Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What I saw at last night’s Islamic Saudi Academy hearing

This is not comprehensive coverage of last night’s Fairfax County of Supervisors hearing on expansion of the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA). It is simply my strongest impressions from the meeting.

While I had concerns about coordination among opponents of the ISA, opponents greatly outnumbered supporters.

Some opponents were not ideologically based: residents who live near the school complained about increased traffic and being downstream from septic fields. A petition to oppose the ISA based on land use was signed by 300 residents living near the ISA.

While a person representing an opponent who couldn’t make it because he was sick was not permitted to read a statement, one Christina Sheetz, an ISA alumna, was allowed to make a statement on behalf of Kamal Suliman. I called my district supervisor’s office about this double standard, and I was referred to Sharon Bulova’s office. Ms. Bulova rebuked ISA opponents twice for clapping, while supporters were not rebuked.

Reem Al-Hussain, a 2007 ISA alumna and now a student at GMU, said that equating one person (she was probably alluding to Abu Ali) with the whole of Islam was like equating Hitler with the whole of Christianity. Despite her over-the-top statement, I actually cut her some slack because of her relative youth. However, her statement that she felt that she was “stabbed” is symptomatic of Muslim victimology.

Dana Nicholas, who identified herself as an assistant principal at ISA, testified that ISA bus drivers would be educated in traffic safety and that ISA bus drivers had an excellent safety record. She is lying. Refer to our 2005 article WaPo conflates two bus accidents.

One opponent said that if the government didn’t serve the citizens, then overthrow the government. He dramatically turned to the audience when he shouted “overthrow the government.” He was subsequently rebuked by Katherine Cox Chenard, who identified herself as a teacher and curriculum development specialist at ISA.

I distance myself from his statement. It hurts the cause. Instead, I would have coldly told the Board of Supervisors that if they support ISA expansion (as sadly, I expect they will), then we will remember that at election time and vote them out.

Several ISA parents testified what a safe environment ISA provided: drug-free, fight-free, alcohol-free, teen pregnancy-free, yada yada yada. How are ISA students punished for transgressions? Did anyone else catch the irony of advocating a private school before the county government, which has oversight of Fairfax County Public Schools? Fairfax County Public Schools are obliged to serve all school-age children, whereas a private school can select its students. Moreover, what is being done to assure that Fairfax County Public Schools are drug-free, fight-free, alcohol-free, and teen pregnancy-free?

Finally, visit the comprehensive video coverage provided by Atlas Shrugs, especially the testimony of an Egyptian apostate who was not on the advance speakers list.

UPDATE: Snapped Shot couldn't attend last night's hearing. He notes that the final decision on the expansion of ISA has been deferred to August 3. Also refer to his links to Crystal Clear Conservative's report and live tweets.


Always On Watch said...

I wasn't able to attend, so I read this account with keen interest.

Did any of the speakers bring up the bus accident of 2005?

I do wonder how many other bus accidents the ISA has been involved in.

Northern Virginiastan said...

None of the speakers brought up the 2005 bus accident. There appears to be some confusion about allowing student drivers.

MaroonedinMarin said...

I was there and share many of your observations. I took video inside and outside the meeting as well.