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NYT Searches for the Leader of the Anti-Shariah Movement, Finds Me Instead
by David Yerushalmi
I was featured, complete with pictures (and online video), in a 2,000+ word New York Times article about the anti-sharia movement in this country, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Andrea Elliot, which appeared in the Times' July 31st Sunday edition, front page, above the fold. Impressive, no? Unfortunately, Ms. Elliot exposed herself as biased and in denial, and has since given an interview to NPR in which she more openly evidences journalistic condescension, in addition to the bias one normally expects from the mainstream media. The story was quite explicitly intended to link a national movement to a single individual, me, and then to suggest that this individual -- again, me -- was manipulative, hidden, and controversial. This is evident from the title of the article: "The Man Behind the Anti-Sharia Movement."
The truth remains at a distance, and this analysis will suggest only a more objective telling of the facts. I say "suggest" because I am the subject of the Times "profile," and as such I cannot realistically claim objectivity. I will allow others more at a distance to weigh in. One writer, Ben Shapiro, whom I don't know, has already done that, and I must note my appreciation (see "In Defense of David Yerushalmi").
We begin at the beginning. Ms. Elliot and I have traded emails on sharia and related matters for about 3 or 4 years. We first "met" when she did a long profile of Dhaba (Debbie) Almontaser, the spearhead and one-time principal of New York City's failed Arabic-centric public school called the Khalil Gibran International Academy. (While KGIA's doors remain open, everyone both within and without the school's community of present and past teachers, administrators, students, parents, and early supporters admit it has failed as both an educational center and as a "multi-cultural" outreach.)
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