The American Muslim: “Fears of Arab school in New York unjustified”

Education and Indictrination: There is a difference

By Anisa Mehdi

— School opened this/last week. In most communities nationwide alarm clocks sounded earlier than they had in July and August; parents (celebrating) urged sleepy children out of bed; would-be-students at first resisting then donning their backpacks and dashing off to catch up with friends they hadn’t seen for months. In Brooklyn, New York, a new school opened amidst controversy. The Khalil Gibran International Academy. This first-of-its-kind bi-lingual public school will teach Arabic and English. Standard curricula includes all the “R”’s plus sciences, physical education, the arts and more. Concomitant with language study comes Arab culture study: the Alhambra (Granada, Spain), the House of Wisdom (Baghdad’s great library and learning center destroyed by the Mongols in 1258), the development of algebra, astronomy, and medical sciences.

Education is not the same as indoctrination.

In Hollywood, Florida, the Ben Gamla Charter School opened. There, Hebrew language and Jewish culture will be emphasized: for example, about Maimonides, the great 12th century philosopher who flourished in Cairo as chief rabbi and physician to the sultan, and author of The Guide to the Perplexed.

I don’t fear these lessons taught to public or charter school students. But others do. More…


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