ACLU gets it right for a change. Minnesota publicly-funded Muslim charter school to close for being too Islamic

Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA) is a K-8 charter school with two campuses in Minnesota, which by law must NOT endorse or promote religion. Evidence suggests, however, that TIZA is an Islamic school, funded by Minnesota taxpayers.



FYI: BNI reader John just brought it to my attention that this school was named after the Muslim general who conquered Spain: Tariq ibn Ziyad

WND – 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.

“The school’s tactics have gone far beyond the usual rough-and-tumble of lawyers in our adversary system,” wrote Minneapolis Star-Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten. “Its chief tool has been attempted intimidation of all who would draw back the curtain on its secrets.” READ MORE HERE:aclu-accuses-minnesotastan-islamic-charter-school-of-intimidating-witnesses

Twin Cities -A day after its proposed overseer was rejected and a Minnesota court denied an attempt to avoid its closure, Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy’s founder met Friday with the charter school’s parents, hoping to bring “emotional closure” to the situation.

“It is my duty to tell you that it is a very high probability that we will not survive,” Asad Zaman told the crowd of more than 60 at the Inver Grove Heights campus of the charter, which served 540 students last school year, including at its Blaine site. “I would advise parents to look for their best option.”

TiZA will close because as of Friday it was left without an authorizer – a nonprofit agency, school district or other overseer of finances and academics each Minnesota charter school needs in order to operate.

At the meeting, Zaman and others voiced frustration over what they said was differential and racist treatment from the state Department of Education. (Islam is NOT a race)

“I think the department is completely wrong,” Zaman said. “They threw everything and the kitchen sink (at us.)

Kimberly Rowan, who has taught at the school for four years, was among the many who stood up to speak at the meeting. She teared up when thinking about the school closing. (Oh, Boo Hoo)

“My heart is broken for what is happening here,” Rowan said to the group. “I’m ashamed. I see it as racial profiling and religious persecution.” (Ah yes, here we go)

Tempers flared and arguments erupted when a couple of parents voiced their frustration with the TiZA administration for not working harder to keep the school open.  A new state law forbidding out-of-state authorizers went into effect Friday, and TiZA’s overseer, Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Islamic Relief USA, became ineligible to continue in its role.

Weeks earlier, TiZA sued the state Department of Education and Islamic Relief in federal court, charging they were obstructing its efforts to line up a new authorizer. It asked the judge to examine the constitutionality of the new law and to issue an order that would keep the school open in the meantime. On Thursday, the judge declined.

Meanwhile, the state rejected another nonprofit’s application to sponsor TiZA, citing problems with its plan. Islamic Relief and the state were also co-defendants in a long-running American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against TiZA over charges it promoted religion. 

The state has given TiZA a firm timeline for closure, including a July 15 deadline to submit data on liabilities and assets. Summer school will be closed Tuesday.

Many of the TiZA parents expressed concerns about sending their children to a different school. “This was so unexpected,” said Asim Tahir, whose three daughters attend TiZA. “I didn’t think the Department of Education would actually shut them down.”

Reporters get attacked at the school: