The Fryeburg Free Press is a News Letter for the Greater Conway - Fryeburg - Western Maine Area. Mike Corthell, Editor & Publisher
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Council on American–Islamic Relations Intervenes in School Bullying Case
CAIR DEFENDS TALIBAN, HAMAS AGAINST BULLYING CHARGE
Teacher accused of being 'racist' for citing terrorist groups
Mike Corthell, Editor
It’s become mandatory for public school teachers to discuss bullying with students, but when Mary Janda offered a couple of examples of world-class bullies, she drew the ire of a national organization that is now calling for a federal investigation.
Janda, who has taught for 21 years at Concrete Middle School in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Western Washington state, pointed to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas and the Taliban as organizations that use violence to “bully people.”
A student whose father is a Muslim was offended by her illustration, and now the notorious Council on American-Islamic Relations has intervened.
Ironically, although CAIR often is called upon as a defender of civil rights, the Justice Department says the organization was formed by members of Hamas in 1993 to put a friendly face on the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. In 2007, federal prosecutors named CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in a plot to fund Hamas.
The Oct. 29 classroom incident in Concrete, Wash., came to light a month later when the district received a letter from CAIR. The district said the student and her parents never filed a complaint directly with school officials.
Last month, CAIR’s Washington state branch called for a federal investigation, alleging Janda made “racist” remarks about Muslims, KOMO-TV in Seattle reported.
CAIR called on the Department of Justice to step in, KOMO said, charging the Concrete School District didn’t do enough to investigate the comments.
CAIR-Washington announced March 6 that it was going ahead with its own investigation to see if Janda’s alleged offense was “part of a larger pattern of biased education.”
CAIR submitted a public records request to the Concrete School District for information “regarding curriculum, approved texts and materials, internal correspondence, and past complaints against the district.”
“Often one complaint is indicative of a larger pattern of biased education,” said CAIR-Washington’s civil rights coordinator, Jennifer Gist, in a statement. “We are requesting public records from the district to review their materials and past complaints, in an effort to analyze the quality of equal education it affords its students.”
‘We’re not a bunch of racists’
The school district stands behind Janda, calling CAIR’s charge “false information” that was taken out of context. Janda issued a statement explaining that in her Oct. 29 presentation, she was “not talking about Muslims and Arabs in general.”
Janda said she was surprised CAIR filed a complaint without contacting her to get her account of the class discussion.
She said the discussion led to a reference to “some members of groups who employ extreme acts such as Hamas and the Taliban.” Her point, she said, was that people “who intend on imposing their will on others are bullies, whether they be Nazis or others.”
“I was not talking about Muslim believers or Arabs in general but people that were trained to kill.” she said.
“This discussion is not about religious beliefs,” Janda explained. “It is related to a state mandate that public schools teach students about bullying and not allow it.”
Gabriel, a Lebanon-born activist who suffered injury as victim of an Islamic militant attack as a child, said CAIR saw Janda’s remarks “as an opportunity to further its faulty, cynical narrative that Muslims across America are regular victims of discrimination and civil rights abuses.”
She said “a veteran teacher with an exemplary record, who stated something that is factual and provable, is under attack – her good name smeared so that CAIR-Washington can advance its political agenda.”
KOMO interviewed a resident of the town of 700 who defended Janda.
“The kids that I know who’ve gone to the teacher have had no problems,” said Tabithia Hicks. “The teacher was well-liked, well-respected, and to hear this from this, I’m like, wait, this isn’t what we need here in Concrete. We’re not a bunch of racists.”
‘Media twinkle’ on jihad
The Justice Department tied CAIR to its terror-finance case against the Richardson, Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, which was convicted of funneling more than $12 million to Hamas.
FBI wiretap evidence from the Holy Land case showed CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad was at an October 1993 meeting of Hamas leaders and activists in Philadelphia. CAIR, according to the evidence, was born out of a need to give a “media twinkle” to the Muslim leaders’ agenda of supporting violent jihad abroad while slowly institutionalizing Islamic law in the U.S.
As WND reported in 2010, a federal judge later determined that the Justice Department provided “ample evidence” to designate CAIR as an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator, affirming the Muslim group has been involved in “a conspiracy to support Hamas.”
The judge did not dispute “press accounts and blog entries” that “CAIR is a criminal organization that supports terrorism,” according to the ruling.