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Back to January Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 264 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS JANUARY 2008

Panel Recommends Shutting Down Islamic Saudi Academy
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The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a federal panel created by Congress, recently recommended that the State Department shut down the Islamic Saudi Academy in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. The commission reports to Congress annually on the state of religious freedom worldwide, and has raised questions about religious curriculum in Saudi Arabian schools.

The USCIRF and several watchdog organizations have called attention to Saudi Arabian textbooks that teach jihad against non-Muslims, along with other beliefs of militant Islam. One 9th-grade textbook teaches that judgment day will not come "until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them." The 1999 valedictorian of ISA, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, went on to conspire with al Qaida for the assassination of President Bush.

The U.S. State Department has asked the Saudi government a number of times to remove such violent passages from textbooks and the national curriculum, but to no avail. Now, the USCIRF's most recent report reiterates these concerns, and calls attention to the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA) as a potential outlet for such extremist views within the borders of the United States. The Saudi government owns and operates ISA, a K-12 school of about 1,000 students on two campuses.


 
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