Opening Day of School Press Conference on the Steps of City Hall
Stop the Madrassa held a press conference today on the steps of New York City Hall on the first day of school. According to their press release, they are announcing the launch of a new national organization, as well as an intensified initiative to force to respond to Freedom of Information Law requests concerning textbooks, lesson plans, curricula, correspondence and design documents for the Khalil Gibran International Academy.
The new organization, Citizens for American Values in Public Education, will expand the fight nationwide to stop the imposition of radical Islamist agendas in curricula, Arabic language programs, history classes, textbooks, teacher training, and charter schools. The organization is distributing a new publication nationwide in October: "Stop the Madrassa: A Citizens Guide to Islamist Curricula In Public Schools." An early draft of the publication will be released at the press conference.
Supporters also demand the immediate closing of the Khalil Gibran International Academy in . Stop the Madrassa succeeded in forcing the resignation of KGIA's controversial founder and first principal, Dhabah Almontaser.Candace de Russy is a former State University of New York trustee and a higher education reformer.
Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld is a former aide to , Senator D'Amato, Mayor Ed Koch and other public officials and a current trustee of the and other educational institutions and non-profits.
Some of the other speakers included:
- Barry Farber, New York radio talk show legend.
- Eblan Farris, an American of Lebanese descent, is one of the Founders of The Friends of Gibran Council, and is also a founding member of the United States Chapter of the World Council of the Cedars Revolution which has as its main goal the freedom, democracy and independence of . Very importantly it is also worth noting that the Friends of Gibran Council recently issued a press release calling for the KGIA to cease using Khalil Gibran's name.
- Frank Gaffney, Center for Security Policy: Frank Gaffney is the Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy in .
- Pamela Geller is a Atlas Shrugs. resident, parent and community activist, and the founder of the popular website
- Beth Gilinsky, a media and political strategist, is a civil and human rights leader known for her bold activism on international, national and local issues.
- Rabbi Jacob Goldstein is based in .
- Pamela Hall is a United American Committee. resident and parent, is also a spokesperson for Stop The Madrassa Community Coalitions, and NYC chapter coordinator for the
- Rafique Iscandar, born and raised in American Coptic Union. , is president of the
- Stuart Kaufman has over 38 years of legal and business experience. In 2002, Mr. Kaufman was one of the founders of Fortress Global Investigations, an international investigations and security consulting firm.
- Bridget Kearney is spokeswoman for the Queens Ladies of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
- Brian Rooney, Thomas More Law Center, is an attorney, and as a Marine Captain spent two years recently in .
- Rabbi Aryeh Spero is president of Caucus For America and is a columnist for Human Events.
The speakers were empassioned. The press was hostile, of course. Questions put the the speakers during the Q&A were couched in the most racist of inferences.
At one point one of the speakers said that in order to better fit into American society Muslims have to be able to be made fun of just like everyone else, in reference ensuing threats and violence in response to the Mohammed cartoons. Despite the immediate silence I clapped loudly. An Arab reporter turned around and gave me SUCH a look! I noticed that he had very little scribbled in his notebook, but I bet he'll spin this story like a top in his terror zine, or whatever he writes for.
Thank God we live in a country where people can stand up and say 'no.' I doubt they'd be able to get away with this in Europe these days.
Dr. William Donohue, a former professor, is president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights released this statement to the press today.
over at Atlas Shrugs!