Posted tagged ‘Bullying’

IPT Exclusive: Updated Suit Against San Diego Schools Highlights CAIR’s Radical Ties

June 29, 2017

IPT Exclusive: Updated Suit Against San Diego Schools Highlights CAIR’s Radical Ties, Investigative Project on Terrorism, John Rossomando, June 28, 2017

Lawyers for parents suing the San Diego Unified School District (SCUSD) over the implementation of its Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)-backed anti-Islamophobia program have updated the complaint they filed in federal court last month. The updated filing adds focus on CAIR’s Hamas ties and its status as a religious organization, in addition to shining a greater spotlight on how the scheme violates California law.

This anti-Islamophobia program came about due to lobbying by CAIR, and was passed by the school board, according to the plaintiffs, with the aim of stopping anti-Muslim bullying. But the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) – the group filing the lawsuit – and plaintiff parents don’t buy into the rationale.

As in the original complaint, the plaintiffs continue to assert that the school district created a “discriminatory scheme” that establishes Muslims as a privileged group. The anti-Islamophobia program allegedly does so because similar policies do not protect adherents of non-Muslim religions from similar harassment, and as such, violates state and federal law.

School district officials noted they would “identify safe places” for Muslim students and “explore clubs at the secondary level to promote the American Muslim Culture,” the updated complaint said. Similar accommodations are not being given to adherents of other religions who feel bullied or harassed.

The amended complaint notes that the school district only found seven reported incidents of religiously motivated bullying of K-12 students between July 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2016, but did not specify the victims’ religion(s).

“Applying this number, the number of K-12 students who reported an incident of religiously motivated bullying and harassment is approximately 0.006 % of actively enrolled students,” the revised complaint said.

It also notes that CAIR-CA’s 2014 report that led the school district to adopt its anti-Islamophobia program found that only 7 percent of students reported being subjected to mean comments or rumors about them because of their religion. FCDF Executive Director Daniel Piedra told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) the so-called anti- Islamophobia program might be a solution to a non-problem, but it’s great for CAIR’s fundraising.

“CAIR-SD solicits donations on its public website to ‘Combat Bullying in Schools,’ which is listed as a ‘specific program,'” the updated complaint said.

Is CAIR a Religious Ministry or a Civil Rights Group?

This revised complaint aims to undermine any attempt by the San Diego schools to cast CAIR as a secular civil rights group; the complaint now includes CAIR testimony in a recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case explicitly claiming it is a religious group.

“This can help shape public opinion, so that’s what’s great about so-called lawfare [filing lawsuits to accomplish political goals],” Piedra said.

Yet CAIR San Diego Executive Director Hanif Mohebi sought to downplay his group’s religious character after Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) attorney Charles LiMandri announced the suit. The FCDF claimed among other things that having the SCUSD work with CAIR to formulate the anti-Islamophobia program violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Mohebi described CAIR as a civil rights and liberties organization.

“I am appalled. I am not happy with people who have no shame to label people with no facts,” NBC San Diego quoted Mohebi as having said in response.

CAIR’s National Executive Director Nihad Awad, referred to in the NRLB case as Nehad Hammad, contradicted Mohebi, asserting that CAIR is a religious ministry and is therefore exempt from the NLRB’s jurisdiction. [Awad’s full name is Nehad Awad Hammad, according to a 200-page deposition.]

“The Employer’s letterhead includes a header that reads, ‘In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.’ According to Hammad, the header is there to identify the Employer as a religious organization, and the header [on CAIR stationery] is the opening verse of every chapter of the Quran,” Charles L. Posner, regional director of the National Labor Relations Board, wrote in his April 7 ruling.

The lawyers cite Awad’s testimony in the NRLB case, noting that he stated that “informing the American public about the Islamic faith is a religious obligation, and distributing these publications is both a religious and educational exercise.”

They also note in their amended complaint in the San Diego case that CAIR’s National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper told The Minneapolis Star-Tribune in 1993 that he “wouldn’t like to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future. … I’m going to do it through education.”

These facts can go a long way toward helping the plaintiffs build their case that working with CAIR violates the Establishment Clause, Piedra said.

SDUSD has had a long relationship with CAIR. Back in March 2012 the school district entered into a partnership agreement with the Islamist group to create a “Teaching Against Islamophobia Training Program for Faculty and Staff of SDUSD.” The amended complaint also notes that the school board gave CAIR San Diego Executive Director Hanif Mohebi an award in November 2015 recognizing CAIR’s role in “promoting equitable educational opportunity for all students.” The proclamation recognizing Mohebi also noted that CAIR San Diego had taught students for 10 years to “accept and honor religious and cultural differences among their peers.”

Another example of CAIR-CA’s religious activity is the distribution by CAIR-CA, the parent organization of CAIR San Diego, of a pamphlet titled, “An Educator’s Guide to Islamic Practices,” that includes citations from the Quran. Further, CAIR San Diego officials visited an elementary school in the district in February to lecture Seventh and Eighth graders about Islamophobia.

Mohebi has already been in the schools over a dozen times talking about Islam, Piedra said.

CAIR-CA urges Muslim students to report alleged bullying episodes through its website rather than through the school district directly. According to the school district’s bullying and intimidation policy students making the complaints may seek damages in civil court, the amended complaint notes.

“According to CAIR-CA, if the Anti-Islamophobia Initiative is successful, ‘San Diego Unified School District would be the leading school district in the nation to come up with a robust and beautiful anti-bully and anti-Islamophobic program,'” the amended complaint said.

CAIR-CA has a broader definition of bias and bullying than the school district does. The updated lawsuit said that CAIR’s definition could cause students to be accused of Islamophobia even if they “neither prefer nor incline toward Islamic beliefs and Muslim culture.”

“The California education code prohibits school districts from sponsoring any activity that promotes discriminatory bias on the basis of religion,” Piedra said. But “[t]he anti-Islamophobia program promotes a discriminatory bias.”

Piedra notes that state law requires complete neutrality when it comes to religion, and CAIR’s definition of bullying is so broad that unintentional slights could potentially land students in hot water.

Plaintiffs Raise Questions Regarding CAIR Hamas Ties

Piedra contends the amended complaint also offers an opportunity to define who CAIR is, particularly when it comes to its Hamas ties.

“Six CAIR leaders have been arrested, convicted or deported for terrorism crimes; of course, we have it as an unindicted co-conspirator [in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Hamas fundraising trial]. Among those convicted [in the HLF trial] was [Ghassan] Elashi, the founder of CAIR’s Dallas chapter,” Piedra said.

The amended complaint alludes to the HLF trial’s findings, saying “Federal prosecutors have acknowledged that Muslim Brotherhood leaders founded CAIR and that CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists.” Federal Judge Jorge Solis wrote that pieces of evidence introduced by prosecutors in the 2008 HLF trial “do create at least a prima facie case as to CAIR’s involvement in a conspiracy to support Hamas” in his July 2009 ruling.

Awad openly expressed his support for Hamas at a March 22, 1994 forum held at Barry University in Florida saying, “I used to support the PLO, and I used to be the President of the General Union of Palestine Students which is part of the PLO here in the United States, but after I researched the situation inside Palestine and outside, I am in support of the Hamas movement more than the PLO.”

He again defended Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups a decade later when he accused CAIR’s critics of spreading “an Israeli viewpoint” during a 2004 interview with Al-Jazeera. He referred to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups, as well as Hizballah, as “liberation movements.

“I truly do not condemn these organizations,” Awad said. “I will condemn them only when I see that media outlets are requiring the heads of Jewish foundations in America to condemn Israel for its treatment of innocent people; for killing people whether in Lebanon, Qana, or Palestine; for bulldozing their homes; and for their flagrant human rights violations.

“We do not and will not condemn any liberation movement inside Palestine or Lebanon.”

Internal documents seized by the FBI show that CAIR and its founders, Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad, belonged to a Muslim Brotherhood network known as the Palestine Committee. Both men appear on a telephone list of Palestine Committee members [Ahmad is listed under a pseudonym “Omar Yehya”]; CAIR is listed on a meeting agenda listing the committee’s branches.

The amended complaint references an April 2009 letter from FBI headquarters in Washington to former U.S. Sen. John Kyl explaining its 2008 decision to suspend its relationship with CAIR due to concern about “a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS.”

The plaintiffs’ lawyers note that the U.S. Department of Justice reaffirmed this policy of not cooperating with CAIR in September 2013, and that the United Arab Emirates classified CAIR as a terrorist organization in 2014.

Confessions of a Climate Change ‘Denier’

March 21, 2017

Confessions of a Climate Change ‘Denier’, Spectator, Thomas W. Smith, March 17, 2017

It has always been worrisome to me that every so-called solution to global warming subverts rather than enhances human freedom and advances the power of the state to regulate energy, industrial activity, and individual behavior. That seems to me, a denier, or whatever term you want to use, a potentially greater threat to the future of human welfare than even climate change. Václav Klaus, the former president of the Czech Republic, made this same point when he declared: “What is at risk is not the climate but freedom.”

****************************

A few days ago I had a conversation with a very smart university professor of history and somehow the climate change subject came up. Almost instantly he responded to my thoughts by saying: “You must be one of those deniers who rejects the science consensus.”

This is the new form of intellectual bullying and it’s intentionally designed is to stop the conversation not advance it. In the academies it is a technique to close off scientific inquiry.

When the liberals talk of ‎consensus, what consensus are they talking about?  Of whom? About what? Here is John Kay of the‎ Financial Times on the so-called consensus:

Science is a matter of evidence, not what a majority of scientists think…. The notion of a monolithic “science,” meaning what scientists say, is pernicious and the notion of “scientific consensus” actively so. The route to knowledge is transparency in disagreement and openness in debate. The route to truth is the pluralist expression of conflicting views in which, often not as quickly as we might like, good ideas drive out bad. There is no room in this process for any notion of “scientific consensus.”

Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, has noted that too many environmentalists “ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse.”

Then he adds: “… there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition.… The consensus was reached before the research was even begun…”

Kay and Lindzen are not alone. In an open letter to the Canadian Prime Minister, 60 scientists urged caution when it comes to any policy with regard to climate:

While the confident pronouncements of scientifically unqualified environmental groups may provide for sensational headlines, they are no basis for mature policy formation.… There is no “consensus” among climate scientists about the relative importance of the various causes of global climate change.… “Climate change is real” is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural noise.

Patrick Moore, a Ph.D. in ecology, is a fallen-away founder of Greenpeace. The following is from his 2015 lecture, “Should We Celebrate Carbon Dioxide?”

There is no definite scientific proof, through real-world observation that carbon dioxide is responsible for any of the slight warming in the global climate that has occurred during the past 300 years, since the peak of the Little Ice Age.… The contention that human emissions are now the dominant influence on climate is simply a hypothesis, rather than a universally accepted scientific theory. It is therefore correct, indeed verging on compulsory in a scientific tradition, to be skeptical of those who express certainty that “the science is settled” and “the debate is over.”

The world’s top climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is hopelessly conflicted by its makeup and its mandate from the United Nations. It is required only to focus on “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the atmosphere, and which is in addition to natural climate variability.” So if the IPCC found that climate change was not being affected by human alteration of the atmosphere or that it is not “dangerous,” there would be no need for it to exist. It is virtually mandated to find on the side of apocalypse.

The IPCC states that it is “extremely likely” that human emissions have been the dominant cause of global warming “since the mid-20th century,” that is since 1950. It claims that “extremely” means 95% certain, even though the number 95 was simply plucked from the air like an act of magic. And “likely” is not a scientific word but rather indicative of a judgment, another word for opinion.

“Perpetual repetition.” “Unqualified environmental groups.” “Sensational headlines.” This is what mass movements are all about. From his book, The True Believer, here is Eric Hoffer on mass movements:

Hatred is the most assessable and comprehensive of all the unifying agents.… Mass movements can rise and spread without the belief in God but never without the belief in evil.

By the way, isn’t this what the left accuses the Trump movement to be all about?

Hoffer then goes on to cite the historian F.A. Voigt’s account of a Japanese mission to Berlin in 1932 to study the National Socialist Movement. Voigt asked a member of the mission what he thought. He replied, “It is magnificent. I wish we could have something like it in Japan, only we can’t, because we haven’t got any Jews.” This brought a bit of clarity as to why the mass movement, rather brilliantly, wants to label those of us who have questions as “deniers.”

There are two things necessary for a mass movement to succeed: true believers and a well-defined enemy. The enemy of the climate change mass movement is fossil fuels and the Industrial Age, with the “deniers” being the enablers of planetary destruction.

In the past, the term “denier” has been associated with that extreme group who denies the existence of the horrible, tragic historical fact, the Holocaust. Many climate change true believers want the public to put anyone who questions or disagrees with climate change projections in the same category as the Holocaust deniers. But one is a fact, the other a contested projection. Nevertheless, they have been quite successful.

Here is one of the definitions of “denier” found on the Internet: “a person who denies something, especially someone who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of the scientific or historical evidence: a prominent denier of global warming.”

Here is Hoffer’s warning on the role of the true believer: “where mass movements can either persuade or coerce, it usually chooses the latter.”

Something we are seeing in spades.

The last paragraph of Friedrich Hayek’s 1974 Nobel Prize address, The Pretense of Knowledge, puts the climate change mass movement and its true believers into frightening perspective:

There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to try, “dizzy with success,” to use a characteristic phrase of early communism, to subject not only our natural but also our human environment to the control of a human will.

It has always been worrisome to me that every so-called solution to global warming subverts rather than enhances human freedom and advances the power of the state to regulate energy, industrial activity, and individual behavior. That seems to me, a denier, or whatever term you want to use, a potentially greater threat to the future of human welfare than even climate change. Václav Klaus, the former president of the Czech Republic, made this same point when he declared: “What is at risk is not the climate but freedom.”

Sharia in Denmark – Part II

July 20, 2016

Sharia in Denmark – Part II, Gatestone InstituteJudith Bergman, July 20, 2016

♦ “All the bullying happens in Arabic… The hierarchy of the Arab boys creates a very violent environment. … I have filmed the particularly vile bullying of a Somali boy. You can see the tears in his eyes. They are destroying him; it is very violent. ” — From a dissertation by Jalal El Derbas, Ph.D.

♦ Danish teachers are the least respected and are spoken of in denigrating and humiliating terms.

♦ “I am not saying that all the Arab children did ugly things, but we witnessed on a regular basis… using derogatory Arabic language towards Somalis and girls.” — Lise Egholm, former head of the Rådmandsgade school in Copenhagen.

♦ Whether Danish parliamentarians wish to acknowledge this problem or not, they are up against far wider issues than that of religious incitement in mosques by radical preachers.

After the television documentary, “Sharia in Denmark“, embarrassed Danish authorities by revealing how widespread the preaching of sharia is in mosques in Denmark, the Danish government, in May, concluded a political agreement about “initiatives directed against religious preachers who seek to undermine Danish laws and values and who support parallel legal systems”.

“We are doing everything we can without compromising the constitution and international agreements,” Bertel Haarder, the Minister for Culture and Church, said about the political agreement.

The agreement centers on a number of initiatives, which are supposed to compensate for the detrimental effects of all the years in which sharia was allowed to spread in Denmark while most authorities paid only scant attention to what was happening. Part of the new effort, therefore, will be the mapping of all existing mosques in Denmark.

It will now be obligatory, according to the agreement, for all priests, imams and others who are not part of the Church of Denmark, and who wish to be able to perform weddings — as well as for foreign preachers who apply for residence permits — to learn about Danish family law, freedom and democracy. At the end of the course, all will have to sign a statement that they will accept Danish law, including freedom of speech and religion, gender equality, freedom of sexual orientation, non-discrimination and women’s rights.

The government will examine how to create more transparency in foreign donations to faith communities in Denmark, including controlling and, if necessary, preventing such donations. As part of this work, on May 4 the government presented a law making it a crime to receive funding from a terror organization to establish or run an institution in Denmark, including schools and mosques.

Another element in the political agreement is the establishment of national lists with the names of traveling foreign (non-EU) religious preachers who will be excluded from entry into Denmark on the grounds that they are a threat to public order in Denmark. These named preachers will not be granted an entry visa and will be denied entry at the border. In addition, a non-public list, containing the names of such preachers who are EU citizens, will be established. The purpose of this list is to create awareness of the existence of these preachers, as, due to EU rules on free movement, they cannot be denied entry.

The final component of the agreement is the criminalization of certain speech. According to the agreement, it will become illegal explicitly to support terrorism, murder, rape, violence, incest, pedophilia, the use of force and polygamy as part of religious training, and whether or not the speech was made in private or in public. Both the activities of religious preachers and the activities of others, who speak as part of religious training, are included in the criminalization.

The political agreement is expected to become law when the Danish parliament reconvenes after the summer vacation.

Danish parliamentarians are aware that it will be difficult to measure whether these initiatives have any effect — how do you measure whether religious preachers are indeed not explicitly supporting terrorism, murder, rape and pedophilia, unless you place them under constant surveillance? But lawmakers are nevertheless confident that the new initiatives will have an effect. “This will have an impact on what people put up with from their religious leaders.” Culture and Church Minister Bertel Haarder says.

Another parliamentarian, Naser Khader, who appears more realistic, says,

“We are well aware that more initiatives are needed. But this stops hate preachers from coming to Denmark, preachers who only want to come here in order to sow discord between population groups and who encourage violence, incest and pedophilia.”

 

1703After the documentary “Sharia in Denmark” embarrassed Danish authorities, the government reached a new a political agreement, which Danish Member of Parliament Naser Khader supported, saying, “this stops hate preachers from coming to Denmark, preachers who only want to come here in order to sow discord between population groups and who encourage violence, incest and pedophilia.”

While Danish politicians have taken yet another step on an uncertain road that may or may not succeed in stemming the rise of sharia in Denmark, other problems abound, which compound the impression that this initiative will not amount to much more than a symbolic band-aid.

A recent Ph.D. dissertation by Jalal El Derbas, as reported by the Danish newspaper, Berlingske Tidende, shows that in several Danish schools with Arab students, the latter, mainly boys, use Arabic as a means to sexually and racially harass and bully other students as well as their teachers, especially girls, Somalis and ethnically Danish teachers, who do not understand the insults hurled at them in Arabic.

According to the article, El Derbas was shocked when he went through the video footage of 12- and 13-year-olds in two different Danish public schools with a majority of pupils with minority background. The purpose of his Ph.D. was to examine the possible causes of why bilingual boys — who speak both Danish and Arabic — continue to lag behind other Danish students. He wanted to see what those bilingual boys actually do in the classroom. The footage was taken over five months and it displayed a world characterized by hierarchy, sexual and religious harassment, bullying and racism, in which the first language of the students, Arabic, played a central and leading role. According to El Derbas:

“I could see that the students used Arabic as a secret code and they only used it negatively to disturb the schoolwork. If they did not want to do the work, they simply shifted to Arabic. The schools were very flexible and allowed the students to use Arabic both inside and outside the classroom. But all that this freedom accomplished was that the students shifted from Danish to Arabic if they were getting into a fight and if there was a teacher nearby whom they did not want to understand what they were saying.”

The video footage also revealed a hierarchy consisting of sexual harassment and racism, because the Arab boys consider themselves higher-ranking than girls and Somali students.

“All the bullying happens in Arabic. All the ugly and mean words are uttered in Arabic. The hierarchy of the Arab boys creates a very violent environment. I have video footage of severe sexual harassment against Arab girls and I have filmed the particularly vile bullying of a Somali boy. You can see the tears in his eyes. They are destroying him; it is very violent.”

According to El Derbas, Sunni and Shia Muslim strife is also imported into the grounds of these Danish schools. With the majority of the boys being Sunni Muslims, they look down on the Shia Muslim students and a teacher who is a Shia Muslim is called “Satan” or “witch”, whereas a Sunni Muslim teacher is addressed courteously as “uncle” or “aunt”. Danish teachers are the least respected, and are spoken of in denigrating and humiliating terms.

El Derbas, stressed that the pupils come from ghetto areas, saying:

“Many of the teachers have given up on engaging the parents in any way, but if this is to change it has to happen through the parents. Maybe it would help if the parents took turns of being present in the classroom to see how their children behave. Most of them [the parents] are not working or studying anyway. I think that could lead to an improvement. Because no parents will accept that their children behave in this manner”.

The results of the dissertation come as no surprise to Lise Egholm, now retired, but who for 18 years, until 2013, was the head of Copenhagen’s Rådmandsgade school, which has many Arab students.

“I am not saying that all the Arab children did ugly things,” says Egholm, “but we witnessed on a regular basis exactly the phenomenon of using derogatory Arabic language towards Somalis and girls… Back then the biggest group of children in the school was Arabic speaking, and the words which in Arabic mean ‘whore’ and ‘f— your mother’ they all knew.”

In a written statement to Berlingske Tidende, Minister of Education, Ellen Trane Nørby, wrote,

“It is never all right to bully, whether this happens in Danish, Arabic, or in a third language. That is why I have initiated a large initiative, which has as its purpose to prevent and combat bullying. The teachers have to signal very strongly that there has to be room for all children and that you have to treat other pupils with respect. If some pupils do not understand this and speak in ‘code language’ or use a language that excludes and bullies other pupils, the schools must intervene. Danish is the language used for teaching in Denmark, and pupils should not be excluded or bullied because of parallel languages in school”.

However, what the minister of education fails to mention is that the problems with this kind of behavior are not likely to remain inside the school, but will inevitably spill into the streets. Then what? No amount of lists of radical religious preachers and laws is going to change that fact.

Whether Danish parliamentarians wish to acknowledge this problem or not, they are up against far wider issues than that of religious incitement in mosques by radical preachers. Notably, El Derbas’s findings have not caused any debate remotely resembling that, which was caused by the “Sharia in Denmark” documentary. They should.