Hillary Clinton has officially been sworn in to replace Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State. And, now, Sharon Bulova has won Virginia's Fairfax County Chair, left vacant by Gerry Connolly. The stage is set, and it will not be long before a public battle on behalf of America's communities is waged by Virginia's 10th District Representative Frank Wolf and ACT! For America's Northern Virginia DC Metro Chapter Head Catherine Martin. Brigitte Gabriel's ACT! For America may be the strongest new political grassroots movement to hit the American national scene in the wake of 9/11. With a 50,000 strong membership and a steady influx of new recruits and volunteers, ACT! for America's chapters span across the United States and beyond. I recently had a chance to sit down and discuss the street level activities of ACT! for America with the NoVa/DCMetro chapter head Catherine Martin, who has made it her life mission to "educate United States citizens as to the threat of radical Islam". With a volunteer staff of 70 committed Virginia and DC activists, Catherine Martin understands full well that her chapter is in the vortex of a brewing storm.
"The question of the legality of the Islamic Saudi Academy's curriculum in Fairfax County is not going away," Catherine says matter of factly. "As a mother and as an American, I find it outrageous that the school teaches children to hate Americans, Christians and Jews. Brigitte Gabriel's ACT! for America is supporting us all the way on this mission as we continue our fight against ISA's jihadi indoctrination right in our very own backyards - as we bring the issue directly to the people of Virginia and across America. Representative Frank Wolf has been an ally and strong advocate for us at ACT! for America. When a coalition of groups here in Virginia demanded that the Islamic Saudi Academy be investigated for having anti-American and anti-Israel teachings in their textbooks, Congressman Wolf sent four letters to the State Department requesting an investigation of the school and its curriculum. Since our grievance has not yet been fully addressed and the election cycle has ran its course, we will immediately engage the new leadership on behalf of our communities. A fifth letter from Congressman Wolf is waiting at the State Department for the incoming Secretary of State."
When asked what this fifth letter was designed to accomplish, Martin notes that, "Hillary Clinton is replacing Condoleeza Rice in the State Department, so we now have a fresh opportunity to have our concerns heard at the State Department level. What most Virginia and DC residents are unaware of is the fact that when the original letters were issued by Congressman Wolf's office, the State Department decided to bounce the request to the Fairfax County Supervisor, Gerry Connolly. Connolly refused to launch an investigation of the school and actually referred to ACT! for America and Representative Wolf as bigots for requesting the investigation of the Islamic Saudi Academy. Empty, racially charged, accusations from the likes of Connolly do not change the facts or the texts in question. So, we are now taking our reasoned concerns about ISA's curriculum of hate to Hillary Clinton and are prepared, if necessary, to confront the Fairfax County Supervisor Chair, Sharon Bulova, should the new Secretary of State refuse to see the writing on the wall and attempt to evade the truth by passing the hot potato down the line. With allies like John Cosgrove over at United Action Committee, Jim and Andrea Lafferty with the Traditional Values Coalition, and Christine Brim at the Center for Security Policy rallying to defend American communities, the Islamic Saudi Academy will be forced to close its doors or submit to being subject to a transparent curriculum. ACT! For America's battle with the ISA over its curriculum is only beginning."
Last June 25th, Chuck Hagee noted in the Mount Vernon Gazette that "debate about the school's curriculum was ignited in October 2007 when the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued a report calling for the school's closure `until such time as the official Saudi textbooks used at the ISA are made available for comprehensive public examination in the United States.'" In addition to the USCIRF report, Hagee notes in a September 24th follow-up piece that "To buttress his request, Wolf included a recent report by the Heritage Foundation that stated `ISA is subject to the terms of the Foreign Missions Act' and that it is within the State Department's powers to declare ISA `a foreign mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.'" The article closes with Gerald Connolly remarking on the absence of Commission or State Department objection to the lease renewal to ISA or the textbook controversy in a public hearing on the matters before the Board.
When discussing the Hagee articles with Catherine Martin, I asked why nothing was mentioned of the Valedictorian of the ISA program, that was captured for attempting to assassinate President Bush. "The Islamic Saudi Academy is a private school under the umbrella of the Royal Saudi Academy and is but one of twenty Saudi funded schools in the United States." Catherine continues, "With the mountains of evidence in the USCIRF findings and the August 2008 New English Review article Behind the Veil at the Saudi Academy by Jerry Gordon and Isabella Cruz, which relates the shocking accounts of former ISA faculty members, the implications of the assassination plot on our President would not bode well for the continued operation of all twenty of the U.S. Madrassas. But the fact of the matter is that if the Islamic Saudi Academy is revealed as a breeding ground for future terrorists against the United States and Israel then every state with a Royal Saudi Academy would voice their concern. What will it take to expose the school? What will it take to have the county refuse to renew their lease and shut them down here in Virginia? It certainly doesn't matter to the school's supporters (ala Gerry Connolly), that a past valedictorian was part of the nationally known paint-ball terror cell whose mission was to assassinate the President of the United States. Others who have attended the school have also supported jihad against the United States. These facts beg the question: since when is it okay for us to have a school for terrorists in the United States? The State Department has a duty to make a ruling on the ISA curriculum here in Fairfax, so that other state and county seats can properly meet the threat of radical Islam across America."
Moving on from the ISA topic, in closing, I asked Catherine Martin what other projects were ramping up for the ACT! for America NoVa/DCMetro chapter for February. Without skipping a beat, Martin forges ahead, "For this month, the ACT! For America Northern Virginia/DC Chapter is working with the United American Committee on a major problem that is happening in our local college, George Mason University (GMU). We have discovered that GMU has taken money from the Islamic Supremacist organization IIIT to establish an Islamic Studies Chair for the school. This is the continuation of Islamist domination at GMU preceded by: the student meditation room being converted to a mosque; the installation of footbaths at the tax payer's expense; a school treasurer using her GMU webpage to solicit donations for local madrassas; the school's establishment of a Halal menu; and lastly, the forcing out of critical members of the staff. Our goal will be to reverse the process of Islamist influence at GMU. ACT! For America and the United American Committee will put significant pressure on GMU and elected officials this month. GMU's acceptance of $1.5 million from IIIT will not be answered with silent assent. The ACT! For America NoVa/DC Chapter has also been invited to attend the screening of the Christian Action Network's documentary, Homegrown Jihad: Terrorist Camps Around U.S. on February 11th at 7:30pm at the Landmark Theater in Washington DC (between 11th and E Street). The movie is about radical Islamic compounds that are currently operating around the United States under the direction of an international terrorist. We are supporting this movie and encourage everyone in the DC area to attend. Documentaries like this prove that Radical Islam is on the move in communities all over the United States."
For more information on ACT! For America head over to www.actforamerica.org. Catherine Martin and her staff also post regular updates for the anti-jihad communities at http://actdcmetro.wordpress.com.