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By The Family Security Foundation, Inc.
August 6, 2007
There is an insidious program featuring a white-washed, and thus untrue, version of Islam that has permeated our educational institutions, beginning in kindergarten, winding its way through the 12th grade, and into our universities. In circuitously slick ways, the Saudi government has managed to insinuate its own version of Middle Eastern culture and history, and strictly positive views of Islam, upon millions of American students thus indoctrinating them to a biased, pro-Islamic position when the full truth is far more complex and, not surprisingly, not quite as glowingly favorable.
Journalist Stanley Kurtz has explored the depth of this interference and warping of American kids' perceptions of Middle Eastern culture in an extremely illuminating essay, Saudi in the Classroom. It is apparent that these infiltrations are designed to establish a powerful influence upon the way in which our young people will view the Middle East and Islam; and they are designed to weaken our children's understanding that Islam itself is used as a basis for terror attacks against America and the West today. This indisputable fact, as evidenced by bin Laden's frequent exhortations and quotes from the Koran as well as an enormous amount of historical and current literature, is critical to our understanding the nature of the enemy we face.
When we realize what is actually occurring, we must conclude that our educational system, from K through 12 and including our universities, is now the vital second front in our war against global terror. No concerned American can afford to ignore what is being perpetrated with our own taxpayer funds, and which, inexplicably, has been expanding and gaining momentum right under our noses but outside of any mandated oversight or scrutiny.
It is a matter of the greatest urgency that Americans begin to focus on this intellectual invasion of our unique American culture or the very foundations of our freedoms and liberty will be eventually weakened to the point of collapse, just as tragically as the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed last week. The worst of this ongoing situation is that so far, few Americans are aware of this gigantic impediment to our children's acquiring knowledge of the world they will inherit, and what will threaten it.
There is an unsung hero who first became aware of the methods by which Saudi operatives took control of an essential part of our educational system. Sandra Stotsky is a former director of a professional development institute for teachers at Harvard, and a former senior associate commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Education. Ms. Stotsky served in this capacity from 1999 to 2003. This was the period during which the Massachusetts Department of Education responded to the 9/11 attacks by utilizing Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies - which, as a prestigious university and a federally subsidized Title VI "National Resource Center," seemed an obvious choice.
The project and its objectives appeared benign enough, and even conducive to positive aspects of "multicultural" understanding. Yet this has proved to be a "grand illusion," if not a potentially deadly attack upon American traditions and values. Stotsky learned that at the outset, a teacher-training center was established with the announced goal of instructing those assigned to provide information to our young students about Islamic history, emphasizing key contemporary questions, such as the nature of Islamic Fundamentalism and terrorism, the lack of democracy in the Middle East, and the necessity for demanding equal rights for women in the Muslim world.
So far, so good. Right?
As this federally subsidized Title VI "National Resource Center" at Harvard was scrutinized more closely, researchers learned that the original promise of "balance and objectivity" had been compromised, and that the expanding outreach program was delivering seminars promoting, not describing, Islam while sharply criticizing alleged American prejudice against the Muslim world. It soon became clear that Saudi-trained teachers were, and still are, inserting a dangerous and biased-against-America narrative into the heart of our American intellectual fabric.
In sum, Sandra Stotsky concluded that what is happening is nothing less than a pernicious sabotage of our educational system by offering nothing less than indoctrination, not illumination, about a very potent force responsible for the war that has been declared against America. In this context, Ms. Stotsky remarked, "If Harvard's outreach personnel had designed similar classroom exercises based on Christian or Jewish models, then People for the American Way, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the A.C.L.U. would descend upon them like furies."
Stotsky discovered that one of the key teaching texts is "The Arab World Studies Notebook," acknowledged by its editor, Audrey Shabbas, as deliberately favoring the Arab point of view. More appalling is the revelation that this continuing "outreach" program has refused to include the most recent book by one of the world's top tier experts on Islam, Bernard Lewis. Professor Lewis's What Went Wrong: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East has been barred from inclusion in this blatantly pro-Arab and pro-Muslim curriculum. This exclusionary stance on the part of the program's directors leaves little more to question about whether the Saudi agenda is, in fact, a stealth assault on American education - beginning at the kindergarten level. Stotsky's conclusion is that the program is blatantly distorted and manipulative. Needless to say, it must be examined, resisted and eliminated, if a generation of Americans is to be afforded a realistic education on solid facts pertaining to the history of the Middle East, Islam and Muslim expansion, devoid of the completely exonerated interpretation which Saudi activists are now spinning and pushing.
When Sandra Stotsky's tenure as supervisor of Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies ended in 2003, she was sufficiently concerned that she wrote a most informative book, outlining her observations and conclusions on the inherently threatening dangers of Saudi Arabia's deliberate meddling in American education. Her book - The Stealth Curriculum: Manipulating America's History Teachers - is an exposť of a threat to all Americans. It should be read, understood and then acted upon by contacting congressional representatives, insisting that oversight and supervision of Harvard's Title VI National Resource Center be put into place with all due dispatch. Pro-Islamic propaganda in our most prestigious institutions of learning, as well as in our K-12 schools, must be resisted and eliminated.
Clarifying this, Stotsky wrote in The Stealth Curriculum: "Most of these materials have been prepared and/or funded by Islamic sources here and abroad, and are distributed or sold directly to schools or individual teachers, thereby bypassing public scrutiny." Stotsky goes on to note that after 9/11, the Saudi government sent U.S. schools thousands of packages of educational material that, for example, attributed the Middle East's problems to Western colonization.
Clearly, every concerned American must become active in promoting serious bi-partisan reform legislation to deal with Saudi Arabia's sinister intrusion into the heart of our education system. And further, every parent reading this article must demand of his children's schools to know what of Islam is being taught to their children. If the version taught is "The Arab World Studies Notebook," or a version that ignores common and obvious current problems such as the brutal subjugation of women, virulent anti-Semitism or political Islam's goal of global domination, get it out of your schools immediately.
The camel's nose is already under our tent. It's time we pushed him back out.
For more on this exceedingly critical issue for every American, read the special four part investigative report - Tainted Teachings, What Your Kids are Learning about Israel, America, and Islam - published by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). As the JTA put it: "Saudi Arabia is paying to influence the teaching of American public schoolchildren. And the U.S. taxpayer is an unwitting accomplice, often bypassing school boards and nudging aside approved curricula....These materials praise and sometimes promote Islam, but criticize Judaism and Christianity. Ironically, what gives credibility to...these distorted materials is Title VI of the Higher Education Act. Believing they're importing the wisdom of places like Harvard or Georgetown, they are actually inviting into their schools whole curricula and syllabuses developed with the support of Riyadh."
By The American Congress For Thruth.
August 6, 2007
This is a project run by people like the convert Susan Douglass of the Council on Islamic Education and the Islamic Society of North America. They are very well organized and have been orchestrating this comprehensive educational plan for many years with great success. Douglass has been very active and effective in Islamicizing the curriculum and textbooks used in the California public schools, the largest textbook market in the country and a bellwether for the U.S. This is how programs like the required three week course on Islam for all California 7th graders get implemented.
Check out the extensive list of Islamist organizations working on this project under "Community Engagement." It all looks very innocent and legitimate on the surface. They started in CA in the California public schools, the largest textbook market in the country -- next comes TX; then NY. This must be monitored and stopped.
Read, worry and get motivated to start acting today and follow every step in the action steps below.
What you can do:
Go to your public school and volunteer to get on the textbook committee. This is open to any taxpayer in the school district.
Get involved in the parent groups - PTA, PTO in the Middle Schools and High Schools. Listen and learn before you devise a plan.
Attend teacher conferences and become the teacher's ally. It is about relationship building and trust.
Start attending school board meetings and learn who is in charge of what areas of curriculum and volunteer, volunteer, volunteer.
Demand your children's school work comes home so you can see it.
Collect copies of your children's school work so you'll have something to show your elected officials.
Schedule an appointment with your local elected officials, your congressman and senators and present the data you collected from the school. Demand that something be done about it.
Start writing letters to the editors informing them about what is happening in the school system in your community.
Forward this email to every single person you know and spread the word. Ask your friends to join our emailing list and get informed. Visit our blog and make it your home page for up to date information.
We have got to become proactive, because what "they" will do is develop a comprehensive program eventually for grades k-12, in the name of tolerance.
By JULIE BOSMAN
August 11, 2007
The principal of New York City's first public school dedicated to the study of Arabic language and culture resigned under pressure yesterday, days after she was quoted defending the use of the word "intifada" as a T-shirt slogan.
Debbie Almontaser, a veteran public school teacher, stepped down as the principal of , a middle school that is to open this fall in Brooklyn.
"This morning I tendered my resignation to Chancellor Klein, which he accepted," she said in a statement, referring to Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein. "I became convinced yesterday that this week's headlines were endangering the viability of Khalil Gibran International Academy, even though I apologized."
Those headlines had become impossible for Ms. Almontaser and the Department of Education to ignore. On Wednesday, a headline in The New York Post called Ms. Almontaser the "Intifada Principal." Yesterday, an editorial in the paper had the headline, "What's Arabic for 'Shut It Down'?"
Yesterday morning, speaking on his weekly radio call-in program, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said he continued to support the school, but welcomed Ms. Almontaser's departure.
"She got a question, she's not all that media-savvy maybe, and she tried to explain a word rather than just condemn," he said. "But I think she felt that she had become the focus of - rather than having the school the focus - so today she submitted her resignation, which is nice of her to do. I appreciate all her service, and I think she's right to do so."
Chancellor Klein, who is vacationing in Colorado, acknowledged that Ms. Almontaser's resignation was in the best interests of the school, said David Cantor, a spokesman for the department.
Ms. Almontaser's resignation was the latest setback for a school that has been bombarded with criticism since February, when the city announced plans to open it. The attacks came from parents at public schools that were to share their space with the Gibran school, as well as from local conservative columnists, who said the school could promote radical Islam.
But the Education Department said yesterday that it was still committed to opening the school and was searching for a new principal. Ms. Almontaser is expected to be assigned to another position within the department.
Ms. Almontaser's remarks, made last weekend, were in response to questions from The Post over the phrase "Intifada NYC," which was printed on T-shirts sold by Arab Women Active in the Arts and Media, a Brooklyn-based organization. The shirts have no relation to her school.
"The word basically means 'shaking off,' " Ms. Almontaser told the paper. "That is the root word if you look it up in Arabic."
With the help of the Education Department's press office, she apologized on Monday, saying she regretted her remarks. "By minimizing the word's historical associations, I implied that I condone violence and threats of violence," she said in the statement. The word has come to be associated with Palestinian attacks on Israel.
Education officials tried to tamp down the situation, saying Ms. Almontaser had no direct connection to the Brooklyn group.
Her apology was followed by a rebuke on Wednesday from Randi Weingarten, the president of the United Federation of Teachers. Ms. Weingarten, who had previously defended the school, called the word "intifada" "something that ought to be denounced, not explained away."
And education officials said that after Ms. Weingarten's statements, Ms. Almontaser had become an untenable distraction, and that the school would be better served with a new principal.
Yesterday morning, speaking on his weekly radio call-in program, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said he continued to support the school, but welcomed Ms. Almontaser's departure. In an interview yesterday, Ms. Weingarten said she respected Ms. Almontaser for resigning. "She was becoming a lightning rod," she said. "Instead of debunking the misapprehensions about the school, all she did was confirm them."
Ms. Almontaser had a major hand in designing the Khalil Gibran school, which is to open in partnership with New Visions for Public Schools, a nonprofit group that has helped create many of the city's new small schools. As described by its planners, the school will offer a standard college preparatory curriculum, with instruction in Arabic each day and a focus on international studies. Five teachers have been hired so far.
The Education Department had planned for roughly half of the enrolled students to have some background in Arabic, and the other half to be a mixture of students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
So far, the enrollment stands at 44, with most students identifying themselves as black, and six Arabic speakers. The school planned to have only sixth graders this year, then expand by a grade a year until it includes grades 6 to 12.
Its first proposed location was in the building that houses Public School 282, an elementary school in Park Slope, Brooklyn. But parents there mounted vigorous opposition, saying there was insufficient room for the two schools to share space.
They prevailed, and the school was reassigned to another site, in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. This time, Khalil Gibran would share space with two schools: the Math and Science Exploratory School, a middle school, and the Brooklyn High School of the Arts.
But parents there were just as antagonistic to sharing space with Khalil Gibran, protesting at a contentious public hearing in the school auditorium in May. The Education Department insisted that the school would open as planned, though.
The department's decision was supported by many community leaders who had worked with Ms. Almontaser, who has been active for many years in community and interfaith outreach. She immigrated from Yemen when she was 3 and is fluent in Arabic.
In an interview in May, Ms. Almontaser said she was unprepared for the criticism she encountered from commentators. "What I am surprised about, really, is how stuff like this is actually permitted and allowed in public forums," she said.
Despite the department's efforts earlier in the week to defuse the situation, by late Thursday afternoon, officials had stopped defending Ms. Almontaser on the record. Yesterday morning, Mr. Bloomberg issued his own version of a defense on his radio show. "She's very smart," he said. "She's certainly not a terrorist. She really does care."
In the early 1960s, the U.S. Supreme Court prohibited state sponsorship of prayers in public schools. But now the issue has a new slant as some schools have taken steps to accommodate Muslim students' strict obligation to pray five times a day towards Mecca.
At Carver Elementary School in San Diego, CA Muslim students from Somalia have been accommodated in order to worship and pray in a classroom specifically set aside for this purpose during the 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. school hour on a daily basis," noted Pacific Justice attorney Peter Lepiscopo in a June 7 letter to the School Board of the San Diego Unified School District. Since "the Board is further developing a Daily Prayer Time Policy," Lepiscopo wrote, "Pacific Justice is requesting not only that Carver Elementary offer the same prayer time for Christians, Jews, and other believers" but also that any policy "should be extended to Grades K through 12 throughout the District."
Coming on the heels of the decision by the University of Michigan to spend $25,000 to install two footbaths at its Dearborn campus to accommodate Muslim students, this represents another obvious violation
of the concept of the separation of Church and State. However the ACLU is strangley silent on these two incidents while
eagerly going after Christmas displays in public schools.
Muslims initially were willing to raise the money to cover the cost, but the Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union -- often a foe of faith in the public square -- said there was no constitutional reason why the university could not fund the project.
The footbaths in Michigan are similar to one that will be provided for students at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Yet at that same college, the administration reportedly banned a campus coffee cart from playing Christmas carols last year and warned faculty and staff to refrain from displays that represent a particular religious holiday during December. The administration did not respond to queries.
"There is clearly a double standard couched in multi-culturalism and diversity, to the detriment of other religions, most especially Christianity," said Brian Rooney, spokesman for the Thomas Moore Law Center, a Christian legal group.