Thursday, May 10, 2007


The news reports from New York City indicate that the Khalil Gibran International Academy set up to study Arabic (it is a public school, by the way) is facing opposition from some parents and conservative news columnists who fear it will “promote radical Islam.”

The press should inform the public that Gibran (1883-1931), the author of The Prophet, was an Arab-American of Lebanese descent. He was an artist and a poet. He studied in Paris with the sculptor Rodin, and his poetry influenced JFK, who lifted the line about not asking what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country from one of his works. He was also a Christian.

It seems unlikely that the New York City school system will allow this new public school to become a hot bed of radical Islam.

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