US Islamic Schools Teaching Homegrown Hate
Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Fox News


NEW YORK   Can it be true? That Islamic schools in the United States teach hatred towards American Christians and Jews?

The Washington Post on Monday revealed that one such school outside Washington, D.C., uses textbooks teaching 11th graders that "the Day of Judgment can't come until Jesus Christ returns to Earth, breaks the cross and converts everyone to Islam, and until Muslims start attacking Jews."

Other accredited Islamic schools in America have world maps on classroom walls that exclude Israel. Some such schools promote class discussions that portray Usama bin Laden as "simply the victim of prejudice" against all Muslims in America.

These astonishing facts were broken by Post reporters Valerie Strauss and Emily Wax in their front-page piece, too tepidly entitled, "Where Two Worlds Collide: Muslim Schools Face Tension of Islamic, U.S. Views."

But their reporting was anything but tepid.

Americans generally assume Islamic hate teaching resided "out there" in Cairo or Riyadh. And yet it's right here in the elite Islamic Saudi Academy just outside Washington, D.C. "At stake," the two ace reporters say, "is how the next generation of Muslims coming of age in the United States will participate in the country they live in."

As with all educational institutions, the stakes are high. But the prospects here are low.

I don't know precisely what new immigrant schools taught when waves of Catholics or Jews first flocked to America. But I suspect they adopted and spread the basic American values tolerance, freedom and patriotism.

Surely not the hatred propagated in many Islamic studies classes. At the Al-Qalam All-Girls School in Springfield, Va., seventh graders learn that Usama bin Laden may be not a villain but a victim of Americans' biased views toward great Islamic leaders. Hence "some students question the government's claim that bin Laden is responsible for the terrorist attacks disputing that videotapes actually show him taking credit."

The Post reporters questioned "Fawzy, a 19-year-old who will graduate from George Mason University in 2003, [who] wonders whether the United States just needed someone to blame and picked a Muslim. 'A lot of the students can't make up their minds if [Usama] is a good guy or a bad guy,' Fawzy said. 'The thing is, we don't have any real proof either way. I think a lot of people feel this way.'"

Classrooms of the Washington Islamic Academy, which teaches kindergarten through fourth grade, feature world maps without Israel. "Upstairs in Al-Qalam girls school, the word is blackened out with marker, with 'Palestine' written in its place."

When the reporters asked about this, academy officials "defended the maps, pointing out that some of the students are refugees from Palestine and want their heritage represented."

These school officials attempt to delegitimize Israel. I would delegitimize them removing them from any role in shaping the beliefs and instilling knowledge in young Americans.

With the massive immigration of Muslims over recent decades primarily because of the wretchedness of most native Islamic states these parochial schools are increasing. Throughout America now are 200 to 600 Islamic day schools, teaching at least 30,000 full-time students and thousands more on weekends. The Washington Islamic Academy, outside the nation's capital, teaches some 1,300 kids, including children of Arabic-speaking diplomats.

It may rank among the worst of these academies, as it is funded by Saudi money. Its high school textbook, in the reporters' words, "says one sign of the Day of Judgment will be that Muslims will fight and kill Jews, who will hide behind trees that say: 'Oh Muslim, Oh servant of God, here is a Jew hiding behind me. Come here and kill him.'"

According to Strauss and Wax, "Several students of different ages, all of whom asked not to be identified, said that in Islamic studies, they are taught that it is better to shun and even to dislike Christians, Jews and Shiite Muslims.

"Some teachers 'focus more on hatred,' said one teenager 'They teach students that whatever is kuffar [non-Muslim], it is okay for you' to hurt or steal from that person."

What can be done about this outrage?

First, reveal it, for which Valerie Strauss and Emily Wax and the Post deserve a Pulitzer Prize. Other reporters and top media outlets should follow in their steps.

Second, stop the accreditation of these hate schools. This, too, the reporters investigated when contacting an official at an accrediting agency of the Islamic Academy. His response was typical bureaucratese: the Secondary and Middle School Commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools "does not delve into curriculum extensively but would be 'concerned' about such material being taught."

Well, he can stop being "concerned" and start de-accrediting the place.

Third, stop the Saudi funding. After Sept. 11, we were shocked to realize that "our friends, the Saudis" gave us Usama bin Laden, 15 of the 19 terrorists of Sept. 11 and more than 100 of the 150-plus terrorist leaders now confined in Guantanamo Bay cells. They also fund the Islamic schools spreading hate around the world towards Christians, Jews, America, freedom, and our sacred values.

Now we learn that Islamic hatred is being spread here at home, molding young American minds in what is shaping up as a real fourth column.

Kenneth Adelman is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News, was assistant to U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from 1975 to 1977 and, under President Ronald Reagan, U.N. ambassador and arms-control director