Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Communities in Support of the Khalil Gibran International Academy

Call for justice from the Communities in Support of the Khalil Gibran International Academy:


Communities in Support of the Khalil Gibran International Academy released the following statement in response to the April 28, 2008 New York Times story about Debbie Almontaser:

In today's story, the New York Times exposed what the article refers to as a "growing and organized movement to stop Muslim Americans who are seeking an expanded role in American public life." As the story makes clear, Debbie Almontaser was forced to resign as a result of an anti-Arab and anti-Muslim campaign against her and the school. Her forced resignation was not a result of her qualifications as an educator or her perceived ability to be an effective leader of the school.

Rather, the Department of Education succumbed to the bigoted campaign against her despite having selected her as the school's founding principal because of her impeccable reputation as an educator, a bridge-builder and, respected member of the Arab-American community. In the wake of her forced resignation, the City has taken an even more troubling position in regards to Ms. Almontaser which was summarized in a comment from a federal judge during an argument in Almontaser v. Department of Education: "So if a city employee speaks to the press, they're at risk that the press garbles their remarks, and then they get fired? That's quite a position for the City of New York." We urge the Department of Education to right this wrong and to ensure that such bigotry does not dictate educational policy by immediately reinstating Debbie Almontaser as principal of KGIA.

Communities in Support of the Khalil Gibran International Academy (CISKGIA) is a community group of parents, educators and interfaith activists who strongly support the Khalil Gibran International Academy and demand justice for former founding principal, Debbie Almontaser. We were referred to but not named in today's New York Times article by Andrea Elliot. For more information, please visit:

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