I have posted here many times showing the hypocrisy of the religious right when it comes to religious liberty. Time and time again they want our government to provide special rights to their Christian religion but when it comes to liberty for all religions and the non-religious, they throw a hissy fit.
On October 18th, news outlets reported a federal panel wanted to see an Islamic school in Virginia, funded by the government of Saudi Arabia, to be closed because of reports of a textbook used at the school encouraged religious intolerance.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom singled out the Saudi-supported Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA) in Northern Virginia in a broader report that accused Saudi Arabia of promoting Muslim extremism and religious intolerance six years after the Sept. 11 attacks. The panel, created by Congress and authorized only to make recommendations, voiced concern about what the private school was teaching.
The commission report did not make specific criticisms of the school’s curriculum. Commission deputy director Tad Stahnke said the panel wrote to Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir, who is chairman of the academy’s board of directors, asking to see the school’s textbooks but got no answer. Stahnke said the commission did not try to contact ISA staff.
Commissioner Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said he knew enough about ISA’s textbooks to be “very disturbed that this is going on within eyesight of the capital.”
The report relies heavily on a 2006 analysis of Saudi textbooks that found inflammatory passages against Christians, Jews and Shiite Muslims. One example for ninth-graders said that the hour of judgment “will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.”
Noticed how no one having an issue with the textbooks has actually seen one. I saw on CNN where a reporter got a student to give him one but since it was written in Arabic and they would need to have it translated.
Regardless if the claims are true, I need to point out that the school is a private school. Private school curriculum normally isn’t subject to oversight by the federal government and I have never heard of a school being closed because of what is being taught. As long as students are making progress according to state education standards then it is basically hands off.
Then there is the fact that the concern is religiously based:
A review of a sample of official Saudi textbooks for Islamic studies used during the current academic year (2006) reveals that, despite the Saudi government’s statements to the contrary, an ideology of hatred toward Christians and Jews and Muslims who do not follow Wahhabi doctrine remains in this area of the public school system. The texts teach a dualistic vision, dividing the world into true believers of Islam (the “monotheists”) and unbelievers (the “polytheists” and “infidels”).
Saudi Arabia also distributes its religion texts worldwide to numerous Islamic schools and madrassas that it does not directly operate. Undeterred by Wahhabism’s historically fringe status, Saudi Arabia is trying to assert itself as the world’s authoritative voice on Islam — a sort of “Vatican” for Islam, as several Saudi officials have stated– and these textbooks are integral to this effort. As the report of the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks observed, “Even in affluent countries, Saudi-funded Wahhabi schools are often the only Islamic schools” available.
Here is an example (translated from a book):
” Every religion other than Islam is false.”
“Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words (Islam, hellfire): Every religion other than ______________ is false. Whoever dies outside of Islam enters ____________.”
The example was correct as of 2006 so it is probable the books used at the Islamic Saudi Academy might contain the same type of religious indoctrination.
If the people concerned about the school get the federal government to close it, then I want to see them close Christian schools that teach condoms don’t work, evolution is false, abortion is murder, and man lived with the dinosaurs.
Crap would hit the fan then wouldn’t it?
I say if the federal government isn’t going to close a Christian school for teaching lies about science then they need to leave the Islamic Saudi Academy alone.