Imagine facing the overwhelming odds of fighting for equality in Islamic supremacist Saudi Arabia or in the 1960s-era white supremacist Mississippi.
These were the same odds faced by a handful of activists in challenging the estimated 600 supporters of the Islamic Saudi Academy at Northern Virginia's Fairfax County Planning Commission on the night of March 18, 2009. Many hundreds of the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA) supporters wore printed name tag badges reading "I Support ISA," including ISA's logo containing the emblem of Saudi Arabian government with its two crossed swords.
This is the same Saudi government that a few weeks ago the U.S. State Department condemned for its "significant human rights problems" in denying basic freedoms and human rights to men, women, and non-Muslims, and the same Saudi government whose courts recently sentenced a 75 year old woman to 40 lashes for "mingling" with men, and whose courts recently sentenced a pregnant gang-rape victim to 100 lashes for "adultery."
The meeting of the Fairfax County Government Planning Commission was to consider a special exemption to a zoning regulation to allow for the building of an expansion to the Islamic Saudi Academy in Fairfax, Virginia. The Fairfax County government has been leasing space for the existing Saudi Academy facilities for years now. As a suburb of Washington DC, Fairfax, Virginia is slightly more than 20 miles away from our nation's capital. The Islamic Saudi Academy has been frequently criticized for its reported use of textbooks promoting hate and violence, its former students associated with jihad plots, reports of negligence on reporting female child sex abuse, and ISA's former valedictorian convicted of joining Al-Qaeda and plotting to assassinate the president.