On August 10, Debbie Almontaser resigned as principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy [KGIA], a New York City public school billed as an “Arabic-themed” institution. She was pressured to resign following her response to a T-shirt that read, “Intifada NYC.” Though the term “intifada” is widely understood today to mean a terrorist “uprising,” Almontaser said that the word originally meant “shaking off oppression.” When the controversy continued, she quit. Now her supporters want the New York City Council to investigate the events leading up to her resignation; some want her reinstated.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue also wants an investigation:
“We are contacting every member of the New York City Council asking for an investigation of the coalition, ‘Communities in Support of KGIA.’ To be specific, on the coalition’s website, kgia.wordpress.com, it provides a link (see ‘Pages’) to ‘Mumia on KGIA.’ There one finds an endorsing statement by Mumia Abu-Jamal (with a link to his FreeMumia.org website). He is the convicted cop-killer and hero to anti-American left-wing extremists. Though there were five eyewitnesses to the murder, and five other witnesses who said that Abu-Jamal admitted killing the officer, the crazies still rally to his side; his appeal has been heard, and rejected, by more than a dozen judges.
“The mask is off. Just as we expected, extremists are backing this so-called Arab school. What perked our interest initially was the stonewalling we experienced over the summer when we sought to ask routine pedagogical questions regarding the school. Where was the curriculum? What textbooks were going to be used? Why were imams serving on an advisory board—some of whom are militants—if this wasn’t an Islamist school? Why did Almontaser refuse to condemn the pro-terrorist T-shirt? Why is the Association of Muslim American Lawyers playing such an integral role in the school?
“And why, now, are those who made the T-shirt serving as a sponsor to the coalition? Most important, why does this coalition embrace a cop-killing thug?”