- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 12, 2008

Textbooks at a private Islamic school in McLean teach students that it is permissible for Muslims to kill adulterers and converts from Islam, according to the findings of a federal investigation released Wednesday.

Other passages in the school’s textbooks state that “the Jews conspired against Islam and its people” and that Muslims are permitted to take the lives and property of those deemed “polytheists” - a designation some extremists apply to members of virtually every other religion.

The passages were found in selected textbooks used during the 2007-08 school year by the Fairfax and receives much of its funding from the Saudi government.

The academy has come under scrutiny from critics who claim it fosters an intolerant brand of Islam similar to that taught in the conservative State Department so changes can be made before the next school year.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a panel formed by Congress, last year recommended that the school be closed amid concerns it promotes violence and too closely mimics the conservative Saudi educational system.

The commission made its recommendation last year to close the school even though it had not reviewed the textbooks. Now that some have been reviewed, “we feel more confident that the potential problems we flagged before really are there,” said the commission’s spokeswoman, Judith Ingram.

School officials have long denied that the academy fosters intolerance. It acknowledges that some of the Saudi textbooks contain harsh language, but says the texts have improved in recent years and are revised as needed by the academy before being distributed to students.

School officials and the State Department did not immediately respond to phone calls and an e-mail seeking comment Wednesday.

The commission said it obtained 17 of the academy’s textbooks through a variety of channels, including from members of Congress. The texts did appear to contain numerous revisions, including pages that were removed or passages that were whited out, but numerous troubling passages remain, according to the panel:

*The authors of a 12th-grade text on monotheism write that “[m]ajor polytheism makes blood and wealth permissible,” meaning that a Muslim can take with impunity the life and property of someone thought guilty of polytheism.

*A social studies text offers the view that Jews are responsible for the split between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims: “The cause of the discord: The Jews conspired against Islam and its people. A sly, wicked person who sinfully and deceitfully professed Islam infiltrated [the Muslims].”

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