Saturday, April 12, 2008

Muslim Public School in Minnesota

Can anyone say "double standard?"

From "Wall of silence broken at state's Muslim Public School" by Katherine Kersten posted 4/9/08 at the Minnesota Star Tribune

Recently, I wrote about Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA), a K-8 charter school in Inver Grove Heights. Charter schools are public schools and by law must not endorse or promote religion.

Evidence suggests, however, that TIZA is an Islamic school, funded by Minnesota taxpayers.

TIZA has many characteristics that suggest a religious school. It shares the headquarters building of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, whose mission is "establishing Islam in Minnesota." The building also houses a mosque. TIZA's executive director, Asad Zaman, is a Muslim imam, or religious leader, and its sponsor is an organization called Islamic Relief.

Students pray daily, the cafeteria serves halal food - permissible under Islamic law -- and "Islamic Studies" is offered at the end of the school day.

Zaman maintains that TIZA is not a religious school. He declined, however, to allow me to visit the school to see for myself, "due to the hectic schedule for statewide testing." But after I e-mailed him that the Minnesota Department of Education had told me that testing would not begin for several weeks, Zaman did not respond -- even to urgent calls and e-mails seeking comment before my first column on TIZA.

Now, however, an eyewitness has stepped forward. Amanda Getz of Bloomington is a substitute teacher. She worked as a substitute in two fifth-grade classrooms at TIZA on Friday, March 14. Her experience suggests that school-sponsored religious activity plays an integral role at TIZA...

Read the rest of this article.

If this report is true, this is absolutely outrageous.

In Arlington Heights, District 214 parents cannot get sexually explicit books removed from required reading lists without being accused of trying to "force their religious beliefs on the students" and 30 seconds of silence that a handful of students might possibly use to pray is being challenged in the courts as some sort of violation of the "separation of church and state." (which is nothing more than an "obscure passage" in a letter by Thomas Jefferson anyway...)

In the meantime, at this school adults lead students in involuntary prayer in the school gym, teachers are expected to take their students to the bathroom 4 at a time for ritual washing, and public community colleges are constructing footwashing basins for Muslim students. Can anyone say double standard?

Let me be clear, everyone should have school choice. If our tax dollars are going to fund education at all, that money should be sent to whichever schools parents choose for their children whether it be Christian, Muslim (not radical Islam), Hindu or whatever...

Taxpayers should not be forced to fund the 'one size fits all' current system which not only instructs children in secular humanist worldview but increasingly rejects even the most basic values (such as decency and sexual morality) simply because they happen to coincide with the Christian worldview.

Our education establishment is clearly allergic only to Christianity...