At this writing, the Board of Supervisors of Fairfax County, Virginia are poised to make a momentous decision. After a hearing tonight, the Supervisors could well accede to demands by the House of Saud to change the name of their jurisdiction to Faisal County, in recognition of the contributions the late Saudi king and the virulent strain of Islam promoted by his government in Northern Virginia and elsewhere.
Just kidding. No, for the moment at least, the Saudis are only seeking that the supervisors approve the use of a fraction of the county as a Wahhabi beachhead in America. They want a prime piece of undeveloped real estate to effect a sizeable expansion of the kingdom's school here known as the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA) so as to enable it to enroll 1,200 students.
Never mind that this school has become notorious in recent years for the association of a number of its faculty and students with terrorism. As David Stokes has documented in an excellent article posted over the weekend at Townhall.com, the perpetrators have run the gamut from those implicated in plots to assassinate a sitting president of the United States, to casing the structural supports for a major bridge to trying to smuggle a butcher's knife aboard an airplane.
Such behavior is not exactly surprising, given the Islamic Saudi Academy's intolerant and violent pedagogy. The problem starts with the textbooks supplied by the government of Saudi Arabia which have repeatedly been found to be anti-Semitic, anti-Christian and inciting of hatred against non-Muslims more generally.
The larger problem is the Academy's adherence to the repressive theo-political-legal program authoritative Islam calls Shariah. For example, the school gained notoriety a while back when its principal confessed to forcing a female student – in accordance with Shariah and in violation of Virginia law – to return to the father she accused of abusing her physically.
Of course, we have no way of knowing how many others associated with the Wahhabis' school are in one stage or another of the trajectory toward violent Jihadism. What we do know is that they are being inculcated with a Shariah culture and agenda that requires of its adherents a commitment to Jihad, of either the lethal or stealthy kind. This is not a matter of conjecture or dispute. It is inherent in the Saudi practice of Islam.
Predictably, Monday night's hearing before the Board of Supervisors will involve myriad assurances that this is not the case. The school, the elected officials will be told, has eliminated the offensive textbooks (for, by some estimates, the 40th time!) They will hear that it promotes tolerance and American patriotism. The party line will be that the ISA is just doing so in a religious context that few non-Muslims understand, but that is decidedly peaceable.
Ironically, if past practice is any guide, such statements will be accompanied by an intimidating show of force, starting with hundreds of Islamists taking over part of the Government Center to perform a call to prayers. They will then try – sometimes in an orchestrated way, sometimes spontaneously – to intimidate or drown-out the voices of county residents who oppose the planned expansion of the Wahhabi school.
The residents courageous enough to withstand such intimidation will oppose the school's expansion on various grounds. Some worry about the infrastructural and environmental impact of the massive complex the Saudis seek to build on the new ISA campus. They note that the county board of supervisors cited such grounds 20 years ago in refusing a permit for a Christian academy on the same site having less than half the number of students. And that was at a time when the congestion arising from development and population density of the area was nothing like what it is today.
Others - like the formidable Jim Lafferty of the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force – quite rightly, object to the idea of nestling within minutes of our seat of government an institution that is so problematic, to say the least, from a security point of view. They appreciate that a school that is explicitly proselytizing Islam according to the Wahhabi House of Saud is an incubator for Jihad.
If one needed any further reason to fear such a vehicle for home-grown terror, check out the article prominently featured above-the-fold on the front page of Sunday's New York Times. It describes at great length the evidence that Somalis in Minnesota have been recruited in this country to Jihad – by some accounts in a mosque, by others through more informal efforts by Shariah-adherent Muslims from Somalia. Either way, chances are good that Saudi money, teachings and perhaps personnel are implicated (although that possibility was not raised in the article).
It is astounding, not to say unseemly, that elected officials in Fairfax County are going to such lengths to accommodate the Saudis. Whether the county supervisors justify this behavior with professions of religious tolerance, so as to avoid appearing politically incorrect, in deference to the importunings of the clientitis-ridden State Department determined never to offend the Saudis or as a result of lavish Saudi spending, the bottom line is clear: If their county is to remain known as Fairfax rather than Faisal, a good place to begin drawing the line is in opposing the proposed expansion of the Islamic Saudi Academy.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributor Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for The Washington Times.