Unanswered Questions

September 1, 2007

(Submitted to New York Times)

To the Editor:

Samuel Freedman (“Critics Ignored Record of a Muslim Principal,”
8/30/07) describes in compelling detail the six-month anti-Arab and
anti-Muslim smear campaign against the Khalil Gibran International
Academy and its founding principal, Debbie Almontaser, a campaign that
culminated in her resignation. The campaign “worked,” as Mr.
Freedman says; however, the article leaves some unanswered questions
about why it worked:

Where was Ms. Almontaser’s employer, the DOE, during this time? Where
were its support and outrage when she and the school were being so
recklessly defamed? And, with the recent attacks on Ms Almontaser–so
obviously a part of this campaign of lies and hatred–why, rather than
standing up for her, did the Mayor “welcome” her resignation and
Chancellor Klein say her resignation was in the best interests of the
school? And why did UFT President Weingarten say “maybe, ultimately,
she should not be a principal.”? Had she received the support she
deserved, the smear campaign would not have achieved its goals.

Donna Nevel


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