in response to the challenge of radical Islam. “
Schwartz, writing in The Weekly Standard, also reports that in a March 3, 2008 meeting in New York, CAIR officials Faiza Ali, Aliya Latif, and Omar Mohammadi “were joined by Islamist agitator Syed Z. Sayeed, religious adviser to the Saudi-backed Muslim Students Association at Columbia University . They noted that the NYPD had asked for a detailed reply to the report. The participants at the March 3 get-together also observed that while they would prepare such a response, CAIR itself has financed and is working on a more thorough text designated its ‘long-term analysis/alternative model of radicalization.’ “
Almontaser was also, as Schwartz reports, involved in CAIR’s counter-attack against the NYPD as evidenced by that fact that her “assignment in dealing with NYPD was to organize an online discussion group for input into the Community Statement.”
Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition notes Mr. Schwartz’s assessment that “…Almontaser should quit her masquerade as a moderate and her non-Muslim enablers should end their naïve defense of her alleged mainstream outlook. “ The coalition further points out that Ms. Almontaser has been a financial supporter of controversial Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, and adds that the time is long overdue for a full city and state investigation into the creation of KGIA and the possible role of Islamist organizations in any aspect of the school’s establishment or operation.

Read it all.

And there was this incredible admission  from a teacher made in the comment section of the article:

As a teacher at KGIA I have to say things have barely improved since Holly Reichert's appointment. This week alone we have 6 students out on Suspension, one for carrying a knife to school. We have a teacher on a medical leave of absence after a student threatened to beat her, this caused her blood pressure to spike to a very unhealthy level.


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