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CAIR's plans for KGIA :The Islamists long term indoctrination and cultural jihad strategy

August 28, 2007

MIM: Dr.Daniel Pipes on the KGIA CAIR connection:

" A transcript of the Aug. 13 meeting at Brooklyn's Islamic Center of Bay Ridge in support of Almontaser includes a woman from CAIR announcing that "at our office too we've been talking about this all day," meaning the Almontaser resignation. No surprise, as this has been CAIR's baby from the start."

CAIR's Plans For KGIA

The Islamists' long term indoctrination strategy

By William Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz

August 23, 2007 - San Francisco, CA - - Indicative of the extent to which Islamist groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations, CAIR desire access to public schools, a Front Page Magazine article dated today outlines two Ohio public charter schools which have come under its influence.

Set within Columbus, Ohio's Somali immigrant community, these two charter schools, International Academy of Columbus and Westside Academy are establishing a template which finds CAIR's virulent ideology supplanting traditional pedagogy, with FPM author Patrick Poole stating that the schools:

"..are sponsored under an Ohio Department of Education contract with the Buckeye Community Hope Foundation and operated by a politically-connected group of Islamic extremists associated with both the national and Ohio chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). At least one of the taxpayer-financed schools has been used during the last school year to play host to an anti-Israel CAIR-OH "teach-in"ůSadly, these refugees have arrived only to find the warlords and clan leaders in charge of the very public and private institutions here in the US intended to help them resettle and adjust to life in their new home..." [source "CAIR Goes Back To School,"]

As we have previously written, a similar takeover is occurring at the Khalil Gibran International Academy, a proposed Arabic school set to open in Brooklyn in September.

In a document obtained as part of a Freedom of Information lawsuit against the NY Dept of Education, KGIA's Executive Summary makes it clear that CAIR has already insinuated itself into the curricula, via internships offered by AMAL, a group of Muslim attorneys which is affiliated with NY CAIR's executive direction Omar Mohammedi, to the degree that Mohammedi owns the AMAL website domain.

"Students will also participate in community service projects in which they can put what they have learned into practice. Our community partners will support leadership development. The American Muslim Association of Lawyers and the Salaam Club will offer internships in offices and law firms" [pg. 7, KGIA Executive Summary].

With KGIA's former principal Almontaser now gone from day-to-day operations at the school, AWAAM, Arab Women Active in the Arts and Media has stepped into the breach.

Since AWAAM's sale of "Intifada NYC" t-shirts and Almontaser's series of duplicitous responses to it was in large part responsible for her hasty retreat it's surprising that they would take such a prominent public role in pushing the school. This fact is made even more incongruous considering that AWAAM has not only failed to back-off its placing of the offensive garments for sale, they are now firmly on record as fully supportive of the Palestinian Intifada terror campaign, justifying it in the below open letter to UFT teacher's union president Randi Weingarten.

"Aside from everything else that points to the racist nature of this whole incident, do you not know that in most parts of the world, the word intifada connotes resistance to an unethical and illegal and brutal occupation? It is not the word intifada that promotes violence or that should be denounced; rather, what should be denounced is an occupation that promotes violence and that made the intifada necessary." [source]

Motivated by this belligerency, AWAAM organized a major rally held on September 19, designed as a PR kick-off, attempting to right the severely listing KGIA proposal, with the NY CAIR chapter serving as a prominent sponsor of the event [source, CAIR-NY Urges Support for Arabic Language School,].

Where is the DOE on this matter, are concerned citizens to make what seems to be the reasonable assumption that Chancellor Klein and Mayor Bloomberg approves of these groups taking an active role in the day-today affairs of the school?

These two Islamist players have thrust themselves into a high leadership capacity for one reason, because they want to wield influence upon the process, further Islamizing KGIA's pathway.

This now overt meddling by CAIR and an unapologetic AWAAM can only serve to add to the growing public perception that the proposed Arab school is a manifestly bad idea.

In large measure the efforts by these groups represents a peek into a plan geared towards an incremental encroachment of shari'a into public education, one that mirrors the above outlined activities of CAIR in Columbus, Ohio.

The introduction of shari'a as part of a stealth curriculum in the public school system during the years where children are most impressionable is the penultimate goal of the Islamists. Since public education in West has traditionally been organized around the idea that it should inculcate children into a reasonable model of a civil society, which in the United States includes instilling a high regard for the principles set forth in the Constitution, employing the KGIA model would represent a catastrophic departure from a governing principle that is culturally and ethically compelling.

Seen in that light, CAIR's behind the scene power grab is even more ominous.


MIM: Jihad explained - by Islam 101

In the linguistic sense, the Arabic word "jihad" means struggling or striving and applies to any effort exerted by anyone. In this sense, a student struggles and strives to get an education and pass course work; an employee strives to fulfill his/her job and maintain good relations with his/her employer; a politician strives to maintain or increase his popularity with his constituents and so on. The term strive or struggle may be used for/by Muslims as well as non-Muslims; for example, Allah, the One and Only True God says in the Qur'an:

"We have enjoined on people kindness to parents; but if they STRIVE (JAHADAKA) to make you ascribe partners with Me that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not..." (29:8; also see 31:15)

In the above two verses of the Qur'an , it is non-Muslim parents who strive (jahadaka) to convert their Muslim child back to their religion. In the West, "jihad" is generally translated as "holy war," a usage the media has popularized. According to Islamic teachings, it is UNHOLY to instigate or start war; however, some wars are inevitable and justifiable. If we translate the words "holy war" back into Arabic, we find "harbun muqaddasatu," or for "the holy war," "al-harbu al-muqaddasatu." WE CHALLENGE any researcher or scholar to find the meaning of "jihad" as holy war in the Qur'an or authentic Hadith collections or in early Islamic literature. Unfortunately, some Muslim writers and translators of the Qur'an, the Hadith and other Islamic literature translate the term "jihad" as "holy war," due to the influence of centuries-old Western propaganda. This could be a reflection of the Christian use of the term "Holy War" to refer to the Crusades of a thousand years ago. However, the Arabic words for "war" are "harb" or "qital," which are found in the Qur'an and Hadith.

For Muslims the term JIHAD is applied to all forms of STRIVING and has developed some special meanings over time. The sources of this development are the Qur'an (the Word of God revealed to Prophet Muhammad (S) [(S) denotes Sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam, meaning peace and blessings of Allah be upon him]. The Qur'an and the Hadith use the word "jihad" in several different contexts which are given below:


It is human nature to love what is seen with the eyes and felt with the senses more than the UNSEEN REALITY. The Creator of the Universe and the One God is Allah. He is the Unseen Reality which we tend to ignore and not recognize. The Qur'an addresses those who claim to be believers:

"O you who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your brethren for protectors if they love disbelief over belief; whoever of you takes them for protectors, such are wrong-doers. Say: if your fathers, and your children, and your brethren, and your spouses, and your tribe, and the wealth you have acquired, and business for which you fear shrinkage, and houses you are pleased with are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and STRIVING in His way: then wait till Allah brings His command to pass. Allah does not guide disobedient folk." (9:23, 24)

It is indeed a struggle to put Allah ahead of our loved ones, our wealth, our worldly ambitions and our own lives. Especially for a non-Muslim who embraces Islam, it may be a tough struggle due to the opposition of his family, peers and society.


Once a person has made up his mind to put the Creator of the Universe above all else, he often comes under intense pressures. It is not easy to resist such pressures and STRIVE to maintain dedication and love of Allah over all else. A person who has turned to Islam from another religion may be subjected to pressures designed to turn him back to the religion of the family. We read in the Qur'an:

"So obey not the rejecters of faith, but strive (jahidhum) against them by it (the Qur'an) with a great endeavor." (25:52)


Allah says in the Qur'an: "And STRIVE (JADIHU) for Allah with the endeavor (JIHADIHI) which is His right. He has chosen you and has not laid upon you in the DEEN (religion) any hardship..." (22:78) "And whosoever STRIVES (JAHADA), STRIVES (YUJAHIDU) only for himself, for lo! Allah is altogether independent of the universe." (29:6)

As for those who strive and struggle to live as true Muslims whose lives are made difficult due to persecution by their opponents, they are advised to migrate to a more peaceful and tolerant land and continue with their struggle in the cause of Allah. Allah says in the Qur'an:

"Lo! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they wronged themselves, (the angels) will ask: 'In what you were engaged?' They will way: 'We were oppressed in the land.' (The angels) will say: 'Was not Allah's earth spacious that you could have migrated therein?'" (4:97) "Lo! Those who believe, and those who emigrate (to escape persecution) and STRIVE (JAHADU) in the way of Allah, these have hope of Allah's mercy..." (2:218)

Allah tests the believers in their faith and their steadfastness:

"Or did you think that you would enter Paradise while yet Allah knows not those of you who really STRIVE (JAHADU), nor knows those (of you) who are steadfast." (3:142) "And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and fruits; but give tidings to the steadfast." (2:155)

We find that the Prophet Muhammad (S) and his clan were boycotted socially and economically for three years to force him to stop his message and compromise with the pagans but he resisted and realized a moral victory (2).


Allah declares in the Qur'an:

"As for those who STRIVE (JAHADU) in Us (the cause of Allah), We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good doers." (29:69)

When we are faced with two competing interests, it becomes jihad to choose the right one, as the following Hadith exemplify: "Aisha, wife of the Prophet (S) asked, 'O Messenger of Allah, we see jihad as the best of deeds, so shouldn't we join it?' He replied, 'But the best of jihad is a perfect Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah).'" (Sahih Al-Bukhari #2784) At another occasion, a man asked the Prophet Muhammad (S): "'Should I join the jihad?' He asked, 'Do you have parents?' The man said, 'Yes!' The Prophet (S) said, 'Then strive by serving them!'" (Sahih Al-Bukhari #5972) Yet another man asked the Messenger of Allah (S): "'What kind of jihad is better?' He replied, 'A word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler!'" (Sunan Al-Nasa'i #4209) The Messenger of Allah (S) said: "...the MUJAHID (one who carries out jihad) is he who STRIVES against himself for the sake of Allah, and the MUHAJIR (one who emigrates) is he who abandons evil deeds and sin." (Sahih Ibn Hibban #4862)


The Qur'an narrates the experiences of a large number of Prophets and good people who suffered a great deal trying to convey the message of Allah to mankind. For examples, see the Qur'an 26:1-190, 36:13-32. In the Qur'an, Allah specifically praises those who strive to convey His message: "Who is better in speech than one who calls (other people) to Allah, works righteous, and declares that he is from the Muslims." (41:33) Under adverse conditions it takes great courage to remain a Muslim, declare oneself to be a Muslim and call others to Islam. We read in the Qur'an:

"The (true) believers are only those who believe in Allah and his messenger and afterward doubt not, but STRIVE with their wealth and their selves for the cause of Allah. Such are the truthful." (49:15)


Allah declares in the Qur'an:

"To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to defend themselves), because they are wronged - and verily, Allah is Most Powerful to give them victory - (they are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right - (for no cause) except that they say, 'Our Lord is Allah'..." (22:39-40)

The Qur'an permits fighting to defend the religion of Islam and the Muslims. This permission includes fighting in self-defense and for the protection of family and property. The early Muslims fought many battles against their enemies under the leadership of the Prophet Muhammad (S) or his representatives. For example, when the pagans of Quraysh brought armies against Prophet Muhammad (S), the Muslims fought to defend their faith and community (3). The Qur'an adds:

"Fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress limits. Lo! Allah loves not aggressors. ...And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against transgressors." (2:190, 193)


In the late period of the Prophet Muhammad's (S) life, the tribe of Banu Khuza'ah became his ally. They were living near Makkah which was under the rule of the pagan Quraysh, Prophet Muhammad's (S) own tribe. The tribe of Banu Bakr, an ally of Quraysh, with the help of some elements of Quraysh, attacked Banu Khuza'ah invoked the treaty and demanded Prophet Muhammad (S) to come to their help and punish Quraysh. The Prophet Muhammad (S) organized a campaign against Quraysh of Makkah which resulted in the conquest of Makkah which occurred without any battle (4).


Allah orders the Muslims in the Qur'an: "If you fear treachery from any group, throw back (their treaty) to them, (so as to be) on equal terms. Lo! Allah loves not the treacherous." (8:58) Prophet Muhammad (S) undertook a number of armed campaigns to remove treacherous people from power and their lodgings. He had entered into pacts with several tribes, however, some of them proved themselves treacherous. Prophet Muhammad (S) launched armed campaigns against these tribes, defeated and exiled them from Medina and its surroundings (5).


Indeed, it is difficult to mobilize people to fight when they see no invaders in their territory; however, those who are charged with responsibility see dangers ahead of time and must provide leadership. The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (S), had the responsibility to protect his people and the religion he established in Arabia. Whenever he received intelligence reports about enemies gathering near his borders he carried out preemptive strikes, broke their power and dispersed them (6). Allah ordered Muslims in the Qur'an: "Fighting is prescribed upon you, and you dislike it. But it may happen that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that you love a thing which is bad for you. And Allah knows and you know not." (2:216)


Allah declares in the Qur'an:

"They ask you (Muhammad) concerning fighting in the Sacred Month. Say, 'Fighting therein is a grave (offense) but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its inhabitants. Persecution is worse than killing. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith, if they can..." (2:217) "And those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, (are not cowed but) fight back." (42:39)

To gain this freedom, Prophet Muhammad (S) said: "STRIVE (JAHIDU) against the disbelievers with your hands and tongues." (Sahih Ibn Hibban #4708) The life of the Prophet Muhammad (S) was full of STRIVING to gain the freedom to inform and convey the message of Islam. During his stay in Makkah he used non-violent methods and after the establishment of his government in Madinah, by the permission of Allah, he used armed struggle against his enemies whenever he found it inevitable.


Allah admonishes Muslims in the Qur'an:

"And why should you not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? - Men, women, and children, whose cry is: 'Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You, one who will protect; and raise for us from You, one who will help.'" (4:75)

The mission of the Prophet Muhammad (S) was to free people from tyranny and exploitation by oppressive systems. Once free, individuals in the society were then free to chose Islam or not. Prophet Muhammad's (S) successors continued in his footsteps and went to help oppressed people. For example, after the repeated call by the oppressed people of Spain to the Muslims for help, Spain was liberated by Muslim forces and the tyrant rulers removed. After the conquest of Syria and Iraq by the Muslims, the Christian population of Hims reportedly said to the Muslims: "We like your rule and justice far better than the state of oppression and tyranny under which we have been living." (7) The defeated rulers of Syria were Roman Christians, and Iraq was ruled by Zoarastrian Persians.


Muslims should remove tyranny, treachery, bigotry, and ignorance and replace them with justice and equity. We should provide truthful knowledge and free people from the bondage of 'associationism' (SHIRK, or multiple gods), prejudice, superstition and mythology. Muslims remove immorality, fear, crime, exploitation and replace them with divine morality, peace and education. The Qur'an declares:

"Lo! Allah commands you that you restore deposits to their owners, and if you judge between mankind that you judge justly. Lo! It is proper that Allah admonishes you. Lo! Allah is ever Hearer, Seer." (4:58)

"O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah's witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to Piety and fear Allah. And Allah is well acquainted with all that you do." (5:8)

"And of those whom We have created there is a nation who guides with the Truth and establishes justice with it." (7:181)

"Lo! Allah enjoins justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbids lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorts you in order that you may take heed." (16:90)

"Those who, if We give them power in the land, establish prescribed prayers (SALAH) and pay the poor-due (ZAKAH) and enjoin right conduct and forbid evil. And with Allah rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs." (22:41)


The unequivocal and emphatic answer is NO! The Qur'an declares:

"Let there be no compulsion (or coercion) in the religion (Islam). The right direction is distinctly clear from error." (2:256)

Here is a good study of the question of the spread of Islam by a Christian missionary, T. W. Arnold: "...of any organized attempt to force the acceptance of Islam on the non-Muslim population, or of any systematic persecution intended to stamp out the Christian religion, we hear nothing. Had the caliphs chosen to adopt either course of action, they might have swept away Christianity as easily as Ferdinand and Isabella drove Islam out of Spain, or Louis XIV made Protestantism penal in France, or the Jews were kept out of England for 350 years. The Eastern Churches in Asia were entirely cut off from communion with the rest of Christiandom throughout which no one would have been found to lift a finger on their behalf, as heretical communions. So that the very survival of these Churches to the present day is a strong proof of the generally tolerant attitude of Mohammedan [sic] governments towards them" (8). Islam does not teach, nor do Muslims desire, conversion of any people for fear, greed, marriage or any other form of coercion. In conclusion, jihad in Islam is STRIVING IN THE WAY OF ALLAH by pen, tongue, hand, media and, if inevitable, with arms. However, jihad in Islam does not include striving for individual or national power, dominance, glory, wealth, prestige or pride.

-- M. Amir Ali, Ph.D.


1. For the sake of simplicity and easy reading, masculine pronouns have been used throughout this brochure. No exclusion of females is intended.

2. Haykal, M. H., THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD, Tr. Ismail R. Faruqi, American Trust Publications, 1976, p. 132.

3. Haykal, pp. 216, 242, 299 and 414 for the Battles of Badr, Uhud, Al-Khandaq and Hunayn, respectively.

4. Haykal, p. 395 for the conquest of Makkah.

5. Haykal, pp. 245, 277, 311 and 326 for campaigns against the tribes of Banu Qaynuqa', Banu Al-Nadir, Banu Qurayzah and Banu Lihyan, respectively. Also, see p. 283 for the Battle of Dhat Al-Riqa'.

6. Haykal, pp. 284, 327, 366, 387, 393, 443 and 515 for the Battles of Dawmat Al-Jandal, Banu Al-Mustaliq, Khayber, Mu'tah, Dhat Al-Salasil, Tabuk and the Campaign of Usama Ibn Zayd, respectively.

7. Hitti, Philip K., HISTORY OF THE ARABS, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1970, p. 153.

8. Arnold, Sir Thomas W. THE PREACHING OF ISLAM, A HISTORY OF THE PROPAGATION OF THE MUSLIM FAITH, Westminister A. Constable & Co., London, 1896, p. 80.

For more information, please contact: The Institute of Islamic Information and Education 4390 North Elston Avenue Chicago, Illinois, 60641-2146 Tel. (312) 777-7443 Fax (312) 777-7199


ERIC Identifier: ED429144
Publication Date: 1999-03-00
Author: Schwartz, Wendy
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education New York NY.

Arab American Students in Public Schools. ERIC Digest, Number 142.

Arab Americans in U.S. schools represent more than 20 countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa. They share many similarities with other immigrant groups seeking to establish an ethnic identity in a heterogeneous country, but they also face additional challenges. These result especially from negative stereotyping; racism and discrimination; widespread misinformation about their history and culture; and, for the majority who are Muslim, the need to find ways to practice their religion in a predominantly Judeo-Christian country (Jackson, 1995).

Some Muslim Arab American parents send their children to private Muslim schools so they can receive an education consonant with the family's religious beliefs, but most opt for public schools (Zehr, 1999). As the number of Arab American students in public schools has increased, so has the array of strategies and materials for successfully integrating them. Still, many schools have not yet acknowledged Arab culture and history or counteracted Arab stereotyping (Suleiman, 1996). This digest reviews the resources available to provide Arab Americans with a supportive school environment and all students with an accurate and unbiased education on the Middle East.


School policies and practices largely determine how welcome Arab American students feel. Schools can:

*Represent the Middle East, Arabs, and Muslims accurately, completely, and fairly in the curriculum and school activities.

*Ensure that Arab American students are treated equitably and without prejudice by teachers and peers, and that teachers respond to incidences of racism and discrimination strongly and quickly, with attention to both the perpetrators and the victims.

*Respect the customs of the native culture and religion of Arab students.


Although Arab Americans may be one of the smaller minorities in schools, they should be represented in multicultural courses and activities to validate their culture and educate all students about the Middle East. Field trips can include visits to Arab community institutions, assembly speakers can include Arab American leaders, and film series can include Arab contributions, for example. Schools can involve Arab American families to familiarize students with the various groups' celebrations, foods, and history (ADC, 1993a).


Because prejudice against Arab Americans increases when political events involve Arabs, or are even speculated to involve them, educators need to be prepared to respond to possible harassment of Arab American students resulting from negative news reporting, and to invoke school policies against hate crimes and discrimination as appropriate (Suleiman, 1996).

Administrators and teachers should correct erroneous information when confronted with it, such as popular myths that all Arabs are "...wealthy...barbaric and backward, and...have harems" (Farquharson, 1988, p. 4). They can help students understand that Arab Americans should not be held personally accountable for events in the Middle East (ADC, 1997). They can confront scapegoating by allowing students to air their views and helping them understand why such judgments are inaccurate and hurtful (ADC, 1997).

Schools can take care not to discriminate against Muslims. They should not enforce dress codes or showering requirements that violate the Muslim tradition of modesty or require Muslim students to engage in coed physical education classes. Educators should ensure that girls are not ridiculed for their head covering. They should not schedule tests on major Islamic holidays and should allow fasting students to go to the library instead of the cafeteria during Ramadan. Federal law permits students to organize prayer services, and schools should accommodate such requests from Muslims (Council on American-Islamic Relations, 1997). Muslims across the country are now petitioning schools to label cafeteria food containing pig products, and some schools are already doing so (Zehr, 1999).


Schools can provide professional development training and make available to their staff accurate resource materials about the Middle East, Islam, the various Arab groups in the U.S., and the nature and extent of anti-Arab sentiment. Middle East organizations and centers at local colleges offer schools a range of services, including training, often at no cost. For example, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has produced a substantial Middle East bibliography for educators (1993b) and a guide for helping Arab parents serve as a resource for teachers (ADC, 1993a). Followers of Islam in particular (Arab Americans as well as other Muslim communities) want to feel respected, and providing teachers with information about the religion promotes understanding. Several groups, such as the Arab World and Islamic Resources and School Services, conduct workshops; others, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (1997), have published materials for educators.


Arab references can be infused across the curriculum to familiarize students with Middle East culture and dispel myths: Arab music, Arab art, photographs of Arab countries, American words with Arab roots, notable Arab Americans, etc. (ADC, 1993a). Courses in religious tolerance need to include Islam. Anti-racism training (for educators and students) should cite Arab Americans as a group targeted by bigots. Schools can also offer Arabic as a foreign language, an option available to Fairfax County, VA, students (Zehr, 1999).

To promote critical thinking skills by analyzing news reports, teachers can ask students to evaluate stories for biases, unsubstantiated accusations, or uneven treatment of Arabs and Jews that promote racism. To identify stereotyping, teachers can ask students to critique their textbooks, television programs, movies, books, and news reports for negative portrayals of Arabs; indeed, many studies document pervasive anti-Arab attitudes in the entertainment media, including cartoons (ADC, 1997; Wingfeld & Karaman, 1995).


A scholarly evaluation of texts covering Middle East subjects and Islam (Barlow, 1994) has documented that many of them are "deficient" and "inaccurate" (ADC, 1993a, p. 9). Further, children's fiction that portrays Arab and Jewish children together is also frequently biased against Arabs (Kissen, 1991). Therefore, educators need to evaluate materials in use and discard those with misinformation or biases. Then they can work with school districts and the state to ensure that new books are more accurate (ADC, 1993a; Council on American-Islamic Relations, 1997).

A variety of resources are available to facilitate this process. The American Forum for Global Education (Kelahan & Penn, 1996) has produced an extensive bibliography of materials on Arab history that can be used by curriculum developers, and the Arab World and Islamic Resources and School Services (Shabbas, 1998) has issued a large notebook for secondary school teachers to use as a basis for a multifaceted curriculum. In Michigan, which has the largest Arab American community in the U.S., parents work with the school system to produce a high quality and accurate curriculum (ADC, 1993a).


Arab Americans from different countries differ from each other in culture and socioeconomic status, as do Muslim and Christian Arabs, and newly-arrived and second and third generation Arabs. To accommodate the individuality of Arab families, it is important for teachers and counselors to take the lead from students and their parents when approaching them about school and other related issues, and to be knowledgeable about Arab culture as a whole (Adeed & Smith, 1997). In general, though, recent immigrants may experience culture shock, and feel insecure and lonely; all Arab Americans may feel alienated because of perceived prejudice and ridicule of their rituals, and they may express negative feelings as a defense (Jackson, 1997).

The counselors of Arab American students need to respect both traditional Arab attitudes toward usual counseling practices and the Arab communication style in all interactions. Jackson recommends first meeting with the student outside the counseling office to build rapport. Group counseling should be considered because it "reflects the Arab value of collectivism," and the group should be single sex. Also, a cognitive approach may help allow students to honor their reluctance to discuss personal feelings with strangers. Finally, Arab clients are more comfortable sitting very close to the counselor than are members of other groups (Jaclson, 1995, p. 49).

Family life and harmony are crucial to Arabs, so educators need to demonstrate respect for the sanctity of the nuclear and extended family and the familial role of elders. Nevertheless, when Arab American students seem troubled, it may be productive to determine whether their problems stem from intergenerational differences within their family or another source. Inviting family participation in the counseling process regardless of the nature of the student's problem can be useful Jackson, 1995; 1997). Because Arabs are very sensitive to public criticism, teachers should express concerns to Arab American students in a way that minimizes "loss of 'face'" (Adeed & Smith, 1997, p. 505). Finally, helping families cope with varying levels of acculturation, language differences, and conformity to tradition can enable students to develop a positive identity that is both personally satisfying and respectful of their heritage.


Adeed, P., & Smith, G. P. (1997). Arab Americans: Concepts and materials. In J.A. Banks, Teaching strategies for ethnic studies. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. (1993a). Educational outreach and action guide: Working with school systems. Washington, DC: Author.

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. (1993b). Teachers' resources on the Middle East. Washington, DC: Author. (ED 363 531)

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. (1997). 1996-97 report on hate crimes & discrimination against Arab Americans. Washington, DC: Author.

Barlow, E. (Ed.). (1994). Evaluation of secondary-level textbooks for coverage of the Middle East and North Africa (3rd ed). Ann Arbor, MI/Tucson, AZ: Middle East Studies Association/Middle East Outreach Council.

Council on American-Islamic Relations. (1997). An educator's guide to Islamic religious practices. Washington, D.C.: Author.

Farquharson, M. (1988, March). Ideas for teaching Arab students in a multicultural setting. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Chicago, IL. (ED 296 575)

Jackson, M.L. (1995). Counseling youth of Arab ancestry. In C.C. Lee (Ed.), Counseling for diversity (pp. 41-60). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. (ED 389 789)

Jackson, M.L. (1997). Counseling Arab Americans. In C.C. Lee (Ed.), Multicultural issues in counseling (2nd ed., pp. 333-352). Alexandria: American Counseling Association.

Kelahan, B., & Penn, M. (Eds.). (1996). Spotlight on the Muslim Middle East--Crossroads. A student reader and teacher's guide. New York: American Forum for Global Education. (ED 415 144)

Kissen, R.M. (1995, June). The children of Hagar and Sarah. Children's Literature in Education, 22(2), 111-20. (EJ 432 622)

Shabbas, A. (Ed.). (1998). Arab world studies notebook. Berkeley, CA: Arab World and Islamic Resources and School Services.

Suleiman, M.F. (1996). Educating the Arab American child: Implications for teachers. Unpublished manuscript, Fort Hays State University, College of Education, Hays, KS. (ED 392 864)

Wingfield, M., & Karaman, B. (1995, March-April). Arab stereotypes and American educators. Social studies and the Young Learner, 7(4), 7-10. (EJ 502 285)

Zehr, M.A. (1999, January 20). Guardians of the faith. Education Week, XVIII(19), p. 26-31.

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