On Monday, Virginia officials granted permission to the Islamic Saudi Academy of Fairfax — the only Saudi-funded school in the United States — to double the size of its facility in northern Virginia just across the Potomac River from the nation's Capitol. That means the school will be able to increase the number of students it indoctrinates in an extreme version of Islam. The same indoctrination is found in the most radical madrassas across the Middle East. These institutions graduate students who are steeped in hatred for America and Western cultures, and who are often committed to a deadly kind of jihad. This is a foolhardy decision by local officials that should be overruled by federal authorities.
That's not likely, however, because the U.S. Supreme Court declined June 29 to hear a civil lawsuit filed by the 9/11 families alleging a financial link between members of the Saudi royal family and terrorist front groups, based on what The New York Times described as "thousands of pages of previously undisclosed documents," including a "line-by-line description of tens of millions of dollars in bank transfers, with dates and dollar amounts." Without considering this new evidence, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals threw the case out on grounds of sovereign immunity. The Justice Department also sided with the Saudis, ordering attorneys to destroy any copies of leaked classified documents in their possession.
Academy officials deny that their facility teaches violent jihad to its students, but the available evidence says otherwise. The school's textbooks have been condemned by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom for numerous anti-Christian, anti-Semitic and anti-American passages that justified the killing of non-Muslims. Some even included illustrations on how to cut off the extremities of those who violate Sharia law. Ahmed Omar Abu-Ali, the school's 1999 valedictorian who was voted "most likely to be martyred," was recently sentenced to life in prison for participating in an al-Qaida plot to assassinate President George W. Bush, kill members of Congress and bomb public gatherings. A 2003 graduate, Raed Al-Saif, was arrested in June when airport security officials in Tampa, Fla., allegedly found a 7-inch knife hidden in his bag.
A terrible irony here is that the same Virginia officials who approved the academy's expansion twice denied a similar request from a Christian school that occupied the same property in the 1980s. During Abu-Ali's sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee cited the former valedictorian's "unwillingness to renounce the beliefs that led to his terrorist activities" as a threat to the safety of all Americans — beliefs that were instilled and nurtured at the Islamic Saudi Academy.