|Home | Articles | News | Blog | About | Mailing List | Resources | Prominent Islamists | Middle East Forum | Keep Us Informed | Donate|
Minnesota's Publicly Funded Madrassa?
by David J. Rusin • Apr 11, 2008 at 11:58 am
Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes and at least one grammar school promoting Islam on the taxpayer's dime. Star Tribune reporter Katherine Kersten first brought the story of the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA) to light in a March 9 column.
Named for the Muslim general who conquered Spain, TIZA is a K-8 charter school founded by two leaders of Minnesota's branch of the Muslim American Society, a recognized arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. The institution also shares a building with both the MAS-MN headquarters and a mosque.
While Minnesota mandates that charter schools be non-sectarian, Kersten finds that the academy is steeped in Islam. And the problem goes beyond Islamic classes at day's end:
Kersten's follow-up column presents the testimony of substitute teacher Amanda Getz, who worked at the school on March 14. The woman tells of prayers that appeared to be neither voluntary nor student-led — and therefore illegal:
Both the ACLU and the state education department are now investigating. Given the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy's intimate ties to MAS, they may soon uncover an Islamist version of the "three Rs": reading, writing, and radicalism.
April 16 , 2008 update: After coming under intense scrutiny for its apparent promotion of Islam, the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA) in Minnesota assured station KSTP that it follows all state and federal guidelines. However, the reporter spotted an obvious exception to that claim: despite a Minnesota law requiring schools to fly the American flag when classes are in session, the institution had not been doing so. TIZA's executive director Azad Zaman insisted that he did not know how to operate the flagpole. However, Zaman is a quick study, as the flag was raised a day later.