Call For Government To Shut Saudi School For Hatemongering

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. This has long been a pet peeve of mine. The U.S. government not only lets Saudi Arabia pour money into the same kind of schools that they use to teach hate and intolerance in the middle east, but now it appears they are violating the law regarding acceptable activities by a foreign embassy. Will our government crack down and perhaps even impose a requirement of reciprocity on the Saudis to make them choose between religious repression at home or spreading their doctrine of hate and violence here? Don't count on it. The Bush family seems totally under the spell of our friends from the House of Saud. Bush is more likely to start enforcing the immigration laws.
    From The Washington Times:

    Religion monitor: Shut Saudi school
    By Julia Duin
    October 18, 2007
    An independent government agency that monitors worldwide religious freedom will suggest today that the State Department shut down the 23-year-old Islamic Saudi Academy in Northern Virginia on the grounds it is fomenting hate and religious extremism.

    The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which advises Congress, the State Department and the president on religious-freedom issues, has issued a 30-page document saying the Saudi Embassy, which operates the 933-student academy, is violating U.S. law. It will explain its findings at 10 a.m. today in Room 538 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

    Foreign governments can engage in nondiplomatic activity on American soil, the USCIRF points out, but cannot do so via their embassy, according to the 1982 Foreign Missions Act. The State Department can require an embassy to divest itself of property and close down any businesses not embassy-related.

    Embassy spokesman Nail al-Jubeir did not return a call seeking comment. His brother, Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir, is chairman of the bilingual English/Arabic academy's board of directors.

    At issue are textbooks the USCIRF says contain "highly intolerant and discriminatory language, particularly against Jews, Christians and Shi'a Muslims." Its findings are based on a three-year study of Arabic-language textbooks, some of them from the Saudi Academy, by the Center for Religious Freedom in the District.

    The textbooks instructed students to "hate" Jews, Christians, "polytheists" and other "unbelievers," praised violent jihad as a "religious duty" and to believe as fact the anti-Semitic forgeries known as "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

    Saudi officials said in response that the textbooks were being revamped and an official at the academy, who asked not to be named, said school textbooks were revised in 2006.

    The USCIRF was rebuffed when it asked the embassy this summer to see copies of the new textbooks, spokeswoman Judith Ingram said.

    "We've simply gotten nowhere with our requests," she added.

    The Saudi Academy is one of 20 international Saudi schools around the world. The Virginia academy's main campus is on Richmond Highway in Alexandria and a west campus for young children is on Popes Head Road in Fairfax. Twenty-eight percent of its students are Saudi citizens.

    The USCIRF has long been critical of Saudi Arabia, and in 2004 it named the kingdom a "country of particular concern" in terms of religious-freedom violations. As a result, the Saudi government promised the State Department it would allow greater religious tolerance within its borders. During a visit there this spring, USCIRF officials said they were stonewalled by the Saudis on several issues, including the content of current school textbooks.