Monday, December 10, 2007

Saudi school in U.S. threatened with closure

by Yasmina Hatem Al Arabiya (UAE)

A report issued by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in mid-October on the private Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA) -- also known as "Terror High" -- accused it of fostering "radical Islam." The USCIRF has requested the textbooks for review, but hasn't received them yet, said Dwight Bashir, Senior Policy Analyst at the USCIRF. The General Director of the school, Abdullah Al-Shabnan, said he refuses to send the textbooks to the Federal Commission, because they are "too biased." "If there is an independent professional panel that is unbiased, I would be happy for them to look through my books because there is nothing to hide," Shabnan said, adding that he has submitted the books to Fairfax County officials in Virginia, where the school is located ... The ISA held an open-house in November, inviting members of the press to visit the school. Many of the school's neighbors and American supporters also attended. "They defended the school more than we did," Shabnan said, "because they know we do a good job." But Bashir said the report is not about discriminating against Islamic education. "We traveled to Saudi Arabia this summer and we know that these textbooks promote violence and intolerance."

No comments: