In "What Are Islamic Schools Teaching?" I noted seven Islamic schools in North America, six American and one Canadian, which teach hostility to Jews and Christians or had suspected links to terrorism. This is a recurring pattern, and so important to document on a regular basis, which I shall do here. Other instances include:
Three graduates of the Islamic Saudi Academy were jailed after authorities found a letter written in Arabic inside one man's carry-on bag for a flight to Israel that appears to be a farewell note in preparation for suicide terrorism. Mohammed Osman Idris, Mohammed El-Yacoubi, and Abdalmuhssin El-Yacoubi (the latter two are brothers) are U.S.-born Muslims born and raised in Northern Virginia. The first two paid cash for their tickets to Israel, carried $2,000, had no checked baggage, no hotel reservations, and no pre-planned itinerary. Their passports were only three days old. The letter written by Abdalmuhssin El-Yacoubi to his older brother Mohammed reads (in its FBI translation):
When I heard what you are going to carry out, my heart was filled with the feeling of grief and joy. . . . I have no right to prevent you from your migration to Allah and His holy messenger, but it is incumbent upon me to encourage you and help you, because Islam urges Jihad for the sake of Allah. . . . I hope that this letter will arrive before you travel to Allah and His messenger.
FBI experts concluded that the language "indicates that Mohammed El-Yacoubi was going to place himself at grave risk of injury or death for the sake of his Jihad." (March 27, 2002)
The King Fahd Academy in Bonn under investigation
- The King Fahd Academy in Bonn, Germany, a €14 million Arabic-language school opened in 1995 under the auspices of the Saudi government, is under investigation for ties to Al-Qaeda. A documentary on German public television's Panorama last week alleged the school, which has 600 pupils, one-third of them German citizens, has ties to a range of Islamist groups and he security agencies reported a significant influx of Islamists to the Bad Godesberg neighborhood where the school is located. The regional commissioner for North-Rhine Westphalia, Jürgen Roters, has threatened to shut down the institution. Chancellor Gerhard Schröder discussed this issue with Saudi authorities while in the kingdom on state visit last week. (Oct. 11, 2003)
- Abrar Haque, 43, the volunteer administrator of Cleveland's Al-Ihsan School of Excellence, was arrested on money-laundering charges. To learn more about his business, federal agents seized school records. (Feb. 5, 2005)
- The Islamic Saudi Academy helped shaped the views of Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who presently sits in a Virginia jail accused of trying to assassinate the president of the United States. (March 1, 2005)
I will add other examples as they appear. (March 29, 2005)
- I wrote today about the Universal School in Bridgeview, Illinois and described it as "an American madrassah …, replete with the alienation, resentment, supremacism, and isolation that feed the Islamist temperament. (June 20, 2005)
The cuddly Ali Asad Chandia. (Picture courtesy of the "Ali Asad Support Committee.")
- Ali Asad Chandia, 28, was arrested on the accusation of aiding two terrorist groups, including the Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba. He is a third-grade teacher at Al-Huda School in College Park, Maryland, a K-8 school in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. that specializes in teaching the Arabic language and the Koran. Also of note: he served as the president of the Muslim Students Association at Montgomery College in 1998-1999 and was a member of the "Virginia jihad network." (Sep. 17, 2005) Aug. 26, 2006 update: Chandia, convicted in June on three counts of providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba, was today sentenced to 15 years in prison. At the sentencing hearing, Chandia not only maintained his innocence but threatened to exact revenge against all those responsible for his conviction: "those who participated in making my children orphans ... should just remember that the day of judgment is on the way."
- It's not a Western story, but a story on Indonesian madrassahs in today's Australian bears noting: Vice-President Jusuf Kalla has called for the compulsory fingerprinting of 3.5 million students in the country's Islamic boarding schools – a move that has sparked outrage across the archipelago. Attempting to deflect criticism, Mr Kalla told reporters the move was not related to terrorism. "Don't connect this with terrorism – this is only in relation to identification," Mr Kalla said. However, the move follows his decision to ask Indonesia's ruling Islamic body, the extremely conservative Muslim Council of Scholars (MUI), to monitor the curriculums of Islamic boarding schools and to publicise an anti-terror fatwa, or decree. There are about 15,000 Islamic boarding schools across Indonesia. Despite their numbers, however, they are on the defensive because so many extremists connected with the terror network Jemaah Islamiah are the alumni of certain Islamic boarding schools. (Dec. 6, 2005)
The Hawza Ilmiyya of London, a Shi'i religious school, teaches from a text written by Muhaqqiq al-Hilli, a thirteenth-century scholar, that has this to say about kafirs ("disbelievers"):
The water left over in the container after any type of animal has drunk from it is considered clean and pure apart from the left over of a dog, a pig, and a disbeliever.
There are ten types of filth and impurities: urine, faeces, semen, carrion, blood of carrion, dogs, pigs, disbelievers.
When a dog, a pig, or a disbeliever touches or comes in contact with the clothes or body [of a Muslim] while he [the disbeliever] is wet, it becomes obligatory-compulsory upon him [the Muslim] to wash and clean that part which came in contact with the disbeliever.
In addition, a chapter on jihad, specifies conditions for Muslims to fight Jews and Christians. So strong are the Hawza Ilmiyya's ties to the political leadership in Iran, its 1996 memorandum of association says that "At all times at least one of the trustees shall be a representative of the Supreme Spiritual Leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran." The last three years of the eight-year curriculum are spent at colleges in the Iranian holy city of Qom. (Apr. 20, 2006) April 28, 2006 update: For more on this school, see my article today, "Subsidizing the Enemy."
The Hawza Ilmiyya of London.
Islamitisch College Amsterdam.
- The East Preston Islamic College in Melbourne, Australia, receives about A$3.9 million in state and federal government funding each year. On a school expedition, 33 male teenage boys, in Year 7 to Year 10, were taken last week to a rural camp about 50 km to the west. According to a school report, late one night three students (with another two watching) decided to have some fun. "The main perpetrator, [a Year 7 student], urinated on the Holy Bible, tore some pages from the Holy Book and burnt them then finally spat on the Holy Book." The second boy, from Year 9, "tore pages from the Holy Book and burnt them." A third student, from Year 7, "tore pages from the Holy Bible and then he rolled it up like a cigarette and pretended to smoke it." Two students were immediately expelled.
The incident shook the school's teachers, about half of whom are non-Muslim, twenty-two of them signed a petition addressed to the principal, Shaheem Doutie. In it, they expressed "anguish and dismay at the grave incident of the desecration of the Holy Bible" and "grave concern" about an "inculcation of hatred and radical attitudes towards non-Muslims" at the school. "This whole incident implies a deep hatred inculcated in the students towards the Christians/non-Muslim teachers," they conclude The petition also notes "previous incidents of students misbehaving towards non-Muslim teachers" and calls on the school to ensure the safety of teachers by taking to "steps to rectify this explosive situation." (Dec. 6, 2006)
Abdur Raheem Green, banned from Australia but not from the East Preston Islamic College.
Dec. 19, 2006 update: More research by Cameron Stewart, the Australian reporter who's been on this story, finds more problems. Peter Moxham, the (non-Muslim) principal of EPIC in October 2003-January 2005, says (in Stewart's paraphrase) that "the school was dysfunctional and dangerous, with a widespread culture of bullying and poor educational standards." Moxham calls it "a classic potential breeding ground for extremists. If any of these kids become radicals, it will be partly because the education is of such a low calibre and bullying is endemic."
Further, Stewart reveals that EPIC has had to repay "tens of thousands of dollars [of the A$3.9million it receives annually] in government funding this year after a federal government investigation found the school had overstated the number of its students."
The Australian Islamic College logo.
Following a months-long investigation, 28 fraud squad officers and 10 investigators from the federal Department of Education yesterday at 9 a.m. raided the three Perth-area campuses of the Australian Islamic College, carting off three truck-loads of computers and documents. The school, founded in 1986 by Abdallah Magar, received A$13.3 million in government funding in 2006 for its two thousand K-12 students taught by 250 teachers. The fraud unit suspects that the school swindled the federal government by inflating its rent payments or by overstating its student population (double counting students or ghosting students). Detective Inspector Arno Albrecht of the Commercial Crime Division said that, as far as he was aware, the Major Fraud Squad had not previously been involved in a raid on a school in Western Australia.
Abdallah Magar, founder and head of the Australian Islamic College.
The King Fahad Academy logo.
Cook says he was fired in December 2006 after blowing the whistle for the school's covering up cheating by students in GCSE exams; he plans to bring a tribunal claim for unfair dismissal, race discrimination, and victimization. The school denies his allegations and insists he was properly dismissed for gross misconduct connected to the exams procedure. (February 6, 2007)
Feb. 7, 2007 update: Appearing on BBC2's Newsnight, KFA's principal, Sumaya Alyusuf, admitted that the school uses textbooks that describe Jews as "apes" and Christians as "pigs," even as she refused to withdraw them. "We have these books in our school. These books have good chapters that can be used by the teachers. It depends on the objectives the teacher wants to achieve." Asked by the moderator, Jeremy Paxman, "Will you now remove this nonsense from the Saudi Ministry of Education from your school?" Alyusuf replied: "Just to reiterate what I said earlier, there are chapters from these books that are used and that will serve our objectives. But we don't teach hatred towards Judaism or Christianity - on the contrary."
Feb. 8, 2007 update: KFA's principal, Sumaya Alyusuf, denied that teachers assigned the offensive chapters that Cook had noted, saying these had been "taken out context" and had "lost some of their meaning." Further, those materials have literally been torn out of the schoolbooks in question "in the public interest." Finally, "The press interest in these unused chapters has shocked us.
Colin Cook standing in front of the King Fahad Academy grounds.
Feb. 11, 2007 update: A Sunday Times reporter, Sian Griffiths, was invited to see KFA and wrote up her experience at "We don't teach hate." The atmospherics are interesting in themselves ("Awkwardly, I adjust my dress, wondering whether I should have donned trousers. But then, I remind myself, this is a school on British soil"), as is a bit more detail from the Cook statement:
"Pupils are asked to mention some repugnant characteristics of Jews," he writes. "Year 1 pupils are asked to give examples of worthless religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, idol worship and others . . . The teachers on the Saudi curriculum . . . presumably endorse this racist view-point or teach it without complaint."
Apr. 18, 2008 update: Colin Cook's trial has taken place, with an employment tribunal in Watford awarding him £70,000 for unfair dismissal. A panel found the school created a "smokescreen" to justify his dismissal. New information from the trial about the school included: (1) Cook telling the tribunal that pupils at KFA were taught from Arabic books that likened Jews and Christians to "monkeys" and "pigs". An Arabic textbook encourages students to see religions other than Islam as worthless. It refers to "the repugnant characteristics of the Jews" and it asserts that "Those whom God has cursed and with whom he is angry, he has turned into monkeys and pigs. They worship Satan." (2) Some pupils, according to Cook, "talked as if they did not live in London at all." (3) When he asked how Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada, both on social benefits, could pay the school fees, he was told to mind his own business. (4) The school serves as part of the Saudi Embassy, with Saudi nationals enjoying diplomatic immunity.
- The Jameah Islameah School in Mark Cross (near Crowborough, East Sussex, UK) has been shut down because, the Department for Education and Skills announced, it had failed to fulfill an "improvement plan" to meet standards. The department issued a statement that "It is now illegal for Jameah Islameah to continue as an independent school and it could be prosecuted if it continued to do so." The school "continues to fail to meet the standards which all independent schools must meet ... concerning the quality of education provided; the welfare, health and safety of pupils; and quality of premises and accommodation." (February 9, 2007) Feb. 11, 2007 update: Jim Knight, the schools minister, said JIS is one of 45 independent schools closed on quality grounds over the past three years, and that the closing was unconnected to anti-terror police raids in September 2006. The £3 million building has 100 rooms and is surrounded by 54 acres of property. Oddly, the school had 11 students, well fewer than the 20 teachers and other adults living on the grounds.
- Nov. 8, 2012 update: In a hate crimes investigation, the York Regional Police (outside of Toronto) reviewed 30 school books at the East End Madrassah and has now issued a report, East End Madrassah: Hate Propaganda Investigation. It found problematic elements of the curriculum that disparage Jews and encourage boys to get fit for jihad which "challenged some of Canada's core values" and "suggested intolerance"; but the police decided not to bring criminal charges against the institution. Its report notes that some school materials originate from Iranian foundations.
Here are two examples concerning Jews:
Islam is a dynamic, comprehensive school that aims at the rectification of the social and economic systems of the world in a special manner. Unlike the beliefs of the ancient Romans, the Jews, and the Nazis, Islam is not restricted to a certain community of a certain race, but is for all human beings.
The innocent-appearing front cover of one offending book used at Toronto's East End Madrassah.
- End of Jewish Plots and Treacheries: Ever since the Prophet's entry into Madina [i.e., Medina], the treacherous Jews had vehemently opposed him and his Islamic call, evoking memories of their hostility to the previous Prophet, Jesus Christ, half a millennium ago. The crafty Jews entered into an alliance with the polytheist Quraish in a bid to stamp out Islam. They conspired to kill Prophet Muhammad despite the fact that he was lenient towards them and had treated them kindly, hoping to convince them of Islam's truth. But eventually as Jewish plots and aggressions increased, he had no choice other than to take up arms against them, in order to protect Islam and the Muslims. At the battle of Khaiber which is famous for Imam Ali's heroic exploits, the Prophet defeated them ending Jewish intrigues and conspiracies in Arabia.
And here are two concerning jihad:
- Islam has allowed boys to engage in sports for one specific reason and that is to always keep them healthy and strong. But why should a Muslim be healthy and strong? Firstly, it is necessary to take care of the body because it is a gift from Allah. Secondly, so that you may physically be ready for jihad whenever the time comes for it.
- No doubt any wise, humanitarian person accepts such a combat and admires it [jihad] because there is no other way to achieve the sacred ends of the Prophets.
The police pointed to the principal (Masuma Jessa) and the imam (Syed Mohammed Rizvi) of East End Madrassah as responsible for these materials: "As leaders in their respective roles the two must accept responsibility for failing to appropriately screen the learning material. Although not held criminally responsible, the complaint has raised a legitimate concern and has prompted change."
Comments: (1) The police are assessing school materials? This is indeed a brave new world. (2) Bravo to the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies which uncovered this outrage. (November 8, 2012)
- Al-Madinah School in Derby in central England, a taxpayer-funded Muslim school, has been shut down and is being investigated by the government for a stunning array of irregularities, from operating according to Shari'a law to financial irregularities. Inspectors called it "dysfunctional" and "in chaos." For details, see Soeren Kern, "Scandal-Plagued Muslim School 'Dysfunctional'." (October 21, 2013)