In Saudi Arabia , teaching hatred for others is a normal everyday scholastic
activity. But what happens when that teaching gets transferred to the United
One children’s school with branches in Virginia, the Islamic Saudi Academy,
has managed to accomplish this with hate-filled texts, a terror-linked
website, and students and school personnel that have been involved in
The Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA), an institution run by the government of
Saudi Arabia, has been occupying northern Virginia , since 1984. Within the
state, it has two facilities, one in Fairfax (pre-K – first grade) and one
in Alexandria (grades 2 – 12). The school offers all of the standard
curriculum: Math, English, Social Studies, Science, etc.
However, what has been of concern to many is the group’s religious studies.
In October of 2007, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
(USCIRF), an organization established by the United States Congress, issued
a press release calling for the closure of ISA, until the school’s textbooks
would be made available to it for inspection, which they were not.
The release stated that “significant past documented concerns remain about
whether what is being taught at the ISAexplicitly promotes hate, intolerance
and human rights violations, in some cases violence.”
The concerns of the commission were based on previous findings regarding
Saudi curricula, which showed that Saudi authorized school textbooks
encouraged violence and theft, even religiously sanctioned murder, against a
variety of non-Muslim groups.
In July of 2006, the Saudi government released a statement, saying that it
would, within one or two years, “revise and update textbooks to remove
remaining references that disparage Muslims or non-Muslims or that promote
hatred toward other religions or religious groups.”
But without having the material in front of it, the commission was not able
to determine if the Saudis were indeed abiding by their own commitments.
Between USCIRF’s first action and now, the commission has been able to
acquire and review 17 current ISA textbooks for examination, and the
findings have been disturbing to say the least.
According to USCIRF, some of the passages in the texts “clearly exhort the
readers to commit acts of violence.” These acts include the killing of
apostates (converts from Islam) and the taking of the lives and property of
Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and those adhering to the Shiite faction
In addition, according to the commission, the reviewed texts “show evidence
of truncation, omission, cutting and pasting, and the use of correction tape
or fluid to cover over text – but not sufficient revision to remove all
objectionable material.” As well, some of the material was altered but
contained “identical wording.”
Besides the textbooks, the ISA’s website has set off alarms.
From March of 2000 through August of 2001, the site had a link to
IslamiCity, a website that repeatedly calls for the murder of Jews and
repeatedly “curses” Jews and Christians. Some statements from IslamiCity
* “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of
worship at the graves of their Prophets.”
* “The Jews will fight with you, and you will be given victory over them so
that a stone will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew behind me; kill him!'”
* “The Jews are being punished in their graves.”
From March of 2000 through February of 2002, ISA’s website contained a link
to Islam Question and Answer, a site authored by Saudi radical Muhammed
Salih Al-Munajjid, which stresses violence against non-Muslims and others.
Some quotes from it include:
* “There cannot be harmony between Jews – who are usurpers and aggressors,
who have oppressed and persecuted others, and who are known for their
treachery and corruption throughout the world, historically and in the
As the Muslims and Jews are enemies residing in opposing religious and
doctrinal camps, it is not possible for them to be brought together unless
one is made to submit to the other by force.”
* “There is no doubt that it is prescribed to engage in jihad against the
enemies of Allaah, Jews and others, with our lives and our wealth. That
includes every means that will weaken their economy and cause them harm…
The Muslims in general should cooperate in righteousness and piety and help
the Muslims in all places in ways that will lead them to prevail and
strengthen them and enable them to manifest the symbols of religion, to
practise the teachings of Islam and to implement the rulings of sharee’ah
and carry out hudood punishments, and whatever will lead to their victory
over the kuffaar, Jews, Christians and others.”
* “The Sahaabah were unanimously agreed on the execution of homosexuals, but
they differed as to how they were to be executed. Some of them were of the
view that they should be burned with fire… And some of them thought that
they should be thrown down from a high place then have stones thrown at
Because the evil consequences of homosexuality are among the worst of evil
consequences, so its punishment is one of the most severe of punishments in
this world and in the Hereafter.”
Today, the above ISAweb links have been replaced by new extremist links.
Beginning in August of 2002, ISA’s website linked to Al-Islam, a site run by
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da’wah
The site, similar to the previous mentioned sites, propagates hatred against
Jews and Christians. Al-Islam includes such brutal pleas as: “Let there be
curse upon the Jews and the Christians.. .” and “May Allah the Exalted and
Majestic destroy the Jews.”
As well, entire web pages on Al-Islam are devoted to fighting jihad – jihad,
which the site defines as “holy war.”
The index for the site’s ‘Al-Jihad’ section is as follows:
* The superiority of Jihad and moslem warriors (Mujahideen)
* Judgment concerning Jihad
* Staying behind from battles
* Characteristics of Mujahideen * Elements of the battle * Stages of battles
* Booty and Al-Fai
* Pledges and covenants
Another website that ISAcurrently links to is Arab News, a site that labels
the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), the former American propaganda
wing of Hamas, as “Palestinian[ s] who believe in the liberty of [sic] there
holyland” and describes Radio Islam, a site that publishes Mein Kampf and
the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as “[sic] Informations about Zionism
Furthermore, according to the school’s website, from 2000 to 2001, the 9th
and 10th grade ISAcurriculum included learning about “the reform of Mohammed
Bin Abdulwahab and his alliance with the Saudi family, who united the
Arabian Peninsuladuring the first half of the 20th century.”
Bin Abdul Wahhab was the individual from which Wahhabism was created,
arguably the movement that ignited the terrorist threat faced by the world
Between the textbooks and the websites, ISA students could get quite an
education in hatred and violence, two subjects that young children should
not be exposed to, especially kindergarteners.
Unfortunately, though, it seems that at least some of the ISA students took
these vicious lessons to heart.
Ahmed Omar Abu Ali was 1999 class valedictorian at ISA. In an act of
foreboding, his class named him “Most Likely to Be a Martyr.”
Foreboding, because, in November of 2005, he would be convicted of joining
Al-Qaeda and plotting to assassinate President Bush. He received a 30 year
prison sentence for his crime.
As stated in an FBI criminal complaint, ISAgraduates Mohammed Osman Idris
and Mohammed Hassan El-Yacoubi, in December of 2001, were on their way to
Israel , for what seemed to be a suicide mission.
El-Yacoubi, during a search that was conducted by El Al security personnel,
was found to have had on his person a farewell letter from his younger
brother, Abdalmuhssin, who himself had attended ISA.
The letter was in Arabic, and according to writing experts, it contained
language discussing an attack that was to be carried out against Israelis,
possibly in relation to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
In August of 2002, Idris was sentenced to four months in jail for lying on a
And it’s not just the students. Ismael Selim Elbarasse is a former
comptroller (accountant) for ISA. Elbarasse, named as a co-conspirator for
the 2007 Holy Land Foundation (HLF) terror trial, has been described by the
U.S. Government as a “high-ranking” Hamas operative for his financial
dealings with Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook.
In August of 2004, Elbarasse was arrested, after police viewed his wife
videotaping sensitive parts of Maryland ‘s Chesapeake Bay Bridge from his
Earlier this month, on June 9th, the Director General of ISA, Abdullah
Al-Shabnan, was taken into custody for failing to report the alleged sexual
abuse of a five-year-old ISAstudent.
This, while protests have erupted over the school’s use of violent texts.
ISAis most certainly not the only Islamic facility to be teaching hatred and
violence in America , but it is one that has been caught and exposed. Under
pressure, the U.S. State Department has called on the school to reform its
educational materials by August, but if history is any indicator, the
school’s future will be no different than its past.
On September 11, 2001, terrorists coming from Saudi Arabia flew planes into
our buildings causing death and destruction. This school, the Islamic Saudi
Academy, in contrast, is evidence that Saudi Arabia is now attempting to
destroy us from within.
Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans
Against Hate and the founder of CAIR Watch. Beila Rabinowitz is the Director
of Militant Islam Monitor.