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?