Is this any indication of what and who is teaching Muslim students in Toronto?
About Susan Douglass:
As investigative reporter Paul Sperry observed in a 2004 article, Douglass was a longtime instructor at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria, VA –– a Saudi government-funded institution that has been described by some media outlets as “Terror High”. One recent class valedictorian, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, was convicted in 2005 of joining Al-Qaeda and plotting to kill President Bush. Two other former students have also been convicted of plotting terrorist attacks. As Senator Chuck Schumer observed in a 2005 letter to then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar concerning the school’s troubling record, the school’s former comptroller, Ismail Elbarasse, is a known HAMAS operative and former assistant to designated HAMAS terrorist leader Mousa Abu Marzook.
And just a few months ago, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom asked the US Department of State to close the school down as a danger to the country for its open promotion of hatred and religious bigotry in its Saudi curriculum, as reported by the Washington Post. One Post front page article in 2004 describes how children at the school “file into their Islamic studies class, where the textbooks tell them the Day of Judgment can’t come until Jesus Christ returns to Earth, breaks the cross and converts everyone to Islam, and until Muslims start attacking Jews.”
During her tenure at the Islamic Saudi Academy, Douglass had a series of textbooks published by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), an organization raided by federal law enforcement authorities investigating terror financing as part of Operation Greenquest. The Washington Post reported in 2004 how IIIT was founded with money from Muslim Brotherhood operatives and the Saudi terror funding network. Perhaps coincidentally, Esposito’s “good friend” Sami Al-Arian has been charged with contempt of court for refusing to testify about his terror funding operation’s ties to IIIT. Al-Arian initially claimed there was nothing to testify about, but later changed his story that testifying would put his life in grave danger (his attorneys have yet to explain how testifying about nothing would put him in danger).
But perhaps the most important point concerning Susan Douglass’ past work is her role as the principal researcher and textbook review for the Council on Islamic Education (CIE), which has been pressuring American textbook publishers to revise their respective curricula to promote an extremist and revisionist view of Islam. One CIE campaign was directed at Houghton Mifflin Publishers, which resulted in a number of changes to their public school curriculum, including open promotion of Islam and requiring students to participate in Islamic worship activities. Gilbert Sewall of the American Textbook Council has documented the changes to textbooks resulting from CIE’s efforts, and the changes made to textbooks under CIE’s direction has been criticized by former Secretary of Education William Bennett. One published estimate states that Douglass and CIE have also trained more than 8,000 public school teachers.
It is precisely her role as “educational consultant” at the Georgetown Center that should cause concern. As noted by Stanley Kurtz last July, Georgetown is one of a few universities that receive money from the federal government under Title VI of the Higher Education Act for Middle East Studies centers to develop approved K-12 Middle East curriculum. This program has been used by the Saudis to circumvent educational oversight. Kurtz describes how this end-run works:
The United States government gives money –– and a federal seal of approval –– to a university Middle East Studies center. That center offers a government-approved K-12 Middle East studies curriculum to America’s teachers. But in fact, that curriculum has been bought and paid for by the Saudis, who may even have trained the personnel who operate the university’s outreach program. Meanwhile, the American government is asleep at the wheel –– paying scant attention to how its federally mandated public outreach programs actually work. So without ever realizing it, America’s taxpayers end up subsidizing –– and providing official federal approval for –– K-12 educational materials on the Middle East that have been created under Saudi auspices. Game, set, match: Saudis.
With a directed effort by the Saudis to influence American attitudes by exercising its influence of educational curriculum under this program, it is hardly surprising that Esposito’s Saudi-funded Center would suddenly create an “educational consultant” position to be directly involved in this effort. Nor is it any surprise that the Saudis would turn to one of their own –– Susan Douglass –– who is a former longtime educational employee of the Saudi regime to oversee their educational efforts at Georgetown.