UPDATE: Jeffrey Imm, who addressed the panel, has a comprehensive post here.
During one of the few breaks in the heated meeting due to the overflowing crowd
of ISA supporters, several of those who sought to speak out against the ISA were
cornered and confronted by some ISA supporters. These ISA supporters denied all
of the reports by the Associated
Press, the Washington
media, and U.S.
Commission on International Religious Freedom. These ISA supporters told
activists that the Washington
Post and other reports of ISA textbooks calling for jihad and calling Jews
apes and Christians pigs - were all lies. These ISA supporters said that the U.S.
Commission on International Religious Freedom's report criticizing ISA
textbooks stating that it is permissible for Muslims to kill coverts from Islam
and adulterers - was a lie. They said reports of former
ISA valedictorian Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, convicted
in federal court of joining Al-Qaeda and plotting to assassinate President Bush
- were a lie. They said that FBI reports that former
ISA student Mohammed El-Yacoubi was carrying a suicide
note with what it believed was planned to be a suicide
bombing attack in Israel - were a lie. According to these ISA supporters,
all of the reports about the problems with ISA are nothing but lies. In this
exchange, one woman ISA supporter shouted out "it is all lies" and then after
discovering that one of the cornered rights activists was a Christian, stated
that "the Jews killed your Jesus." Later the same woman ISA supporter reiterated
that ISA does not support hate.
In Virginia, while a bullying mob declared "I Support ISA," you should know that there were fearless activists who clearly sent the message that "We Support USA," and the inalienable human rights of equality and liberty inherent in America's identity.
But citizens concerned about the spread of Islamic supremacists' threat to equality and liberty must not ignore how vastly outnumbered such activists were and continue to be in representing us in public events and before government agencies. The six activists speaking out against the Islamic supremacist nature of the Islamic Saudi Academy were outnumbered by the estimated 600 ISA supporters by nearly 100 to one. This is not the first or the last such public event where the larger consensus on equality and liberty needs greater representation.
Clearly when supporters of Islamic supremacist institutions publicly demonstrate that they can outnumber their opposition by such vast numbers, such supporters will become further emboldened and confident in their ability to influence government agencies, laws, and legislature. In the Washington DC metropolitan area, and around the nation, it is not enough to commiserate privately over our concerns about Islamic supremacism, or to think that "preaching to the choir" on shared Internet blogs and via email is really accomplishing anything.
Those who believe that we can win victories for freedom by merely marching in place and reassuring ourselves -- need to wake up. If we are not willing to get out in public to defend equality and liberty as citizen activists, we can be certain that there will be plenty of others supporting institutions and ideologies that do not respect equality and liberty who will act in public. Those who support ideologies against equality and liberty will continue to persuade the media, the government, and your neighbors -- that they represent the majority of public opinion. We cannot expect courage from our government, if we don't see courage from the public they represent.
Will you let them win? Or will you do something about it?
Defending equality and liberty is inconvenient. It takes time and commitment. It costs you money. It interferes with your life. But equality and liberty cannot be taken for granted, with the forces of supremacism that are on the march, not just in Northern Virginia, but around the nation and the world. When you consider how inconvenient it is to challenge supremacism, think about what your life would be like without equality and liberty. Think about what type of future and legacy we would leave for the children and future generations. Good intentions are never enough. Being responsible for equality and liberty means that your action is needed now.
To help in the activist focus on issues challenging equality and liberty, our organization "Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.)" at realcourage.org has listed future events where we are publicly challenging supremacism. Take the time to look for such events, and see where you can get involved with R.E.A.L. or other activist organizations, such as ACT for America.
The next time you are concerned about the growth of Islamic supremacism in foreign lands, never forget that those who seek to challenge equality and liberty are right here today in America too.
Remember those like the "Fairfax 600" that publicly supported an Islamic supremacist institution in Virginia. They are convinced that you aren't willing to publicly challenge them. They are convinced that those supporting equality and liberty either don't care or are too afraid.
But those of us responsible for equality and liberty will Fear No Evil.
UPDATE: The bottom line is the "panel" was openly hostile to the anti-sharia folks and the residents. The Saudis pulled out all the taqiyya stops -- what a charade. The most powerful was a young Irish guy who had a Muslim girlfriend (and he was testifying at risk of his lover's wrath) and his friends were mostly Muslim. He said he knew kids who attended the school and they absolutely teach hate. His remarks about getting harassed, his car keyed, sugar in his gas tank for expressing his opinions around other Muslims made an impact, though it fell on dhimmi ears.
The whole hearing was depressing. Patriot Americans didn't have a shot.
UPDATE: Click link below for Faith McDonnell's speech
Maroone has more pics and live coverage here
Carl Beveridge is making the point that the firm that did the traffic study for the staff report was hired by the applicant (ISA).
Christine Brim, SVP, Center for Security Policy is making a hard-hitting presentation on what is promised and what is actually delivered in these deals and ISA's checkered history in these matters ..... the panel addresses no question to Brim. They are in over their tiny pinheads with her.
Jeffrey Imm on religious supremacism is as egregious as racial supremacism.
LIVESTREAM! Andrea Lafferty, TraditionalValues Coalition, representing millions of church members. Lafferty is discussing what is taught in the school, the maps without Israel -- G-d bless this woman. The ISA operates and teaches sharia law. The director who protected a sexual abusing parent was following sharia law. Land use must consider what the land is used for. Go girl! Are you going to sign off on a school that teaches hate and murder of the infidels? Would you sign off on a school for Nazis? The hecklers are laughing, bullying ..........Lafferty is ticking off every crime of the school. Lafferty is a brave soul. Chairman Peter Murphy is berating Lafferty -- asking her "who are the cowardly politicians"? The cowardly politician is asking Lafferty who are the "cowardly politicians". This is rich. Lafferty is a goddess.
***10 minute recess****
Atlas reader and Act for America's Denise Lee is next. She is addressing traffic patterns, septic systems and well water. Land use! "As a real estate broker, I am concerned about property values". Denise is bringing up the hate taught in their textbooks and the sexual abuse cover up by the school director.
Malik Abou is speaking -- in full headdress -- spoke very briefly (two minutes?) only to flatter and thank the dhimmi panel for their "extensive" analysis and for embracing diversity. She admits that the road is narrow and dangerous but it is incumbent upon all of us to drive carefully. The main problem is "a lack of knowledge" about a particular culture. Taqiyya.
Longtime resident Hazel Rathburn speaks -- with a British lilt? Another articulate American. She describes the "disaster waiting to happen" in terms of dangerous traffic conditions. She recites a list of very bad accidents and the increased in teen/children "who love to speed". The parade of great Americans is so impressive -- this is the most striking thing.
Longtime resident and homeowner President Kasimides (sp?) is discussing the environmental impact. Very powerful presentation by this articulate woman. Smart. Noise, septic, and brings up the valid point that the soccer field was never county approved. The panel does everything in their power to shoot holes in every presentation -- they are Saudi puppets. It's unbelievable. The mostly ISA audience applauds them and the panel member asks that they not applaud -- like, "please, don't make it so obvious that we are in your pocket". Commissioner Janet Hall is really pathetic. She looks (and sounds) like she pals around with Cindy Sheehan. Dhimmi logic.
Next: John Marino -- President of Homeowner Association -- his focus is on traffic safety. Asking panel to reject the Saudi school as a danger to traffic conditions. "Main concern is increased traffic", the "country feel" and the danger to the hair pin curve. LAND USE! Most homeowners heard about the ISA land by accident -- why? Is this something you didn't want homeowners to know? Or was it that you didn't want to know what homeowners thought?
Next up..... Will Nance. Approaching it from a terrible traffic problem POV. Land use! Smart. "Not a safe street to build a busy school". Please vote NO.
Public hearing open, 35 speakers scheduled. James Lafferty is up. Woot! I know Traditional Family Values Coalition James and his wonderful wife Andrea. He spoke while being loudly booed. He is discussing the "Unworkability of the plan". Most important is they are teaching children to hate. The folks in the hijab are booing and threatening. Panel admonishes the hecklers. James continues...no American should be silent! Please reject the plan! GO JIM GO JIM! So proud of Jim! Crowd heckles.
The fulled covered academic director comes down to answer question on student makeup -- 65% of the students are "American citizens".
DRAMA moment -- the blond attorney asks those in the room who support the school to stand -- all the headscarves stood up. 95 percent of audience is ISA supporters.
Brian on twitter:
- The building on the cover of their booklet was the County's 20-year sweetheart loan.
- More convenient and full service education. In what?
- Oh boy, another escrow! For outsiders, this means another endless sweetheart deal that Christian schools would NEVER get.
- We in the West have built for ourselves a great pyre of regulations. Looks like we should get prepared to be burned on it.
- All of our county's stringent environmental regulations are to be nonchalantly brushed aside. Hurray, waivers! I can finally build my tower.
The Islamic Saudi Academy's blonde attorney, Lynn Strobel , is whitewashing the school. It's a "typical school" - typical for Riyadh maybe. No mention of what's taught -- jihad, the hate, or their valedictorian/ presidential assassin.
The staff member making the positive recommendation is so in the tank she can't answer the most fundamental questions. What is the increase in number of school buses? She doesn't know. The chemicals used on a proposed soccer field? She doesn't know.
STAFF REPORT: RECOMMENDS APPROVAL. Cat meet bag.
Chairman Peter Murphy of the Planning Commission is insisting it is a "land use" issue only. Another full of shitnik sell out. Application decision will be deferred until April 3rd.
He's admonishing folks to "be nice" and no one has even spoken yet -- just him.
UPDATE: it begins: The Islamic Saudi Academy. Live-stream
Again with the fire marshal.
UPDATE: They shut off the feed. Guess they gotta get their story straight.
Go get a snack -- they are conducting other town biz -- frightful town clowns in charge, I might add.
Hmm, some people seem to think that the marshal asking them to leave is discrimination. Gee, where'd they get THAT idea?
Fire marshal sez no blocking exits. Ya think?half a minute ago from twitterrific
LIVESTREAMING LIVESTREAMING LIVESTREAMING - Started now!
UPDATE: BRIAN IS LIVE BLOGGING/TWITTERING HERE - Go Brian!
Keffiyahs are here. Will the wonders nwver cease?3 minutes ago from twitterrific
I am third row from the front, on the right of the aisle
Room is now over capacity. Standing room only.
This must be what a public meeting in Riyadh feels like. Very foreign for Virginia, though.35 minutes ago
I do believe I am the only person on the room not with ISA. Arabic all round. Audience at around 50 so far.39 minutes ago
Statement by Faith J. H. McDonnell, March 18, 2009
To the Planning Commission
Public Hearing on SE 2008-SP-025 – Islamic Saudi Academy
My name is Faith McDonnell. I am a resident of Fairfax County and I work as a international human rights advocate for Muslims and Christians, Ba’hai and Falun Gong, and particularly for the people of Sudan. I speak in opposition to the Islamic Saudi Academy’s application for a permit to build a new school at their location on Popes Head Road.
The land on which the Islamic Saudi Academy is built is zoned R-C and WS. As the Planning Commission is well aware, and has itself made clear to various other applicants from churches, schools, etc. who ask for modification of this extremely restricted designation, the Islamic Saudi Academy property and the surrounding area has been designated “Residential-Conservation” and is placed within a protected watershed. According to County documents, “this is an area of the Occoquan watershed that was designated by the Board of Supervisors as being environmentally sensitive for the protection of the Occoquan Reservoir.”
No matter what accommodations are made by the Islamic Saudi Academy or its governing Saudi Embassy, the fact remains that they intend to put 900 children, at the least, on a property that is zoned to be low occupancy, purposely to protect the greater Potomac watershed. I refer the Planning Commission to a previous request on the very same property in which the County and the Planning Commission refused an application from another school, Fairfax Christian School. The record of the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, in 1991, says in referring to the denial of permit to Fairfax Christian School: the “major environmental concern related to the proposed development” was “the lack of protection of the environmental quality” and that the “development could not be considered environmentally sensitive” and that it did not “help preserve the ecological integrity” of the watershed. The Court continued that “both the Planning Commission and the professional planning staff continuously opposed granting the exemptions for the proposed uses suggested and that they offered legitimate land use explanations for their decisions: protecting environmental quality, controlling storm water runoff, maintaining population density, protecting the comprehensive plan, and preventing development so intense that it was inconsistent with the development of the adjoining area.”
In conclusion, I would submit that there is another legitimate land use reason for denying the application of the Islamic Saudi Academy, and that is that land should not be used in a way that possibly undermines all for which the United States of America has always stood. The Academy was founded, funded, and is controlled by the Saudi Embassy. It uses Saudi Ministry of Education textbooks that sanction murder against Jews, adulterers (presumably just the women), homosexuals, and converts from Islam. These texts, because they are based on Shariah also encourage sedition against the sovereignty of the United States government – no government, even the one which has granted you ability to purchase land, to live in freedom and peace, and to enjoy the benefits of democracy, can be higher than Islamic law. Not all Muslim schools use these textbooks from Saudi Arabia, or embrace Wahabism, but the Academy does.
This is not an ecological land use reason, but it is a land use reason. And it leaves the Planning Commission of the Fairfax County government accountable for whatever takes place. I hope you will use wisdom.