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Letters ... We Get Letters


OK, comments, yes, but not that many letters.

But below is a link to a letter published in Education Week responding to a recent post of mine about the case of Debbie Almontaser, who lost her job as a New York City high school principal amid a controversy over her comments to the press interpreted by some as sympathetic to Islamic radicals.

The letter from Almontaser's lawyer makes the point that her case is not over and an appeal is planned to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, as well as pursuit of a separate action before the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The letter is here, and my Sept. 7 post is here.


Last I checked, America is still a place where people are free to choose their religions, right? Or is that not quite an option anymore?

While I would agree that any public official sacrifices some of their ability to speak freely as an individual due to the inevitable association with their employer, I see little in Ms. Almontaser's comments--even reported in such limited context--that could be construed as damaging in any way in the context of a rational society. What makes for the damage in this case is not what she said, but in fact the environment of blurry definitions of "the enemy" of the US, or of American society, as all things Muslim. The airwaves, and cyberspace, are currently filled with the rantings of folks who are eager to classify as "evil doers" anyone with a Muslim name, a Muslim look, or anyone who calls for rational discussion on the topic.

Ms. Almontaser's response to the baited question was in fact appropriate. It gave a factual answer, as well as acknowledging the societal mis-associations with the term.

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