(NEW YORK, NY, 8/19/07) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called upon Muslim New Yorkers and other people of conscience to participate in a peaceful demonstration in support of the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA), an Arabic language school scheduled to open this fall in Brooklyn.
Immediate Action Requested
1. SIGN Communities in Support of the Khalil Gibran Academy statement by visiting http://www.awaam.org/
Communities in Support of KGIA Statement in full:
As New Yorkers and others in support of quality public education for all of our communities, we stand in solidarity with the Khalil Gibran International Academy, which has sustained hateful and false attacks by anti-Arab media and extremists. In the post-9/11 world, a school educating our children about Arab history, culture, and language is not only crucial for the next generation to become informed leaders for positive change in our communities; it is also an extraordinary place of hope for peace, understanding, and justice for our embattled world. We regret that Debbie Almontaser was unfairly pressured to resign from her position as principal due to the attacks, and we applaud her work to establish this school and promote intercultural exchange in this diverse global city.
Those who seek to equate the study of Arabic language, culture, and history with religious fanaticism and violence are irresponsibly aggravating a present moment of hysteria against Arab and Muslim communities, and are using this moment to promote hatred in a time of war. We urge our public officials to reject these racist and inaccurate attacks, and continue to work towards building a lasting educational institution that promises to bring our communities together, rather than divide and pit them against each other. We call on all communities who want to see peace on our streets and in our world to stand with us in support of the Khalil Gibran International Academy.
2. PARTICIPATE in a Peaceful Demonstration in support of KGIA.
What: Peaceful Demonstration in Support of KGIA
When: Monday, August 20, 2007 at 6 p.m.
Where: NYC Department of Education, Tweed Courthouse, 52 Chambers Street
Between Broadway & Centre St. in Manhattan
Subways: 4, 5, 6, N, R, W, M, J, 2, 3, A
Sponsors: Arab Resource and Organizing Center, San Francisco, CA; AWAAM: Arab Women Active in the Arts and Media; Brown Memorial Baptist Church Center for Immigrant Families; Council on American-Islamic Relations-NY; Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition; Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ); Muslim Consultative Network; WFD Program Steering Committee at First Unitarian Congregational Society of Brooklyn
Organizational Endorsers: Adalah-NY: Coalition for Justice in the Middle East; The African American Islamic Institute (AAII); Brecht Forum; Brooklyn For Peace (formerly Brooklyn Parents for Peace); Ethical Action Committee of the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture; Independent Commission on Public Education; Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives, Brooklyn; Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Oakland Chapter; Peoples MEDIA Center; Sunset Park Alliance of Neighbors; WESPAC Foundation
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR-NY Civil Rights Coordinator Aliya Latif, Tel: 212-870-2002 or 732-429-4268