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Arabic professor quoted by Newsweek

Lost in the recent firestorm over the nation’s first bilingual Arab-English public schoolthe Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn, N.Y., which opponents have argued will become a breeding ground for militant Islamis the statistical truth that Arab-language programs are already on the r

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Lost in the recent firestorm over the nation’s first bilingual Arab-English public schoolthe Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn, N.Y., which opponents have argued will become a breeding ground for militant Islamis the statistical truth that Arab-language programs are already on the rise. But not everyone is onboard. Though the Khalil Gibran middle school claims no religious affiliationit takes its name from a secular Christian poetan organization called Stop the Madrassa Coalition wants to shut it down. So will conflict-wary public schools think twice before implementing Arabic programs? Seasoned educators aren’t too worried. “Academia is well aware of these groups that try to create a sort of academic censorship,” says Mahmoud Al-Batal, associate professor of Arabic at the University of Texas, who has been teaching his native language to Americans for more than 20 years. “They have a small impact, but students are much more sophisticated than the people behind Campus Watch. Their sheer numbers are saying that this language is important, so please, step aside and just allow us to learn.”

Newsweek
Education: Speech Impediment
(Oct. 1)