Tags: Action Alert
ACTION ALERT: Planning Commission Public Hearing on March 18th, 2009 at the Government Center in Fairfax County.
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO SEE THE PDF FILE FROM ABOVE, PLEASE CLICK ON 4279532
Tags: Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Fairfax County Times, Islamic Saudi Academy, lease on county property to Saudi Embassy, news, State Department
The U.S. State Department has left it up to Fairfax County whether to continue leasing county buildings to the Islamic Saudi Academy, a local Islamic school that has operated in Alexandria and Fairfax for more than 20 years.
Textbooks used by ISA were recently found by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom to promote religious intolerance and violence.
“The [State Department] has not objected to the [Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia] leasing the property in question for the Academy,” reads the letter to Fairfax Board chairman Gerry Connolly on behalf of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
Although the county board voted in May to renew the school’s lease, they reconsidered after the allegations by the USCIRF were released. Since the school is leased through the Saudi Arabian government, Fairfax asked the State Department to weigh in, a request that agency has now denied.
“No authorization from the Department to renew the lease is required,” the federal response reads, putting the ball firmly in Fairfax County’s court.
As of press time, county supervisors had not indicated what their next step might be.
At the academy, school is out for the summer, but the controversy has created a lot of work for school officials, who have worked to create new textbooks without offending passages in time for the coming school year. The new textbooks have been sent out to Islamic studies professors at several American universities for review.
“They’re checking the new books over with this issue in mind,” said ISA Director of Education Rahima Abdullah, referring to the controversial passages.
According to Abdullah, the school is not sure which passages in the old textbooks the USCIRF specifically referred to, but hopes the review will eliminate future problems. Many passages of the school’s old textbooks, which were provided by Saudi Arabia, were not taught at the school, Abdullah said.
The older books included “some extremely troubling passages that do not conform to international human rights norms,” according to USCIRF.
“We don’t teach hate or intolerance,” said Abdullah, whose three children attended the Saudi Academy.
USCIRF Director Judith Ingram said that new books without the controversial language would fix the problem “as long as the new books were publicly available. … They have to be able to be verified.”
The ISA has its hopes set on the upcoming school year, when “the new textbooks will hopefully be ready in time” and the school won’t have to deal with the protesters who marched outside its gates at the close of the last school year, while students were taking their final exams.
Tags: Abdalla Al-Shabnan, Fairfax Board of Supervisors, Gerry Connolly, Islamic Saudi Academy, Supervisor Gross, Supervisor Hyland
Islamic Saudi Academy Director Arrested for Obstruction of Justice
June 16, 2008
On June 9th, Fairfax County Police arrested the Director General of the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA), Mr. Abdalla I. Al-Shabnan, on the charges of Obstruction of Justice without Force (VA Code 18.2-460). Charged and released on the same day, Mr. Al-Shabnan is out on his own recognizance as he awaits his first hearing at Fairfax County General District Court on August 1, 2008, at 9:30 a.m.
Mr. Al-Shaban’s arrest stems from an investigation into the ISA’s alleged failure to comply with State requirements for reporting child abuse. According to authorities, instead of reporting the child abuse, Mr. Al-Shabnan deleted the report, contacted the student’s parents, and recommended psychological counseling for the young victim. Mr. Al-Shaban’s June 9 arrest comes after a May 23rd police search of the ISA where they gathered evidence that has contributed to the charges against Mr. Al-Shabnan.
Years of Controversy Continue
The ISA has been at the center of controversy for many years. A 2007 United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) report recommended to the State Department to call for the closure of the school. The 2007 USCIRF report prompted a coalition of concerned grassroots organizations to request the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to delay the renewal of the ISA lease until a Federal investigation into the ISA was completed. During the May 19 Fairfax County Board of Supervisors hearing, County Supervisors dismissed concerns as slanderous, bigoted, and unfounded. During the course of the hearing, Gerald Connolly, Fairfax County Chairman and Democratic Candidate for the 11th Congressional District, apologized to Mr. Al-Shabnan for what he deemed slanderous accusations that impugned the integrity of the Islamic Saudi Academy.
Since that May 19 hearing, the Mr. Al-Shabnan has been arrested and the USCIRF has confirmed ISA textbooks justify murder as an Islamic right.
Only Supervisor Gross has responded to the issue, and she continues her support for the ISA, and its textbooks that contain passages filled with hate and incitement to violence. Chairman Connolly has yet to retract his apology to the ISA and Mr. Al-Shabnan. Supervisor Hyland has not yet commented on whether the texts cited in the USCIRF report are the similar to those he identified as “texts of concern” during his independent and undocumented investigation of the ISA.
These hateful passages remain despite a 2006 US State Department request for the ISA to remove all insensitive and offensive content from textbooks. The ISA’s non-compliance with the 2006 US State Department request has not been accounted for and raises concerns about what the ISA, as an extension of the Saudi government, considers offensive, and the level of accountability they have to their local hosts and Federal government.
Since the US Treasury Department still considers Saudi Arabia as one of the leading financiers of terrorism, and USCIRF reports identify Saudi Arabia’s education as filled with incitements to murder as a religious freedom, the US State Department has not commented as to whether they will extend this policy and allow Iran and North Korea to open official schools in the US as well.
The ISA has run afoul of Virginia law before in hiring a bus driver, Abdelrazeg Abdalla, who had a suspended license, seven traffic violations, a misdemeanor for kidnapping his wife and child at knife point, and a six month detainment by Homeland Security. Nevertheless, the ISA hired Mr. Abdalla as a bus driver. Mr. Abdalla, operating a faulty ISA, bus was responsible for a 2005 multi-car accident.
Additionally, the ISA winner of the superlative Most Likely to Be a Martyr, and 1999 class valedictorian, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, has been convicted on charges of terrorism and attempting to assassinate President Bush.
As a result for the a May 19 hearing, the ISA’s lease of Fairfax County property continues for another year, as the Board of Supervisors unanimously supports the ISA as a model school beyond reproach.
A video of the complete May 19 Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Hearing on the Islamic Saudi Academy can be found at: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cable/channel16/vod.htm
Select “Public Hearings” from the May 19 links.
42:58 Fairfax County Chairman Connolly charges of slander remarks
49:35 Supervisor Gross: Latin can be violent and Parochial Schools contain material as equally offensive as the ISAs.
1:02 Supervisor Hyland begins testimony about why and how they’re is no documentation on his investigation.
Tags: Gerry Connolly, Islamic Saudi Academy
Mad For Madrassas
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY
Islamofascism: Saudi money buys a lot in Washington, even an extension of a lease to an Islamic school that graduates terrorists and teaches its students it’s OK to kill non-Muslims.
A federal panel wants the Islamic Saudi Academy inside the Beltway shut down for promoting hate, something we’ve urged for years. But remarkably, this madrassa still has powerful backers — including the State Department.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom last week released the results of a probe of the academy, which is financed and operated by the Saudi government. It found the school has failed to eliminate violent and intolerant language in textbooks.
The texts used at its main campus, located just across the Potomac in Alexandria, Va., contain passages that vilify Jews and proclaim killing non-Muslims is sometimes permissible.
Despite the failing grade, local government officials renewed the private school’s lease in an old public high school building. The Democrat county supervisor in charge of the lease doesn’t see any problem with the school or its texts.
In fact, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly reportedly dismissed critics of the Saudi academy as “bigots” as he accepted a check from the Saudi Embassy for another $2.2 million to extend its lease. Perhaps not coincidentally, Connolly is running as a Democrat for Congress. He hopes to fill the local seat of retiring Republican Tom Davis, whose district includes one of the fastest-growing Muslim populations in the country.
The commission that looked at the Saudi texts has turned to the State Department to close the academy. State can do this because as part of the Saudi government, the school is subject to the Foreign Missions Act. But the Washington Times says State plans to let the madrassa continue to operate. Why? The Saudis “told us they would revise the textbooks by the 2008 school year,” a spokesman said.
How foolish. The Saudis have been promising to reform their violent texts every year since 9/11. Yet they just pump more petrodollars into spreading their hateful Wahhabi propaganda here.
Within months of the attacks by 15 Saudi hijackers, the Washington Post reported the Saudi academy’s 11th-grade textbooks, for example, say one sign of the Day of Judgment will be that Muslims will fight and kill Jews, who will hide behind trees.
The Post went on to quote several students who say they are taught in Islamic studies that “it is better to shun and even to dislike Christians, Jews and Shiite Muslims.” One teen told the paper he’s taught by academy teachers that it’s OK for Muslims to hurt or steal from such “kafirs.”
This was the steady diet of hate the Saudi academy fed Ahmed Abu Ali, who joined al-Qaida after graduating and plotted to kill President Bush. Lest anyone think Ali was a misfit loner, he graduated valedictorian and was voted as the “Most Likely to Be a Martyr.”
As we’ve warned repeatedly on these pages, the Islamic Saudi Academy is a breeding ground for terrorists, operating just across the Potomac from the White House and Capitol. Who has the nerve to disregard Saudi money and influence and shut it down?
For Immediate Release
June 13, 2008
Contact: Jessica Dues (202) 547-8570 or James Lafferty (703) 931-2324
ISLAMIC ACADEMY INVESTIGATION – The Traditional Values Coalition and other national and Virginia groups will hold a demonstration at 8 a.m., Tuesday, June 17 near the Islamic Saudi Academy, 8333 Richmond Highway Alexandria, VA. A federal commission reported the academy uses textbooks which advocate violence against and intolerance of non-Muslims. TVC has asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate activities at the academy and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ role in leasing the county-owned building to the Saudi Embassy in Washington.
Contact: Jessica Dues, (202) 547-8570 or James Lafferty, (703) 931-2324.