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The extreme and uncompromising form of Islam known as Wahhabism is taught in virtually every Saudi-funded Islamic school in North America. Examples of how Wahhabist ideology permeates the curricula in such institutions include the following:

  • New York City: A 2003 investigation by the New York Daily News found that books used in the city's Muslim schools "are rife with inaccuracies, sweeping condemnations of Jews and Christians, and triumphalist declarations of Islam's supremacy."

  • Los Angeles: The Omar Ibn Khattab Foundation donated hundreds of copies of The Meaning of the Holy Quran to the city school district in 2001; within months, this book had to be pulled from school libraries because of its anti-Semitic commentaries. For example, one footnote in the book reads: "The Jews in their arrogance claimed that all wisdom and all knowledge of Allah was enclosed in their hearts. … Their claim was not only arrogance but blasphemy."

  • Ajax, Ontario: The Institute of Islamic Learning (IIL) is a Canadian emulation of the extremist madrassahs of Pakistan. The IIL focuses exclusively on religious topics, requires students to memorize the Koran, demands total segregation from the Canadian milieu, and enforces complete gender separation. Former students have complained about the school's cult-like devotion to its head, Abdul Majid Khan.

  • Potomac, Maryland: The Muslim Community School imbues its students with a sense of alienation from the United States. One seventh-grader there told a Washington Post reporter in 2001, "Being American is just [nothing more than] being born in this country." An eighth-grader stated, "Being an American means nothing to me."

  • Alexandria, Virginia:textbook that has been used at the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA) -- authored and published by the Saudi Ministry of Education -- teaches first-graders that "all religions, other than Islam, are false, including that of the Jews [and] Christians." In 2007 and 2008, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) reviewed 17 ISA textbooks and found numerous passages that "clearly exhort the readers to commit acts of violence" such as taking of the lives and property of apostates (converts from Islam), Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and members of Islam's Shiite faction." Added USCIRF: "Ninth- and twelfth-grade curricula place heavy emphasis on the concept of jihad, or holy war, and on Muslims' religious obligation to kill infidels in the name of Allah."

    A former ISA class valedictorian, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, was convicted in 2005 of providing material support to a terrorist organization, contributing goods and services to al Qaeda, receiving services from al Qaeda, conspiring to assassinate President George W. Bush, and conspiring to hijack and destroy aircraft.

  • Fairfax, Virginia: In 2004 the U.S. government revoked the visas of sixteen people affiliated with the Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America (IIASA). As the Washington Post reported, "That decision followed accusations that the institute, a satellite campus of al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, was promoting a brand of Islam that critics say is intolerant of other strains of the religion as well as Christianity and Judaism." In addition, the IIASA is under investigation for ties to terrorism.

  • Ashburn, Virginia: The Graduate School of Islamic Social Sciences (GSISS) offers a Master of Arts degree in its Social Studies/Islamic Studies program. Graduates of this program commonly go on to become imams, academics, non-profit directors, and military, hospital, and prison chaplains. Islam scholar Stephen Schwartz has called GSISS "a front group for Wahhabi-Saudi money," and the federal government has long suspected the organization of maintaining ties to Islamic terrorism. On March 20, 2002, U.S. law-enforcement agents raided the offices of key GSISS personnel, including Board member Jamal Barzinji, who was involved with a total of nine organizations raided in connection with terrorist financing -- among them the World Assembly of Muslim Youth and the International Institute for Islamic Thought.

Islamic schools in Europe promote similar themes.

Adapted from "What Are Islamic Schools Teaching?" (Daniel Pipes: March 29, 2005).



Troubles at Islamic Schools in the West
By Daniel Pipes
March 29, 2005
What Are Islamic Schools Teaching?
By Daniel Pipes
March 29, 2005

U.S. Islamic Schools Teaching Homegrown Hate
By Kenneth Adelman
February 27, 2002


Hate Taught in UK Schools
November 25, 2010


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