Dhabah Almontaser slated principal of Khalil Gibran public school tied to "NYC Intifada T-shirts" and pro terror Al-Awda
August 6, 2007
Almontaser refuses to disavow the "Intifada NYC" t-shirt in the New York Post article.
August 6th, 2007 — stopthemadrassa
Read today's New York Post article on the Khalil Gibran International Academy:"CITY PRINCIPAL IS ‘REVOLTING' TIED TO ‘INTIFADA NYC' SHIRTS."
It features Dhabah Almontaser's views on the "Intifada NYC" t-shirt from the AWAAM organization, which is housed with and sponsored by Almontaser's Yemeni American Association. Here is yet another example of that "Intifada NYC" t-shirt, sold to young girls at the July 2007 Arab Fair:
"City Prinicipal is Revolting"
August 6, 2007 -- Activists with ties to the principal of the city's controversial new Arabic-themed school are hawking T- shirts that glorify Palestinian terror, The Post has learned.
The inflammatory tees boldly declare "Intifada NYC" - apparently a call for a Gaza-style uprising in the Big Apple.
The organization selling the shirts, Arab Women Active in Art and Media, shares office space on Brooklyn's Third Avenue with the Saba Association of American Yemenis.
Dhabah "Debbie" Almontaser, principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy - which is scheduled to open in Brooklyn next month - is a board member and spokeswoman for Saba.
Members of AWAAM refused to comment.
But Almontaser downplayed the sig nificance of the T-shirts.
"The word [intifada] basically means 'shaking off.' That is the root word if you look it up in Arabic," she said.
"I understand it is developing a nega tive connotation due to the uprising in the Palestinian-Israeli areas. I don't be lieve 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."
AWAAM's co-founders, Rama Kased and Mona Eldahry, are also active in the more militant pro-Palestinian group, al-Awda, whose main U.S. office is in California.
That organization, according to the Anti-Defamation League, is an active supporter of the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas.
"The T-shirt is a reflection of a movement that increasingly lauds violence against Israelis instead of rejecting it. That is disturbing," said Oren Segal, a spokesman for the ADL.
Almontaser, a community activist and Muslim, has said the new grade 6-12 public school will be modeled on other dual-language city schools and have no religious component.
But the shirt sales are giving new ammunition to critics who fear Almontaser's school will teach a biased view of Middle Eastern history.
"Intifada is a war. Isn't that what Arafat had?" said Pamela Hall, a Manhattan mom opposed to the academy on the grounds that it violates separation of church and state.
A Department of Education spokeswoman defended Almontaser, saying her link to the T-shirt was tenuous.
August 7, 2007 -- Dhabah "Debbie" Almontaser is to be principal of Khalil Gibran Interna tional Academy, New York City's new Arabic-centered public school, when it opens in the fall.
Either she is a fool or she thinks New Yorkers are morons. Regardless, she has no business running a public school.
Almontaser, as The Post's Chuck Bennett and Jana Winter reported yesterday, sits on the board of an organization that shares office space with a group called Arab Women Active in Art and Media, which has been selling T-shirts proudly proclaiming "Intifada NYC."
What does that mean, exactly?
Is it meant to support the Palestinian intifada, which has killed thousands of innocent people over the years?
Is it an incitement to such deadly violence here in New York City?
Neither, according to Almontaser.
"The word basically means 'shaking off,' " she tells The Post. "That is the root word, if you look it up in Arabic."
And while she says that intifada "is developing a negative connotation" because of its murderous anti-Israeli violence, Almontaser claims the shirts are merely "an opportunity for girls to express that they are part of New York City society . . . and shaking off oppression."
And the moon is made of green cheese.
No doubt, Almontaser is right about the literal definition of "intifada."
But if its generally accepted meaning were as benign as she insists, you can bet no one would be wearing it on a T-shirt.
You can further bet that she knows it.
Now, if Dhabah Almontaser is going to be as disingenuous about something like this, why should New Yorkers believe her claim that "you won't find religious or political indoctrination or anti-Americanism" at her Khalil Gibran school?
Or, if she really doesn't understand the difference, what is she doing with the job in the first place?
We've been leery about the Gibran school from the outset, because it may prove to be more a madrassa than a true public school. But we've kept our counsel because of our high regard for Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.
But if Klein chooses to go ahead with this dubious enterprise, he needs to do it with someone other than Dhabah "Debbie" Almontaser as principal.http://www.nypost.com/seven/08072007/postopinion/editorials/joel_kleins_choice_editorials_.htm