This is a sidelight on the main issue at the Islamic Saudi Academy, which is that it is teaching jihad and Islamic supremacism, and turning out jihadists. Maybe he didn’t know he was supposed to file such a report. That is remotely possible, although generally school districts are quite adamant about this sort of thing, and it would be hard to miss.
But there are a few other considerations. First, on the sexual abuse of a five-year-old, this is a Saudi-run school. Just last month we saw Dr. Ahmad Al-Mu’bi, “a Saudi marriage officiant,” saying that “there is no minimal age for entering marriage. You can have a marriage contract even with a one-year-old girl, not to mention a girl of nine, seven, or eight….But is the girl ready for sex or not? What is the appropriate age for having sex for the first time? This varies according to environment and traditions.” With attitudes like that prevalent in Saudi Arabia, and of course they’re reinforced by the fact that Islamic tradition says that Muhammad married Aisha when she was six and consummated the marriage when she was nine, why should anyone be surprised that this Saudi academy would turn a blind eye to the sexual abuse of a five-year-old?
Then again, even if Al-Shabnan deplored what was going on, he may have hesitated to report it to the filthy kuffar, the “vilest of created beings” (Qur’an 98:6). It is considered a good thing to conceal the faults of a fellow Muslim, as Muhammad said: “The servant (who conceals) the faults of others in this world, Allah would conceal his faults on the Day of Resurrection” (Sahih Muslim 32.6267). The ordinary understanding of slander in the West is that it involves making false charges that defame another person. But in Islamic law, the definition of slander doesn’t involve falsehood. The Shafi’i manual of Islamic law ‘Umdat al-Salik defines “slander” as “to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike.” Nothing is said about whether or not what is said is true — only that the person would dislike it. And this is based on a statement of Muhammad to the same effect.
Also, how would a five-year-old girl in ordinary circumstances know enough to make sexual abuse allegations just to get attention? Could it be that Al-Shabnan did not want to make known, especially to the unbelievers, what his Muslim brother would dislike? After all, as the Qur’an warns, “Woe unto every slandering traducer” (104:1).
This story yet again raises the question: does the United States really want, and can it really afford, to admit large numbers of people into the country who hold these kinds of assumptions?
“Head of Islamic School Guilty Of Not Reporting Child Abuse,” by Tom Jackman for the Washington Post, July 31 (thanks to all who sent this in):
The director general of a controversial private Islamic school in Fairfax County has been found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of failing to report child abuse and fined $500.
Abdalla I. Al-Shabnan, head of the Islamic Saudi Academy on Route 1 in the Mount Vernon area, was arrested last month by Fairfax police, who said Al-Shabnan had been informed of the possible sexual abuse of a 5-year-old student at the school. School authorities are required by law to report alleged child abuse within 72 hours.
Al-Shabnan was charged with misdemeanor counts of failing to report child abuse and obstruction of justice. He pleaded no contest July 24 to the failure to report charge, and Fairfax prosecutors agreed to dismiss the obstruction charge, according to court records.
Al-Shabnan did not return a phone call seeking comment yesterday. His attorney, Robert C. Whitestone, said, “We thought it was a fair resolution.”
The Islamic Saudi Academy has come under criticism because some of its textbooks contain passages that extol jihad and martyrdom, call for victory over one’s enemies and say the killing of adulterers and apostates is justified. The academy has rented the school from Fairfax County since 1984, and the county recently renewed its lease for three years….
Cultural differences might have led to the episode that resulted in Al-Shabnan’s arrest. A police affidavit filed last month said that detectives learned in May that the 5-year-old girl attended the academy’s West Campus on Popes Head Road, just south of Fairfax City, and her sexual abuse allegations had been reported to the school’s administrators. No report was made to any state agency.
Detectives interviewed the girl and then visited Al-Shabnan, who said he “did not believe her complaint and felt she may be attempting to gain attention,” according to the affidavit by Detective Doug Comfort.
Al-Shabnan told police that he met with the child’s parents and advised them to seek counseling for the girl. Al-Shabnan then reportedly told the detectives that he “was not aware that he was required to make such a report” to child protective agencies, Comfort wrote. Police also found that Al-Shabnan had “ordered the written report deleted from the computer” of the school….