"A Win for Common Sense" (Editorial, Sept. 5) seriously misrepresents what Debbie Almontaser, founding principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, said in your Aug. 6, 2007 interview ("City Principal is 'Revolting' ").
You say that Almontaser claimed that intifada "merely meant 'shaking off'," implying that she trivialized the Mideast conflict. Almontaser used the phrase "shaking off" (the dictionary definition) only after your reporter asked for the Arabic root of the word intifada.
Further, Almontaser explicitly acknowledged the negative connotation due "to the uprising in the Palestinian-Israeli areas."
Nor did Almontaser try to justify the use of the phrase "intifada NYC" on T-shirts. Rather, she said that she did not "believe the intention is to have any of that kind of [violence] in New York City."
We will appeal the recent decision to the Court of Appeals, which earlier questioned whether Almontaser could be punished for "speaking accurately when her statement is, as her employer knows, inaccurately reported and then misconstrued by the press."
Alan Levine, lawyer for Debbie Almontaser, Manhattan