FAIRFAX, Va. - Local politicians say the U.S. State Department is dragging its feet over the controversy surrounding a local religious school run by the Saudi Arabian government.
The Islamic Saudi Academy has come under scrutiny after a federal commission said some of the textbooks being used promoted violence and intolerance. After waiting for the State Department to act, Fairfax County has now put itself in the middle of the dispute after renewing the school's facilities lease.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly says the county couldn't say no to the school without State Department guidance.
"That lease should have been, and should still now be reviewed by the Department of State. Local government can't bear that responsibility," Connolly says.
Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., says new research places the school under diplomatic rules.
"(The Academy's) characteristics certainly give the secretary a strong basis for concluding that it's got to be dealt with. The State Department has jurisdiction, the Saudi Ambassador is chairman of the school," Wolf says
A State Department spokesman says the department expects revisions to the controversial texts in time for the new school year.