About 30 protesters demonstrated against the Houston Independent School District's new Arabic Immersion Magnet School on Aug. 24 (video below).
It was the first day of school for nearly 132 kindergarten and pre-kindergarten children at the school, notes the Houston Chronicle.
The protesters waved American and Israeli flags, and held protest signs such as: "Qatar out of our schools" and "Everything I ever cared to know about Islam was taught to me by Muslims on 9-11-2001."
One protester yelled, "No Arabic should be taught to children in school. Forcing a child to speak Arabic should be against the law."
The school will have kids study half the day in Arabic and the rest of the day in English.
"Houston is the energy capital of the world," HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said. "And we need to have graduates who can communicate with people all over the world."
Principal Kate Adams claimed that accusations that the school is mostly Arabic-speaking immigrant students are not true. Adams said that the majority of the students were African-Americans, Hispanics and Caucasians.
The protester's website StopTheMagnet.com states:
"The force financing part of this initiative is the Qatar Foundation International. This organization's board includes the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Tariq Ramadan. Qatar is a major financier of terrorist activity in the middle east (sic) and Africa.
"HISD has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from Qatar in return for allowing the creation of programs that will promote the Arabic language and culture. Instead of promoting English and Western culture, HISD will assist those of Arabic backgrounds maintain their native language skills so they can study the Koran, according to a Robert E. Lee High School grant application."