Every child in this world should be entitled to an education. In the United States, every child is.
In the United States the question is not: whom should we educate. The question is rather: how should we educate.
In Fairfax, VA, a stone's throw away from Washington D.C., the freedom capitol of the world, there exists a school that has chosen to teach hatred - pure, evil, hatred. And that hatred is directed at you and me.
One thousand students, spread over two campuses, from kindergarten through twelfth grade, are enrolled in a Saudi sponsored school in Fairfax County. The school adheres to the educational model followed in Saudi Arabia. And even though some modifications have been made to the curriculum this is a school that preaches and teaches hatred of Jews, Christian and all Muslim non-believers.
Only fifteen miles away from the White House, the Washington Monument and the Capitol Rotunda there is an educational facility sponsored and funded by the Saudi government. Only minutes away from the Smithsonian Institute is an educational facility under the direction and influence of the Wahabi sect of Sunni Muslim.
The Wahabi sect should be familiar to all Americans. Products of the Wahabi educational experience have made their mark on our country. Wahabi is an extremist Muslim sect. Fifteen of the nineteen 9-11 hijacker terrorists were products of a Wahabi education. Ahmad Amar abu Ali, the man who in 2005 was arrested for and convicted of planning to assassinate President George Bush was not only a product of Wahabi schooling, he was class valedictorian in the Fairfax school. Abu Ali's plan was part of an al Qaeda plot, he joined al Qaeda while a university student in Saudi Arabia.
The School is called The Islamic Saudi Academy. Defenders of the Academy claim that only about 28% of the student body is Saudi, but make no mistake about it, those 28% along with the remaining 72% are all getting a true Saudi/Wahabi education. This is definitely a Saudi school. The chairman of the school board is Turki Fasial al Saud, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States. Despite the alterations made to the school curriculum, the school's website still emphasizes the fact that, in general, The Islamic Saudi Academy located in Fairfax County, Virginia, one of the proud 50 states, still follows the curriculum of the Saudi ministry of education.
We all know that there are religious schools in this country. We know that there are private, special interest schools in this country. The problem with The Islamic Saudi Academy is that it takes educational preaching and moralizing to the extreme. Students are not taught simply to hate non-believers, they are taught extreme hatred. The hatred the students are exposed to goes beyond the typical hatred that Muslims in other schools are taught for Jews and Christians. At The Islamic Saudi Academy students are taught that Jews came from apes and that Christians came from swine. They are taught that once upon a time Jews were believers, but now they do not believe.
Trust and friendship are concepts that occupy a large chunk of the curriculum. By twisting truth and narrowly defining friendship pathways to hatred are opened for the students.
The school teaches:
That trusted friends can only be Muslim.
That even family members, if they are non-believers, have nothing in common with you and should be abandoned or ignored.
That people further away from you geographically and culturally are truly closer to you than the family you live with if your family does not believe.
That one should never establish a close and trusted friendship with a non-Muslim.
Ninth and twelfth grade curricula heavily emphasize the concept of Jihad, of holy war, and the obligation to fight and destroy the enemy and the non-Muslim. There are no grey areas in Saudi schools, it is all black and white and it is all reinforced in classroom assignments, papers and homework.
To those who claim that The Islamic Saudi Academy is an example of freedom of religion and freedom of speech and that it is our responsibility to protect those freedoms even if we do not agree with their content I say - wrong.
Education is mandated by the federal government and the federal government delegates the states and the states empower the counties and school districts to provide education. There are standards - even for private schools. No court should permit a school whose curriculum flies in the face of the very premise of freedom to continue to teach those lessons. The teaching of extreme hatred cannot be allowed to continue in our country, not even in a school sponsored by a foreign government, not even in a school sponsored by private funds. Even if the Saudis pull back to avoid a public black eye and private people pick up the financial slack this school should not be allowed to remain open as long as the present curriculum is in use.
Education should open doors, not slam them in someone else's face.