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A BRITISHER’S VIEW

Is new Arab school a Brooklyn madrassa?

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Boasting a diverse student body and an unprecedented commitment to multiculturalism, any public school in New York City affords its students an opportunity to “expand their horizons and be global citizens.” It remains to be seen just how differently the Department Of Education’s (DOE) Khalil Gibran International Academy will cater to student intellect and interest when the new Brooklyn school, devoted almost entirely to the Arabic language and culture, opens its doors to sixth through twelfth graders in September at a location as yet undisclosed. The establishment of such a school – among 40 planned city charter schools for the new academic year and funded through a public-private partnership with donations from corporate America – raises food for thought in a cognizant and naturally suspicious post-9-11 era about why even a cent of tax-payer money should be directed to an institution with some of the same special interests as 15 of the 19 World Trade Center bombers, who turned their devotion to all things Arabic into suicide missions to the fatal detriment of 2,602 innocent people (with 24 still missing) on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. “Your daily life is your temple and your religion. Whenever you enter it take with you your all,” writes the school’s namesake, Gibran Khalil Gibran (1883-1931) in his piece, “On Religion.” The famed Lebanese Maronite artist, poet and logician, who emigrated with his family to Boston in 1895, further waxes, “In battling evil, excess is good; for he who is moderate in announcing the truth is presenting half-truth. He conceals the other half out of fear of the people’s wrath.” Whether or not the school lives up to the musings of Gibran – a socialite, who reveled in the opulent world of American theatre, opera and art – is up for question. As is its grasp of a golden opportunity to slake the fanatical thirst of Arab Muslims with a new generation of young minds and hearts. Indeed, members of this school’s faculty are beholden to develop a unique and courageous curriculum to assess the Arab community’s Islamic arm, whose catastrophic propensity to create stone-hearted suicide bombers – on a conveyor belt of anti-western hate – naturally casts qualms upon the formation of such schools as the Khalil Gibran International Academy. Sadly, Arabs are among the most notorious races inhabiting the planet, today, thanks to the evil rap sheets of too many of their Muslim brothers and sisters, and the blind-eyes of too many of their Jewish and Christian ranks. A school for the promotion of Arabic culture can save itself from a reputed kinship to the Taliban-esque madrassas by teaching its students that self-transformation into ticking time-bombs – and placing all the world’s ills at America’s doorstep – is a refrain, whose time is up. By teaching girls that their place in Arabic society requires amendment through legislation and even a revolution, and that strength arrives through humility – not sanctimony. In his renowned poem, “The Prophet,” Gibran writes, “It is well to give when asked but it is better to give unasked, through understand­ing.” A city under siege by the world’s Muslim terrorists, whose zeal is partly fueled by an obsessive regard for all things Arabic, can only be saved when that theocracy’s moderate communities – such as the Arab-Americans, who will possibly be served by the Khalil Gibran International Academy – finally take charge of the hoodlums in their midst. A new Arab school could be just the jumpstart needed for such a change. E-mail “A Britisher’s View” at BritView@courierlife.net. All letters become the property of Courier-Life Publications and are subject to publication unless otherwise specified; please include your name, address and daytime telephone number for verification.

Posted 7:15 pm, October 10, 2011
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