The many Virginia and national voices who have opposed over the last two years Fairfax County leasing its land to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia for the operation of the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA) will have an opportunity on October 19 once more to tell local politicians that they don't want the ISA operating on public land in Fairfax County.
Genuine and continuing transparency of both the curriculum and the practices of the ISA to ensure the school is not an academy for Shariah should be a condition precedent, in our view, to any such rental of Commonwealth land.
Here (p. 85) is pertinent text from the Fairfax County Supervisors September 14 "board package" on the October 19 hearing.
"TIMING: Board action is requested on September 14, 2010, to provide sufficient time to advertise the proposed public hearing to be held on October 19, 2010, at 5:00 p.m. BACKGROUND The Board of Supervisors is the owner of a facility located at 8333 Richmond Highway and identified as Tax Map Numbers 101-4 ((1)) 005A, 101-4 ((1)) 057, 101-4 ((8)) (E) 001, and 101-4 ((7)) 001. The Islamic Saudi Academy has leased the school since 1989 for the operation of a private school. The current lease expires on June 30, 2011, and the Islamic Saudi Academy has requested an extension. Therefore, it is proposed that the County enter into a lease addendum that will permit the Islamic Saudi Academy to continue leasing this site for the period of July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012.Included in the lease addendum is an option, subject to approval by the County, to extend the lease for two additional one-year periods."
In June of 2008, ABC 7 News reported in its "Head of Virginia Islamic School Arrested; Protesters Demand Shutdown" that –
"The [Fairfax County] board [of Supervisors]'s chairman - Gerry Connolly, the Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia's 11th District - offered a strong defense of the school and accused critics of slander during the meeting in which the lease was approved.
Connolly did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday. But Keith Fimian, his Republican opponent for the congressional seat, said that because the school is on public land, taxpapers have the right to ensure that the curriculum meets certain criteria.
'From what I know, the board was wrong to renew the lease,' Fimian said."
For background on the whole ISA issue, readers are encouraged to revisit two of our pertinent posts
'Yet the State Department and Fairfax County supervisors duck, hide, and punt the issue back and forth, failing to act in the best interests of county citizens and the U.S. This is my seventh post on this issue since May , and I am no more optimistic that they will act than I was in May.'"
The October 19 Fairfax County Board of Supervisors hearing on extending the lease is a sovereign opportunity to insist that the curriculum and teaching practices of the Islamic Saudi Academy be wholly and continually transparent if that school is to be allowed to conduct further operations on land belonging to the Commonwealth.
Their appearance in person at the hearing would concentrate the supervisors' minds wonderfully, and would get across the point that facilitating with public resources any propagating of Shariah is a national concern. For the Shariah costs to the fabric of our society would clearly outweigh whatever rental revenue Fairfax County might receive from the Royal Saudi Embassy.