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Monday, August 06, 2007

NYC Arabic public school principal defends "Intifada NYC" T-shirts

From the New York Post:
Activists with ties to the principal of the city's controversial new Arabic-themed school are hawking T- shirts that glorify Palestinian terror, The Post has learned.

The inflammatory tees boldly declare "Intifada NYC" - apparently a call for a Gaza-style uprising in the Big Apple.

The organization selling the shirts, Arab Women Active in Art and Media, shares office space on Brooklyn's Third Avenue with the Saba Association of American Yemenis.

Dhabah "Debbie" Almontaser, principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy - which is scheduled to open in Brooklyn next month - is a board member and spokeswoman for Saba.

Members of AWAAM refused to comment.

But Almontaser downplayed the significance of the T-shirts.

"The word [intifada] basically means 'shaking off.' That is the root word if you look it up in Arabic," she said.

"I understand it is developing a negative connotation due to the uprising in the Palestinian-Israeli areas. I don't believe the intention is to have any of that kind of [violence] in New York City.

"I think it's pretty much an opportunity for girls to express that they are part of New York City society . . . and shaking off oppression."

AWAAM's co-founders, Rama Kased and Mona Eldahry, are also active in the more militant pro-Palestinian group, al-Awda, whose main U.S. office is in California.

That organization, according to the Anti-Defamation League, is an active supporter of the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas.

The principal is engaging in unbelievable sophistry when she says that the word "intifada" in the T-shirt has a peaceful meaning, given the al-Awda's history.

Her connection with terror may be tenuous but her refusing to denounce a transparent call for violence by her co-religionists make her a very, very poor choice for a public school principal - especially a public school that caters only to Arabs.
(h/t: Eye on the World and Hot Air)