Virginia lawmaker wants Saudi School checked out
FAIRFAX COUNTYWashington Post June 2008:
Lawmaker Wants Saudi School Checked Out
Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) has asked Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to convene a panel to examine course materials at the Islamic Saudi Academy, a school in Fairfax County that is funded by the Saudi government and that enrolls students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
A Washington Post review last summer found that as recently as 2006, a textbook given to high school students contained passages that extolled jihad and martyrdom. School officials have said that all potentially offensive material will be gone by the coming academic year and that teachers have been told to avoid inflammatory topics.
At issue are recent reviews of teaching materials concluding that some textbooks used by the Islamic school in Fairfax contain language intolerant of Jews and other groups as well as passages that could be construed as advocating violence.My mother attended the school. When it was Mount Vernon High School. (MVHS still exists, but is in another location.)
One review of academy textbooks was undertaken for the congressionally appointed U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which recommended in October that the State Department close the school until it proves that it is not teaching a type of religious intolerance potentially dangerous to the United States.
Bahais and Shiite and Sufi Muslims are among those denounced in some academy texts, according to reviews of the books by the commission.
Rahima Abdullah, of the academy's Education Department, reiterated the academy's position that criticisms of its teachings have relied on out-of-context interpretations. She noted that the academy has revised a number of passages and will do so again if given direction from the State Department.
"Just like Fairfax County, we would like to know what the State Department would say, too," she said. "They've had the books since 2007. We've done our best to comply with all requests by extending the books over to the State Department."