Islamic Boarding School Set To Open

by Thomas MacMillan | March 13, 2009 2:18 PM | | Comments (41)

031009_049.jpgA new Muslim boys’ boarding school on Gilbert Avenue will be the first institution of its kind in New Haven, North America, and perhaps in the world, said founder Shafiq Abdussabur.

In its meeting this week, the Board of Zoning Appeals gave Abdussabur the green light to open his school, which will be called Omar Ibn Said Leadership Academy. Abdussabur (pictured) plans to open the school in June of this year.

Abdussabur, a city cop known for his work with youth, said that the new school will start with 30 boys. The students, aged 11, will receive three years of education in Koranic science, including memorizing the Koran and learning Arabic. What sets his school apart from other Islamic schools, Abdussabur said, is that Omar Academy will provide more than just a religious education.

“Currently in the U.S. there are approximately five known schools that teach Koranic science, but all of them teach only Koranic science,” Abdussabur said, explaining that Omar Academy students will also learn about other religions, as well as gaining the tools they need to become leaders in “modern society.”

“This is the first school in North America that brings together the secular culture and religious culture as well,” Abdussabur said. He said that Omar academy will provide a well-rounded education, with an emphasis on ethical development. The school will provide education in all major subjects, including math, science, and geography. Abdussabur said that he is using Amistad Academy — a local charter school — as a reference point for the plan for his school.

After three years of study, Omar Academy students “will likely have memorized the Koran and be fluent in Arabic and English,” Abdussabur said. A handful of high-achieving students will move into a five-year course of advanced study.

“If you’re from the mideast, you would call it a madrasah,” Abdussabur said of his school, explaining that the term “madrasah” is used to describe “the highest level of education you can get in the Islamic world.”

Abdussabur said that he and his wife, Mubarakah Ibrahim, have been developing the idea for Omar Academy for several years. Abdussabur plans to continue his job as a police officer while serving as the school’s executive director.

Abdussabur told the board that Omar Academy aims to have 20 boarding students and 10 day students. He intends to have half of the 20 boarding students come from within Connecticut and half from out of state. All the boys must have been raised practicing Islam and have at least one Muslim parent.

The students will attend the school year-round for three years, with a total of one month off each year for vacations. Yearly tuition for boarding students will be $10,400, including room and board. It will the only boarding school in the city.

The school will have three teachers, with one teacher living on the premises. Abdussabur said that he has already found the head teacher, Sheik Muhammad Abdul-Ati, a native of Egypt currently serving as an Imam in West Haven.

031009_004a.jpgOmar Academy will occupy a building (pictured) directly behind the Masjid al-Islam, a mosque on George Street. The Masjid owns the school building, along with several of the neighboring houses.

Abdussabur is in the process of raising $300,000 needed to renovate the building and open his school. The money is coming exclusively from private donations. Abdussabur said that he plans to have exclusively green, environmentally friendly construction.

Abdussabur said that he hopes to open a girls’ school in the future, but wants to start with an all-boys academy. “We want to stay in the tradition of the historical education process,” Abdussabur said, mentioning Oxford and Yale as schools that were founded as single-sex institutions. “Separating boys and girls cuts down on distractions,” he said.

Several members of the local Muslim community spoke briefly in favor of Abdussabur’s proposed school, and the board received a letter of support from local Alderman Yusuf Shah. The board gave its unanimous approval to the plan, with the conditions that there be no more than 20 boarding students and 20 day students and three parking spaces be reserved for teachers.







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Posted by: cedarhillresident [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 13, 2009 2:31 PM

I so love this man!!! Wish we could clone him!

Posted by: ParkStTaxPayer [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 13, 2009 3:27 PM

If the school operates as a not-for-profit organization, it could benefit from tax-deductible donations from individuals.

It's great to see positive change coming to North America through New Haven!

best of luck!

Posted by: Ned | March 13, 2009 4:26 PM

What is "Koranic science" is it as lame as "Christian science" (aren't both oxymorons?) and why are people so interested in brainwashing children into their favored tribal superstitions?

Posted by: cedarhillresident [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 13, 2009 4:47 PM

Ned at most I do agree with you on that thought (being a brainwashed Roman Catholic who will not have anything to do with that church because of the hate it supports) But with today woes on many inner city youth I think that religious schools in general do have a morals and values purpose...and this is something that public schools seems to be lacking in for some. So I do support it. Remember we all become adults (such as you and me have) and are able to decide our views on the various religions, but at least we had an understanding of them...many kids do not.

LUV YA :)

Posted by: JackNH | March 13, 2009 6:26 PM

Koranic science? Please.

You can't run a boarding school charging $10,400. Oh wait, since it teaches Koranic science, it won't need things like a lab.

Posted by: ChristianAmericanPatriot [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 14, 2009 4:15 AM


Quotes from the Koran:
--The unbelievers are your inveterate enemy. (4:101)
-- Surely the vilest of animals in Allah's sight are those who disbelieve. (8.55)
-- Mohammed is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another. (48:29).
-- It is unlawful for a believer to kill another believer, accidents excepted. (4:92)
-- Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. (5:51)
-- Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme. (8:40)
-- Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme. (2:193)
-- The true believers fight for the cause of God, but the infidels fight for the devil. (4:76)
-- We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. (3:151)
-- I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers. (8:12)
Quotes from the sayings of mohammed:
Muhammad said to the Jews: "If you embrace Islam, you will be safe. You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want to expel you from this land. "
Sahih Bukhari [4:52:176] Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:
Allah's Apostle said, "You (i.e. Muslims) will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, 'O 'Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.' "

Mohammed said, "I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.." (otherwise it will not). Vol. 4:196
Mohammed said, "Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him." Vol. 9:57
Mohammed said, " No Muslim should be killed for killing a Kafir" (infidel). Vol. 9:50
Muhammad said:
Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, ...(Sahih Muslim 4294)
YUSUF QARADAWI, the spiritual leader of the Muslim brotherhood and the most popular and influential Islamic religious authority in the world today, is on the recommended reading list of local mosques. Among other Islamist-supremacist things, he wrote:
"Islam came to be followed, not to follow; to be dominant, not subordinate."
"Islam came with its complete, comprehensive and eternal sharia (law) for the whole of mankind."
ABUL MAUDUDI, the most important and popular Islamic writer of the 20th Century, wrote: "The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam. Any nation or power that gets in the way of that goal, Islam will fight and destroy."
________________________________________
The statements about Islam above are from the most highly revered and respected Islamic sources, not from "Islamophobes"!

Posted by: ChristianAmericanPatriot [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 14, 2009 4:20 AM

What does the above quotes from the koran have to do with being a citizen of a democratic nation of numerous religions and the rights to free speech, freedom to worship, freedom to speak up about hate, violence, maiming, murdering, raping, pillaging, robbing, abusing and the prophet's favorite, 'the child molestation of underage females,' for the direct purpose of making islam supreme throughout the entire globe? Nothing, unless you want to live in an islamic state, under sharia law, where non-believers in islam are taxed, made to convert or killed. This will be another training ground for islamic jihadists and shouldn't be on US soil, much less supported by any government funding.

Posted by: norton street | March 14, 2009 11:24 AM

youre right CAP religion is extremely dangerous, we should get rid of it completely.

Posted by: THREEFIFTHS | March 14, 2009 12:58 PM

CHRISTIANAMERICANPATRIOT
Quotes from the Bible

Numbers 15:32-35
And the lord said unto moses the man shall be surely put to death,All of the congregation shall stone him.This is about the man that gathered sticks on the sabbath day.

Exodus 21:17
He that curseth his Father and Mother shall surely be put to death.

Numbers 25:4-9
And the lord said unto moses,Take all of the heads of the people and hang them up before the lord against the sun.

Pslam 137:9
Blessed is the one who seizes and dashes your little ones against the rock.

You said that this will be another training ground for islamic jihadists,Not true in fact Homeland security is looking for people who can speak arabic to work for them.Have you forgot Christianity was forced on the native american and there land was stolen from them and they was also raped and murder in the name of Christianity.
Look up the School of the Americans which is on U.S. soil that trains soldiers and military personnel from latin American countries in counter-insurgency. The school is funded by the U.S. Taxpayer money and this school has been a round since 1946. In fact the rumor is this school has train some the the people who use to work for the U.S. and are training the people who you are talking about. Last like it or not Islam.Christianity and judaism are all one due to the fact that Abraham is the Father of all three faiths!!!!!!!

Posted by: neil | March 14, 2009 1:30 PM

Amen ChristianAmericanPatriot!!!

This is all about the islamisization of the West--Muslim Brotherhood style. We'd better keep an eye on this.

Posted by: jawbone | March 14, 2009 1:50 PM

christianamericanpatriot,
Not from around these parts, are ya?

Posted by: ola | March 14, 2009 5:43 PM

honestly,some of us ppl are just mischief makers,islam teaches us to either say whats good or shut up! christianamericanpilot and his likes,if u av no love for this beautiful concept u can as well shut up!and at least,stop misquotin quranic verses!.as for those of us that admire sis mubarakah and her husband,Allah is by our side and we r proud of dis lovely boarding house project!mashaallah!

Posted by: True New Havener | March 14, 2009 7:20 PM

It has happened!! Was not sure it ever would.

I agree entirely with ThreeFifths. Brilliantly said -- nothing more is needed.

Posted by: John Tulin [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 14, 2009 7:29 PM

"'Separating boys and girls cuts down on distractions,' he said."

Separate, but equal....right, Shafiq?

Posted by: lance | March 14, 2009 8:12 PM

is the school going to be all "Farrakhanish"? you know, teach that the white man is the bad guy and stuff? because if it does, that's wrong (even though the left tries to excuse it).

If it instills a GOOD set of values while emphasising academics....and preaches and teaches to evaluate people on their character not their skin color (citation omitted) than it's potentially just the kind of strategy the inner city needs- given the high level of absentee fathers, abysmal overall acedemic performance, violence, ect.

Posted by: Alphonse Credenza | March 15, 2009 8:10 AM

Threefifths --

The moral equivalency argument you offer doesn't succeed.

Christianity now longer countenances those things for which you cite certain passages, such as stoning. Islam maintains its traditional understandings.

Intelligence analysts can be trained in Arabic without having to become a member of the Muslim faithful.

By the way, if we are such an awful people (you cite both history and modern practice), why are you here?

Posted by: ned | March 15, 2009 10:34 AM

religion ≠ moral.

religion ≡ superstition

Posted by: IN THE TRENCHES | March 15, 2009 11:17 AM

John Tulin:
Yes, seperate but equal. I understand totally what Shafiq means by seperating the sexes. And he's totally correct. I'm no Muslim, but I studied Islam several years ago and have Muslim friends as well as family members. Because my islamic education is PRE-September 11, I've had the fortune of learning the true practice and teachings of Islam-before the actions of some hijackers demonized the "religion" forever in the eyes and minds of Americans. Many practices of Islam have been misunderstood and intentionally misintepreted to miseducated the ignorant. In every form of religion you have those that twist the true meanings to indoctrinate a certain segment of the population. The "distractions" that Shafiq speak of can be seen anytime a somewhat beautiful woman walks past a construction site. How about when a shapely woman applying for a job coincidentally gets hired by her male prospective employer before her qualifications are investigated? The seperation merely prevents young women from being ogled by boys when they should be learning. Pay attention to the men around you the next time an attractive woman enters the vacinity. See who's concentrating on what they were doing beforehand. That's the whole point of it-it's not and inferiority thing.

Posted by: Rocco | March 15, 2009 11:57 AM

Yikes! we've come a long way from the 50's in New Haven.

Posted by: Yaakov Stern | March 15, 2009 12:08 PM

The fact that there are large groups of Muslim terrorists in the Middle East, or even in the Western world, does not implicate all Islamic schools as training camps for terrorists. Quoting violent passages from the Koran is no more indicative of the inherent violence of Islam than quotes from the Bible are indicative of Judaism or Christianity. The statement "Islam maintains its traditional understandings" is highly uninformed--there are many, many Muslims in the world, and they interpret their religion in a lot of different ways, just like Christians and Jews. Additionally, the claim that Christianity as a whole is no longer violent or xenophobic while Islam is is wrong. Plenty of Muslims and Christians go around killing others--just not so often in Western Europe or North America. It is true that Christians in these parts of the world are less violent and possibly less xenophobic than some Muslims in the Middle East, but Muslims in our part of the world are also generally fairly understanding of the fact that there are many people of a multitude of backgrounds in our society, and live in peaceful coexistence with you already. This school is not going to bring Al Qaeda to New Haven; it is simply going to serve the people who already live in this area who want their children to have a proper Islamic religious education. Kudos to this man for offering that in conjunction with the benefits of a secular, "Western" education.

Posted by: THREEFIFTHS | March 15, 2009 3:53 PM

Alphonse Credenza

You said the moral equivalency argument you offer dosn't succeed.Christianity no longer countenances those things for which you cite certain passages. Lets look at what some of these Christian Extremis Groups who are still around till this day. I got this list from The FBI
Anti Defamation League And The Southern Poverty Law Center.Feel free to check there web sites.

1. Christian Identity
Origins 19 century to present
A racist and Anti-Semitic Christian Sect.
In fact One these Good Old bible carrying Member by the name of Gordon Kahl killed to U.S. Marshals who had come to arrest him for a parole violation.In fact you have a chapter here in this state.

2.You know this good old bible carrying god loving praise the lord group,The good old sheet wear Ku Klux Klan.
Origins 1866-present
You know how this good old christian bible carrying group loves to burn Cross and plant bombs
and terrorize people and even terrorize there Christian brothers and sister that donot look like them.In fact if they saw you name they would terroize you due to the fact that you name sounds
foreign and you know what this good all christian group think of foreign people. They to have a chapter in this state.

3.Tax Protest Movement
Origins-1950-Present
Another good old group who is also part of the Christian Identity group.

4.Now I saved this good all bible carrying, Praise
the lord group called The Army of God last.
Origins 1994-Present This is your good old Christian group who says that by order of god we must kill Abortion providers,That right these are you good old anti-abortion extremis who use Quotes from the good old bible to justfify the killing of abortion Providers,In fact look up there poster boy Paul Hill,He murder two doctors.

Last you ask why am I here. You should be asking why are These Groups here!!! P.S. I forgot Did Bush who is a christian say that god told him to start this war,Please let me know if this is a true statement.

Posted by: Joe | March 15, 2009 7:21 PM

Just because there is a good deal of intolerance in christian faiths and the jewish faiths is abiolsutely no reason to infer that it is ok if there is even greater or similar intolerance and hate in the muslum faith. To the average American both Christian and Jewish faith groups in the US have gradually become more tolerant and accepting of other faiths and people that practice other faiths. The same cannot, in my opinion, be said of practicing islamic faith groups post 911.

Hate and intolerance in ANY religion is wrong and any religion that preaches this should not be allowed to be practiced in the US.

I believe strongly that honest dialog is, however, important on this issue. I have absolutely no problem with people that practice the Islamic faith. My prolem is with the islamic groups that preach hate for those that are not islamic and hate for those of specific races and nationalities.

If this school is not going to preach hate then thats great, welcome to New Haven.

If it turns out that hate is part of the lesson plan and can be proved beyond a doubt then and only then the city needs to have the moral strength to stop them.

Its really as simple as that.

Hate has no place anywhere in the country least of all in New Haven.

Posted by: ned | March 16, 2009 8:32 AM

"An Islamic regime must be serious in every field," explained Ayatollah Khomeini. "There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humour in Islam. There is no fun in Islam." kind of sums up religion in general - it's boring, especially when adults are cramming it down kids' throats (and I'm not just talking about pedophile priests).

Of course all of the "people of faith" have to stick together on this one, as when you start noticing how ridiculous one religion is, all religions look equally ridiculous.

Posted by: Jahad | March 16, 2009 11:01 AM

Incredible to see this type of narrow-mindedness in 2009! Whomever or whatever religion you choose to practice is your business, as long as it helps you become a better person.
Open your eyes and understand that everything that transpires in this world doesn't have to be seen through your eyes- or receive your blessing for implementation. Great work Shafiq!

Posted by: robn | March 16, 2009 1:07 PM

I believe that Shafiq's heart is in the right place, but as long as a culture espouses a belief in separtism with women in fixed roles as second class citizens, that culture is doomed to never reach its potential. This goes for fundamental islamists, patriarchal christians such as the Quiverfulls and also the orthodox Jewish Satmar Hasidim....and the list goes on....

Posted by: Alphonse Credenza | March 16, 2009 6:00 PM

3/5:

Your point relies upon the fallacy that the specific proves the general. You've picked populations with minor followings within the Christian world, none of whom are understood to speak any of the faithful, except themselves, and whom Christians have repudiated and continue to repudiate.

But the majority of the Islamic faithful maintain their traditional understandings of its Word. I don't write about Muslims as individuals, but the tradition of Islamic teaching. Prove this wrong.

You answer my ultimate question with a question. That is no answer. If we are such a miserable people, why do you remain here?

Posted by: ned | March 16, 2009 7:21 PM

Jahad, "Incredible to see this type of narrow-mindedness in 2009!" I assume you're talking about the rampant, extremely violent homophobia and sexism in religiously obsessed people worldwide (not limited to Muslim fanatics; I'm guessing that secular or moderate Muslims are as concerned with their freedom and personal safety as the rest of us are).

Posted by: Yaakov Stern | March 16, 2009 9:26 PM

It seems that this conversation was never really about this school, Mr. Abdussabur, or New Haven in any way, shape or form. It has been, from the start, a discussion on whether or not Islam is acceptable in New Haven.

In my previous post, I attempted, rather unsuccessfully, to shift the discussion towards whether or not this school is a good thing for the New Haven community. To a smaller extent, it is also relevant to Islam as a whole. There is, however, no evidence, or even indication, that this has anything to do with militant Islam. It is possible that the school will teach doctrines pertaining to gender equality that many of us disagree with, myself included; this, however, is neither evident nor implicit in the article. It also does not seem to be the goal of Mr. Abdussabur. He makes it very clear that this school is an attempt to integrate a religious Islamic education with all the information available to students at any secular school--science, art, history, literature, etc. Without any evidence to the contrary, I am inclined to take his word for it, and find this to be a laudable step. I wish him well in his enterprise.

Any arguments for or against that, not pertaining to terrorism in other parts of the world?

Posted by: kamb | March 16, 2009 10:45 PM

Does anyone do their homework?

This Abdulsabaur is a cop who gave his brother a gun and his brother killed someone with it.

He also shot at a car that was driving away from him during a car stop. ...

And, these people comment on this site about how bad the East Haven Police are? Look no farther than this guy.

Posted by: THREEFIFTHS | March 17, 2009 2:23 AM

Alphonse Credenza
You said that the specific proves the general. you said i picked populations within the minor christian world. Wrong again,In fact I was reading
a report that said Domestic Terrorist is the bigger threat to this country. Did you know that most of the domestic terrorist in this country are
not Fundamental Islamists,But they are Americans of all faiths!! What would you call good all Jim Jones,Who gave out the good kool-Aid.You rember The teaching at Waco by David Koresh of the Branch Davidian,And we can not forget the Bible carrying
christian domestic terrorist Timothy Mcveigh.In fact Not only did David Koresh and Timothy Mcveigh
use there King James Bible to carry out there Domestic Terrorist acts,There also use the good book call the Turner Diaries written by William Luther Pierce under the pseudonym of Andrew Macdonald another good old bible carrying christian.If fact the book was call by the FBI and The ADL The Bible of the Racist RIGHT,You Should read it,Bottom line I will say it one more time you will find terrorist in all faiths,Rember
there was people of all faiths who die in the World Trade Center,Just like there was people of
all faiths who die when Timothy Mcveigh a christian who Bombed the Alfred p. Murrah Building In Oklahoma City and did it on the second anniversary of the Waco Siege.Now you ask me why do you remain here.I am here because I have not sold my house as yet due to the fact who will buy a house in this high tax state,The major of people are buying
homes down south.But why are you Here?

Posted by: ned | March 17, 2009 8:39 AM

"In every form of religion you have those that twist the true meanings to indoctrinate a certain segment of the population." So Abdussabur knows the "true meanings" of this particular religion? Funny how all sects seem to be the only ones who know the "true meaning" of whatever nonsense they're spouting. Does god hate fags or does he love everyone? I'm sure Fred Phelps knows the "truth".

"The 'distractions' that Shafiq speak of can be seen anytime a somewhat beautiful woman walks past a construction site." Okay ladies break out your burkhas - remember everyone is naked under their clothes. (never mind why there aren't more women in the construction trades?). So why does Abdussabur think that all of these boys will be heterosexual?

I'm ready for my fatwa now.

Posted by: Streever | March 17, 2009 8:43 AM

I'm sorry, what's the point of this discussion?
There are plenty of forums where you can wage war about religion. Is the Independent really one of them? Is this discussion even remotely on-topic?

Posted by: Alphonse Credenza | March 17, 2009 12:25 PM

3/5

I am here to counter your misunderstanding and hatred of the country and the civilization -- a Western civilization -- it stands for.

Streever

Can't you pipe down and let others discuss?

Posted by: THREEFIFTHS | March 17, 2009 10:29 PM

Alphose Credenza

Who said I hate this country,I love this country,But donot trust those in power who run this country. As far as Western Civilzation, Is this not the same Western Civilzation that murder and rob the land from the Native Americans and told them that there God was pagen and forced them to pray to there God? In fact there is a old saying,When Western Civilzation came they had the Bible and the Native Americans Had the land. Now Western Civilzation has the Land and the Native Americans have the Bible!!!!

Posted by: Alphonse Credenza | March 18, 2009 12:20 PM

Do you mean to say that Sharia is preferable?

Posted by: Willie Williams Jr | March 18, 2009 1:06 PM

That's Good News!

Posted by: William Kurtz | March 18, 2009 2:03 PM

Alphonse, I'm surprised at you. Do you really see only that false dichotomy between Sharia law and the darker side of western civilization that Three-Fifths is calling attention to?

In general, I think we would all be better served by more patience with complexity, more comfort with ambiguity, and more appreciation for nuance. What's wrong with loving your country, but being critical of its sometimes sordid history? Can't we support the troops but oppose the mission? Shouldn't we honor people of faith for their charitable and socially constructive works while at the same time, refuse to allow 'religion' to excuse intolerance and hatred?

Posted by: Alphonse Credenza | March 18, 2009 4:29 PM

William

That wasn't my point. I was critical of 3/5's application of the few to prove the many. Few Christians worldwide maintain belief in the divinity of certain passages of the Bible and thus do not observe them rigourously. Islam presents an altogether different situation, with much of its traditional understandings, beliefs and demands upon its worshippers intact.

I was also critical of 3/5 comments on western civilization. Frankly, it is my conviction that the traditional ideas of the West have, on the whole, even with the catastrophes some have visited upon others, made life for their populations richer culturally, healthier, wealthier, better able to mete justice, freer, more so than non-Western. So I asked him if Sharia were preferable.

Posted by: Seth | March 18, 2009 5:19 PM

I think this is phenomenal! This will give way to more institutions of its kind which are designed not only to reinforce the importance of discipline in education, but to teach young people Arabic. In today's global economy, it is necessary for our young people to be multilingual.

I wish you well!

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