New English Review: The Islamic Saudi Academy: a ‘hot potato’

July 1, 2008 at 3:31 pm | Posted in Shariah | Leave a comment
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http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm/frm/22384/sec_id/22384

by Jerry Gordon (July 2008)


This article focuses on the controversy generated by a report of the Congressionally chartered group, The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (
USCIRF). The report spearheaded by Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute. The USCIRF reviewed the Saudi-sponsored Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA) of Fairfax , Virginia, in particular the hate texts from its Wahhabi Islamic Studies program. It tells the story of a coalition of regional and national grass roots activist groups and a courageous U.S. Congressman, author of the landmark 1998 federal legislation (PL 105-202) that created the USCIRF, Rep. Frank Wolf of Northern Virginia . Who, faced with the feckless political actions of Fairfax County government officials, has vaulted the problems of the ISA from a local to a national and international arena. In the words of one of the leaders of the grass roots protests against the ISA, its Saudi Embassy sponsorship and its Wahhabi hate texts, Jim Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), and a former Capitol Hill aide, it has become a “hot potato.”

Christine Brim of the Center for Security Policy (CSP), noted in an email comment to the author the common thread from the 1990’s to today regarding citizen actions against the Saudi-sponsored ISA and the positions of local leaders:

Over the last twenty years, the boards of supervisors of Poolesville, Loudoun County , Fairfax County , and officials at the State Department all demonstrated the same craven support for the terrorist-financing regime of Saudi Arabia ‘s first radical madrassa in the U.S. , the Islamic Saudi Academy. Time after time, elected local officials gave in to the ISA in the face of Saudi petrodollars and intimidation. The good news is that also over the last twenty years, local citizens have organized and won against the ISA in Poolesville , MD and Loudoun County , VA. This year, the residents of Fairfax county have a chance to close down the ISA as recommended by the USCIRF. We have a chance especially in this election year; especially given the ISA Director’s refusal to obey Virginia laws to report – not to cover up – the alleged sexual abuse of a five year old student.

The scandal is how Gerald Connolly and the rest of the Fairfax board of supervisors may have created a political climate over the last several years making that alleged cover-up a probability.

Unlike Connolly, more socially responsible citizens in Poolesville , MD and in Loudoun and Fairfax counties have spoken out against the Saudis and against Saudi lessons in shariah law which requires violent jihad against other religions and against civil liberties.

A Washington Jewish Week report on the ISA hate text controversy entitled: “Islamic Text books get an F” raised the level of concern:

Pro-Israel activist and Silver Spring resident Sarah Stern, founder and president of the think tank EMET: Endowment for Middle East Truth, said the presence of institutions such as ISA exemplifies “a huge infiltration” of Saudi influence in America . Many of these institutions, she added, regularly expose students to militant Islamist philosophy.

“They’re hiding behind our constitutional protections, and we in the West who have a hands-off attitude are being seduced by our own naiveté,” she said. “It’s happening right under our noses. We are asleep at the wheel of history and we’ve got to wake up and take the sand out of our eyes.”

(Continue Reading this Article)

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