Urban Infidel was there:
Stop the Madrassa held a press conference on the steps of New York City Hall today on the first day of school. According to their press release, to announce the launch of a new national organization, as well as an intensified initiative to force New York City 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.
Pamela at Atlas Shrugs was also there and has more pictures and commentary. One of the speakers was Eblan Farris:
Eblan Farris 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 Lebanon states emphatically that the Khahil Gibran name not be used for the madrassa.
I always thought it was somewhat disingenuous the name Khalil Gibran was used for the school, as if taking the name of a Christian would appease the critics.
Both Urban Infidel and Pamela noted the hostility of the press. From Atlas Shrugs:
The Q & A was a joke. The reporters yelling "why are you calling it a madrassa?" "How do you know what they will teach?" "Why are you against an Arabic school? "Isn't this tied to the Israel/Palestinian conflict?"
The coalition said, we are just asking questions. Unanswered questions. Do you think for a moment that the press asks the imams on KGIA's religious board the same questions? Or asks anyone at KGIA any tough questions?
Frank Gaffney was the most hard hitting of the speakers particularly when he turned the tables on the press/reporters that were acting like handmaidens for Islamism. Gaffney shouted back, why aren't you asking these questions? Why aren't you doing your jobs? Why are you leaving it (to) concerned parents and community members.
The speakers were excellent. The press was hostile of course. Questions put the the speakers during the Q&A were couched in the most racist of inferences.
Urban Infidel will have more photos and updates. Thanks to Urban Infidel and Pamela for their outstanding reports.
Also, be sure to check out the Stop The Madrassa website.
For background on the Khalil Gibran International Academy, see Daniel Pipes' blog. Scroll for updates.