More than a dozen people protested yesterday outside a private Islamic school in Fairfax County that critics say promotes religious intolerance and violence against people of other faiths.
The demonstration at the Islamic Saudi Academy on Route 1 was coordinated by the Traditional Values Coalition, a church lobbying group that accuses the school of using textbooks that teach children to kill. A recent study by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom found that some of the school’s textbooks say it is permissible for Muslims to kill adulterers and converts from Islam.
Everyone, of course — everyone — is ignoring the fact that this is all mainstream Islamic teaching.
“These children are being taught to hate,” Andrea Lafferty, the coalition’s executive director, said in an interview after the protest, during which demonstrators waved signs saying “Honk to Stop Islamic Terrorism” and “This Saudi School Is Anti-Semitic and Anti-Christian.”
A woman who identified herself as the school’s educational director but would not give her name declined to comment. Abdalla I. Al-Shabnan, the school’s director general, said in an interview in January that students have never been taught to hate.
Al-Shabnan was arrested last week in an unrelated matter and charged with failing to report to authorities an allegation that a 5-year-old student had been sexually abused by a family member, Fairfax County police said yesterday. Virginia law requires that such reports be filed within 72 hours after an abuse allegation is discovered…..