Posts Tagged ‘Gerry Connolly’

Connolly Provides Insults not Answers to ISA Questions

October 2, 2008

Connolly Provides Insults not Answers to ISA Questions

October 1, 2008

Springfield, Virginia

11th Congressional Candidate Gerry Connolly spoke to the West Springfield Civic Association in the community room of the West Springfield Government Center in a Meet the Candidate forum. Civic Association members got to meet both Connolly’s, beauty and the beast. His answers to a majority of questions represented beauty in the abstract sense that one can appreciate the hollowness of a honed politician shucking and jiving around accountability for $430 million worth of public debt and a political party ducking their responsibility for Freddie and Fannie. However, when challenged on the Islamic Saudi Academy, Boss Connolly the Beast showed his true colors by insulting and bullying the inquiring civic association member. Afterwards, association members politely characterized his behavior as condescending and full of contempt.

At the outset of the meeting, Connolly lauded his 25 years of foreign policy experience, and commitment to assessable and accountable government. When questioned on accountability of the Islamic Saudi Academy, Connolly inspected his finger nails, and then perturbed, interrupted the question. Undeterred, the question of how he would hold the ISA accountable as a Congressman, was asked. Connolly responded not by answering, but instead by threatening “Are you a member of this civic association?” In the hour plus discussion, Connolly asked this for this verification from no one else.

Unable to escape on technicality or suppress the question, Connolly proceeded with insult and slander accusing the asker of “not doing their homework.” Connolly’s character assassination was rebuffed with citations of government reports, so he moved on to denying the issue by claiming it was a land use issue that the US State Department had to decide for local government. This answer stood in stark contrast to the terms of the Fairfax County’s lease with the ISA and Connolly’s own introductory comments lamenting Federal interference in local government.

Connolly’s next reaction was to levy another sneer of “why don’t you run for Congress.” The civic association member chided Connolly for his attempts to bully the question away, citing Connolly’s similar behavior during the ISA hearing on May 19, 2008. When questioned about the transparency of the County investigation of the issue, Connolly stated that he “did not support” Supervisor Hyland’s admittedly opaque investigation of the ISA. This is contradictory to Connolly’s testimony on May 19, 2008. Connolly concluded his answer before the association by citing that he wrote a letter to US Secretary of State Rice before Congressman Wolf did and that nothing more could be done.

Following the conclusion of the meeting, Connolly fresh from throwing his weight around, was challenged on his behavior. Here, he blamed the victim of his scorn for getting what he deserved for asking a confrontational question about accountability. Here, Boss Connolly the Beast, let his prospective constituent know exactly where he stood, beneath him. Connolly for Congress: above you, beyond reproach, your wrathful better.

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Why Does the Islamic Saudi Academy Matter?

October 2, 2008
Found here and here.

Behind the Veil at the Islamic Saudi Academy

by Jerry Gordon and Isabelle Cruz (Aug. 2008)

Last month we chronicled in a New English Review article the nearly 25 year saga of citizen opposition to the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA), a Royal Saudi Embassy sponsored private school with two campuses located in Fairfax County, Virginia. The ISA is one of 20 such Saudi funded schools around the world with ties to the Kingdom’s Ministry of Education that espouses the strict Islamic doctrine of Wahhabism.

When the US Commission on International Religious Freedom released a report on its review of 17 textbooks used in the Islamic Studies program at the embattled ISA on June 11th, a fuse was lit that resulted in a protest outside the main Alexandria, Virginia Campus on June 17th.  The group of 15 protesters who rallied outside the ISA had signs that said:

Honk to Stop Islamic Terrorism;

This Saudi school is Anti-Semitic and Anti-Christian.

Andrea Lafferty, executive director of Traditional Values Coalition organized the ISA protest with participation by the United American Committee, Virginia Chapter, the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Security Policy (CSP).

Lafferty commented:

They’re free to come here and worship, but they are not free to come here and teach hate.

Christine Brim of the CSP said:

They don’t have a First Amendment right in this country to incite violence against other groups.


Rahima Abdullah, the ISA education director replied to these allegations:

That’s absolutely not true. What we teach here is love and tolerance.
We have new books now and the ones the commission is talking about have been out of use for some time, and were misinterpreted, then.


A spokesman for ISA, a U.S. history teacher, David Kovalick, was shown this excerpt from an ISA textbook:

The Jews conspired against Islam and its people. A sly, wicked person who sinfully and deceitfully professed Islam infiltrated (the Muslims).


Kovalick’s response was:

Well, that is very anti-Semitic and uh, wow, no, but those don’t exist in our books.


An Al Jazeera report on the protest at the ISA noted this comment from Abd Al-Rahman Al-Ghufayli, principal of the Boys’ School: “We have nothing to hide. That’s why we invited them there and tried to discuss things with them, but I’m sad to say, they did not accept our invitation. This suggests that the commission has a certain agenda, which it is trying to implement.”

Then there were these additional observations from an Al Jazeera interview with ISA administrators and faculty inside the School during the June 17th protest:

Reporter: “The local authority of Fairfax County, where the academy is located, has challenged the threats of closure. It determined that the allegations are invalid, and it approved the religious curricula after examining them. The non-Muslim teachers also expressed disgust and frustration at the allegations.”

Kate Schneider, English teacher: “The thing that frustrates me so much about these accusations is that first, they are not true, and second, it is so completely opposite from the truth. This school teaches faith and the same basic values we want all our children to have.”

Another non-Muslim faculty member was quoted in a Washington Post report parroting the same line:

School administrators said teachers were told to keep any inflammatory material out of the classroom. “I taught for 15 years,” said Dana Nicholas, assistant principal of the girls’ school. “I would not have stayed if I thought that my students that were coming into my classroom and dealing with me every day, as a Christian, as a woman, if they were being taught this kind of thing in the Islamic class.”

However, the realities about what prevails inside the ISA are 180 degrees away from these faculty comments quoted  in Al Jazeera, the Washington Times and the Washington Post.

Following the June 17th protests, we were contacted by former ISA faculty members  who consented to present views on the atmosphere that pervades the Saudi Embassy sponsored school in Fairfax County, Virginia.

The comments by these confidential sources reveal a pervasive attitude towards non-Muslims that reflects Saudi autocracy and Wahhabi xenophobic doctrine.

According to the source, approximately 20 % of the ISA students were children from the Saudi and other Muslim diplomatic legations in Washington, DC.  The school was very much under the control of the Saudis and had Arab Muslim long term faculty who had been there since the school’s founding in the mid-1980s. At the beginning of the school year, all of the teachers were informed that the ISA was an arm of the Saudi government.

The sources indicated that the majority of students were American Muslim children. The instructors were concerned male students would travel to the Middle East after graduation, ‘go over the edge’ and become Jihadists, just like 1999 ISA valedictorian, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, now in prison for thirty years for the attempted assassination of President Bush.

The administrators were ‘extremely arrogant’ and practiced the religiously sanctioned tradition of lying to non-Muslims (taqiyya) and enjoyed pulling the wool over the eyes of the infidels. An atmosphere of deception was at the heart of everything that they did. There was an attitude among administrators of “Don’t tell the Americans” regarding Wahhabi Jihadi doctrine. Whenever Saudi representatives came to the ISA, they would have nothing to do with the non-Muslim faculty. Non-Muslim faculty were allowed to attend general faculty meetings, but when there was something that the Muslim faculty did not want them to hear, the Muslim instructors would disappear and non-Muslim instructors would hear rumors of meetings. If the non-Muslim faculty asked about those meetings, the Muslim leadership at the school would tell them that it was going to be in Arabic anyway so they need not attend.  There was an atmosphere of exclusion and oppression.

Classroom maps of the Middle East did not depict Israel on them.

There was an incident involving a Christian woman instructor.  Her daughter had attended ISA. The daughter would come home in tears because she had been taught to hate Jews and that Christians were awful.   The daughter had missed several days of school because she didn’t want to hear the hateful scorn. The girl became the object of a scurrilous campaign by Muslim girls in her class who spread rumors that her Christian mother had an illicit affair and was pregnant. When the girl’s mother heard of this, she approached the head of faculty and requested a denial of the allegations and an apology; none were given.  The woman taught at ISA for a brief period and when the school year ended, resigned. According to the sources, to add insult to injury, the same Dana Nicholas who said she couldn’t have taught at the school if students “were being taught this kind of thing in the Islamic class,” knew directly about the persecution of the Christian woman instructor and also helped to white wash the incident.

The sources noted that the turnover for non-Muslim teachers was huge, while some non-Muslim teachers wanted to leave but stayed because they needed the job. Not only American non-Muslims but other people who were considered lower in status by the Saudi administrators, including Pakistanis, Kurds and even Shia Muslims, suffered at the school. The sources described how the students “got away with murder.” An interesting side note is that many Muslim students from the Middle East came to the school for one or two semesters and in the English as a Second Language (ESL) classes received credits for English so that they could go on to an American university, whether they could speak English or not. All the students passed, no matter what their proficiency level. Students could not be failed or reprimanded. There is evidence that students’ grades were changed to allow them to pass and even the students told the teachers they couldn’t do anything about it.

Another telling incident involved a non-Muslim teacher who taught second and third grade students and apparently was liked by them.  One day, after the children had returned from their Muslim Studies class, when the instructor walked into the classroom, the students were talking about how they hated Christians and that they were going to kill them. The teacher overheard this and said, “I’m a Christian”.  The students said that they wouldn’t kill the instructor, but would kill all the rest of Christians. This should come as no surprise since the head of the Muslim Religion Department is himself a Wahhabist. The teacher who heard the students say these things resigned his position and left the school.

One last point to ponder, the sources said that it doesn’t matter if the textbooks are changed because the instructors teaching the Wahhabi doctrine know it by heart and teach it year after year. Even if the textbooks were to finally have the hateful Wahhabist and Islamic supremacy language removed, it would do nothing to change those teachers who have been filling young Muslim heads with this hate-filled xenophobic doctrine. While Rahima Abdullah may assure us that the books are new and were misinterpreted originally, our sources have experienced the Saudi agenda of teaching anything but “love and tolerance.”

It is the atmosphere of exclusion and hate directed at non-Muslim ISA faculty that raises serious questions about the tolerant, non-discriminatory representations by faculty and the School’s administrators.  The ISA is an arm of the Saudi government Ministry of Education. Given the recent revelations of the second Saudi text book study, “Update: Saudi Arabia’s Curriculum of Intolerance,” released by the Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom on July 17th, perhaps  it is time for Congressman Frank Wolf and others on the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee to demand that the ISA be shut down. Certainly, the ISA accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is seriously in question, and if xenophobic hate is taught there, should be withdrawn.

As attested by the comments of these knowledgeable sources, things are not quite what the Saudis allege behind the veil of taqiyya at the ISA.

Saudi’s Still Bullying FXCO

September 27, 2008

The Islamic Saudi Academy still not compliant, County Supervisors, State Dept. still impotent.

Wolf Challenges State Department ISA Inaction
ISA textbook report to Hyland remains undelivered.

By Chuck Hagee, Gazette
Wednesday, September 24, 2008

U.S. Representative Frank R. Wolf (R-10) has again called for a thorough investigation and review of curriculum textbooks being used by the Islamic Saudi Academy citing the U.S. Commission in International Religious Freedom’s claim that they “promote violence and intolerance.”

In a September 16 letter to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Wolf chastised the State Department for not answering his previous letters on the Saudi Academy textbook issue and for ignoring his plea to have the controversy settled prior to the commencement of the 2008-09 school year.

“I write to let you know that I just received my first response from the State Department after having written three letters over a two-month period regarding the Islamic Saudi Academy and concerns raised by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on the content of textbooks being used there,” Wolf wrote.

“After seeming inattention to these concerns, the letter my office ultimately received in response did not address my repeated requests that you convene a meeting of relevant State Department and USCIRF representatives — to include the expert analysts commissioned by USCIRF to translate and interpret the ISA textbooks as well as any analysts commissioned by the State Department…to conclusively determine what is being taught at ISA,” he stated.

To buttress his request, Wolf included a recent report by the Heritage Foundation that stated “ISA is subject to the terms of the Foreign Missions Act” and that it is in the State Department’s powers to declare ISA “a foreign mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

IN THE LETTER to Wolf, signed by Matthew A. Reynolds, Acting Assistant Secretary, Legislative Affairs, the State Department indicated that, although they had not answered previous inquiries about ISA in writing, they had kept Wolf and his staff informed of their actions.

“Your letters have raised important issues. We have appreciated the opportunity to discuss these with you and your staff in recent months. No government should produce materials that are intolerant of religious, racial, or ethnic groups, nor include such material in its educational curricula,” Reynolds wrote.

When questioned as to why his letter seemed to indicate that no contact had been made by the State Department relative to his ISA inquiries, Wolf insisted, “The State Department has never been by my office.” However, he did not confirm or deny any contact between his staff and the State Department over the period of time of his correspondence with Secretary Rice.

“The matter is very simple. If there is no problem with the textbooks than the State Department should act to remove the cloud. If there is a problem then remove the books,” Wolf said.

“Two scholars from the Religious Freedom Commission have looked at these text books and they say there is a problem. It needs to be resolved one way or the other,” he said.

Reynolds also pointed out to Wolf that, “the school has reported that it is in the process of adopting new religious curricula and textbooks for the 2008-09 school year. The ISA has stated publicly that the new school year’s textbooks are currently being reviewed by professors at two American universities.” Neither the professors nor their universities were identified by Reynolds in his letter to Wolf.

DEBATE ABOUT the school’s curriculum and textbooks ignited in October 2007 when the Religious Freedom Commission issued a report calling for the school’s closure “until such time as the official Saudi textbooks used at ISA are made available for comprehensive public examination.” The Commission also sought intervention by the State Department and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

The school building at 8333 Richmond Highway, is leased from Fairfax County. That lease recently came up for renewal and was renewed for one year with an option for two one year extensions on a motion from Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerald Hyland, in whose district the school is located.

ISA’s Director General Abdalla I. Al-Shabnan, who heads the school, has insisted all along that the textbooks do not contain hate and violence imbedded within the subject matter. He has also insisted that the textbooks of ISA are not those supplied by the Saudi Arabian government.

At the outset of the controversy, Hyland had a specialist in Arabic review the texts. Her report concluded that the curriculum texts did not, on their face, contain offensive language pertaining to hate, violence and religious intolerance. However, she did conclude that certain passage should be expunged because they could be misinterpreted.

Al-Shabnan submitted the curriculum texts to two independent university scholars to have them analyzed and evaluated. A report on those findings was to have been delivered to Hyland’s office no later than Monday, Sept. 22. As of late afternoon Sept. 23 the report had not been delivered and phone calls to ISA and Al-Shabnan office were received by voice mail with no call back.

“We have not received the report or any explanation from the Academy as to why we have not received it,” said Brett Kenney, chief aide to Hyland.

The entire matter including both the textbook issue and ISA’s lease renewal was further complicated early this past summer when Al-Shabnan was arrested as a result of his failure to report a complaint from a five year-old female student that she was allegedly being sexually abused at home by her father. Virginia law requires reporting of all such accusations by school personnel.

Al-Shabnan was originally charged with two misdemeanors of failing to report and obstruction of justice. He said that he did not believe the girl and advised the parents to seek psychiatric help for her. However, he also ordered the school’s computers to be purged of any report about the complaint.

In the final analysis he was fined $500 on the failure to report charge. The school also instituted an in-depth training program for all personnel on Commonwealth requirements dealing with such matters.

Following the vote to renew the lease, Fairfax County Board Chairman Gerald Connolly sent a letter to Secretary Rice asking the State Department to make a determination not only on the textbook matter but also the lease renewal. He noted that during the Board’s public hearing on the lease no objections were voiced by the State Department or the Commission “regarding either the renewal or the textbooks.”

A reply from the State Department stated, “No authorization from the Department to renew the lease is required. The Department has not used the Foreign Missions Act to regulate private pre-school, elementary and secondary school curricula.” Actions by the State Department on Wolf’s requests remain unresolved.

Jihad Matinee

September 18, 2008

We are excited to announce the next two dates in the UAC free film screenings.

The following dates are confirmed, all for the following location:

Fairfax City Regional Library
10360 North Street
Fairfax, VA 22030-2514
Room 101A

Sept. 20, 1-3 p.m.: Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West
Oct. 4, 10 a.m-Noon: What the West Needs to Know About Islam

Please feel free to bring a friend and/or skeptic, just RSVP.

We will also provide a quick brief on the latest developments in the efforts against the Islamic Saudi Academy in FXCO.

Fimian Supports American Enterpise

September 4, 2008

A crosspost from radiofreedaralharb.blogspot.com. On the issue of confronting Islamist aggression, Mr. Fimian has Connolly beat in spades.

More review at: blogtalkradio.com/radiofreedaralharb

Fimian Supports American Enterprise

Just got back from hearing 11th Congressional District Rep. Candidate Keith Fimian speak. Overall, Mr. Fimian, as a successful entrepreneur, believes in American Enterprise and will work to promote the liberty and opportunity our free market system provides. This will be accomplished by removing government impediments to growth, particularly in the technology and energy sectors. Those impediments include, bloated government and government spending, staggering national debt, and taxes and trade agreements that unduly burden the most important and most innovative companies in America, the small businesses. Strengthening the American economy and restoring our global lead in technology and energy is integral to Fimian’s national security strategy. A strategy that focuses on not only removing our dependence of foreign energy, but an ability confront terrorists, and their murderous Islamist ideology. Mr. Fimian is man who weathered the pains of starting up a business and came out on top. Keen fiscal discipline and fortitude of moral resolve guide his decision making.

Fimian is an accountant by education and successful entrepreneur. Comparison: Fimian built a business from the ground up and made it profitable. Connolly: Took over a well managed County and led it to a $430 million deficit. With our national debt standing at $455,000 per household and growing, we need government servants who understand deficit=failure.

Fimian on taxes: Kennedy and Reagan both demonstrated tax breaks stimulate growth and actually provide the more revenue.

Fimian on BRAC: Federal impact deserves Federal impact funds.

Fimian on Energy: Drill, clean coal, nuke, solar, wind, and provide incentives for business innovations that develop alternative energy. He believes that if China and Nigeria are drilling in the Gulf of Mexico we should be too, and we shouldn’t stop there. We should be the global leaders in development of alternative energy thereby solving our energy problems and creating the ability to export alternative energy.

Fimian on Immigration: High Wall, Wide Gate.

Fimian on National Security: Secure southern border, confront Islamist ideology and their State sponsors. Gerry Connolly in contrast, doesn’t see fit to close the Islamic Saudi Academy that has produced a convicted terrorist and preaches the murder of infidels. See here and here for a dramatic display of contempt from Gerry Connolly. In keeping with Connolly’s arrogance, he didn’t even have the courtesy to debate Fimian recently, instead sending his campaign manager because “he was too busy overseeing the best managed County in the US.” This highlights one of Fimian’s virtues, he has real world experience that allows him to know that a $430 million deficit is not successful management. Apparently, Connolly is just too busy to be bothered with facts.