A U.S. government commission has recommended that the Islamic Saudi Academy in Virginia, a Saudi-supported Islamic school that is also linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, be closed until it can guaranteed that the school is not fostering hatred toward Jews and Christians. According to a media report on Thursday:
.the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom broadly criticized what it calls a lack of religious freedom in Saudi society and promotion of religious extremism at Saudi schools. Particular criticism is leveled at the Islamic Saudi Academy, a private school serving nearly 1,000 students in grades K-12 at two campuses in northern Virginia’s Fairfax County. The commission’s report says the academy hews closely to the curriculum used at Saudi schools, which they criticize for promoting hatred of and intolerance against Jews, Christians and Shiite Muslims…The report recommends that the State Department prevail on the Saudi government to shut the school down until the school’s textbooks can be reviewed and procedures are put in place to ensure the school’s independence form the Saudi Embassy….Several advocacy groups in recent years have cited examples of inflammatory statements in religious textbooks in Saudi Arabia, including claims that a ninth-grade textbook reads that the hour of judgment will not come “until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.
This was not the first time that the school faced criticism. As the report notes, it came under scrutiny after the 911 attacks and then again in 2005 when a former class valedictorian, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, was charged with joining al-Qaida while attending college in Saudi Arabia and plotting to assassinate President Bush.
There are possible connections from the Academy to the global Muslim Brotherhood. The 2004 Annual Report of the Islamic charity known as LIFE for Relief and Development, associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. lists Dr. Dawood Abdul Rahman as a director while the website of the Saudi Islamic Academy lists an individual with the same name as director of its Islamic Studies program. According to German TV reports, the King Fahd Academy in Germany, another Saudi financed academy, maintained contact with the local Muslim Brotherhood organization and its registration papers indicated that in the event of its closure, its assets would revert to them. The King Fahd Academy was also accused of various forms of extremism including teaching hatred of Jews and Christians.