Don't crush that wingnut, hand me the pliers
(No, I have no idea what I mean by that title, either. Sometimes TEH MUSE just strikes me.)
The Kahlil Gibrain school in NYC, which I blogged about back in July, finally opened last week in spite of the efforts of nativists and Atlas Juggs-types to shut it down.
Remarkably, the New York City, and the Republic as a whole, continue to function just fine.
Cursor's Media Patrol featured a couple articles on the school's opening last week, including:
- Bill Donohue of the Catholic League (this guy) is all sour grapes over the existence of the school:
[. . .]the Islamic religious symbol, namely the crescent and star, is permitted in all New York City public schools. However, the Department of Education bars the display of nativity scenes.
[t]he paucity of information about the Association of Muslim American Lawyers, a group that is slated to play an integral role
(which shadowy group has an e-mail link, well, right here)
- Unsurprisingly Daniel Pipes has come out against the 'madrasa', and points to a 1995 article in the Middle East Quarterly which suggests that my "Ebola" theory about Arabic is indeed true - you can't have average people messing around with something so dangerous:
Arabized students show decidedly greater support for the Islamist movement and greater mistrust of the West.
Well, I asked myself, what IS the innocently named "Middle East Quarterly"?
Oh, it's a A publication of the Middle East Forum (MEF) founded by Daniel Pipes. How convenient. Would this article have been published if it didn't draw the conclusion that the Arabic language is inherently linked to Islamist philosophy?
The Board of Editors of the Middle East Quarterly includes Dr. Fouad Ajami, notable cheerleader for the "liberation" of Iraq; Dr. Martin Kramer, who also writes for The National Review and has articles posted at the website of Frontpage Magazine; James Phillips from the Heritage Foundation, who is also a member of the revived Committee on the Present Danger (which group pressed the White House back in the 80's to over-estimate the threat from the Soviet Union, while the Soviet bloc was in fact nearing collapse); and Dr. Khalid Duran, possible originator or at least popularizer of the noxious term "Islamofascism".
- Interesting article at The Jewish Week about the school and the ouster of its former to-be principal Debbie Almontaser (or "Dhabah" Almontaser - not sure if that's her preferred name or just another "LOOK A SCARY ARAB NAME" from the wingnuts), who was being defended by the Anti-Defamation League, of all people, until her "controversial" defense of a T-shirt with the words "Intifada-NYC".
Even AFTER her political incorrectness, the ADL still thought highly of her:
Asked if ADL could still work with her on other projects, the group’s national director Abraham Foxman replied, “Absolutely. She gave herself a body blow making her unacceptable as principal of Khalil Gibran, but she continues to be an important person in interfaith relations. She still has her credentials.”
Oddly enough (or maybe not), this was a controversy that need never have happened, but for a FAUX-esque interview Almontaser gave to the NY Daily News:
According to two sources who spoke to her, Almontaser had been declining media requests for interviews all summer at the Department of Education’s advice. But the department urged her to talk to New York Post reporter Chuck Bennett after he submitted his questions in advance as requested. All of them related directly to the school.
At the very end of the interview, Almontaser told one of these sources, Bennett, without bringing up the t-shirts, asked her almost incidentally what the word “intifada” meant. She consulted an Arabic dictionary and told him:
'The word basically means 'shaking off.' That is the root word if you look it up in Arabic.”
Bennett then told her about the t-shirts, adding that they were produced by a group that shares space with another group on whose board she sits. She replied: 'I understand it is developing a negative connotation due to the uprising in the Palestinian-Israeli areas. I don't believe the intention is to have any of that kind of [violence] in New York City. I think it's pretty much an opportunity for girls to express that they are part of New York City society . . . and shaking off oppression.'
Notice she had nothing to do with the production or distribution of the shirts. If it hadn't been for the interviewer's "GOTCHA!" question at the very end of the interview, nobody would have associated the two.
The article also features more of Daniel "The Only Good Arab is One Speaking English" Pipes' views on the inherent threat of Muslims in the U.S.:
“I believe such a school requires scrutiny beyond that of any other group’s school, he said. “It fits into a larger pattern in which Muslim officials require greater scrutiny, whether they be chaplains [or] law enforcement officers. There is a tendency to sympathize with Islamism that we ignore at our peril. ... When law enforcement is looking for a rapist, it looks at men, not men and women. If you’re looking for terrorism you must give special scrutiny to this community.”
Yeah, ETA, FARC, IRA, Tamil Tigers, Michigan Militia, Aum Shinrikyo, Front de libération du Québec, the Red Army, ANC... I guess they were/are all secretly Muslim! Who knew?