Plans by Saudi Arabia to build a Muslim school have advanced with a land use permit approved by the Loudoun County board of supervisors.
The Islamic Saudi Academy for 3,500 students would open by 2000. Enrollment at a Saudi school in nearby Fairfax County has reached 1,300, and school officials want room to grow. The school serves a Washington-area Muslim population estimated at 200,000.Plans for the private religious school have divided residents ever since the Saudi government selected a site on a sod farm about two miles from Dulles International Airport.
Opponents claim that the new school could pose a terrorism threat.
Supporters include retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, who explained how Saudis accommodated the religious traditions of American soldiers in Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War.