The latest outrage in a textbook case of Islamic supremacism in a taxpayer-funded Islamic school is the thug-like Muslim intimidation and bullying of anyone who challenges this publicly funded madrassah. I have been covering this school since early 2008.
This is a "teachable moment" for the ACLU, which has generally refrained from tackling issues of separation of mosque and state despite its war on Christianity and the separation of church and state. TiZA is an egregious violation of the separation of mosque and state, which is why the ACLU is suing the school. Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA) is a K-8 charter school in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. Charter schools are public schools, and by law must not endorse or promote religion. But TIZA is an Islamic school, funded by Minnesota taxpayers.
TiZA 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.
Here is what one teacher at TiZA said: "teachers led the kids into the gym, where a man dressed in white with a white cap, who had been at the school all day," was preparing to lead prayer. Beside him, another man "was prostrating himself in prayer on a carpet as the students entered." "The prayer I saw was not voluntary," Getz said. "The kids were corralled by adults and required to go to the assembly where prayer occurred."
Katherine Kersten of the Star Tribune continues her seminal, brave and singular reporting TiZA vs. the search for truth. Here's an excerpt of her latest, read it all (hat tip George).
In June 2010, the ACLU returned to court to quash what it described as yet another TiZA attempt to intimidate current and former employees from speaking about what they had seen at the public school. TiZA's "Staff Handbooks include a secrecy clause, and related threat of legal action for violating it," according to the ACLU's court filings. TiZA "wields [these provisions] as a sledgehammer to keep former employees quiet about what they saw at the school." As a result, "former TiZA employees have expressed fear about speaking to the ACLU."
According to the ACLU, TiZA's refusal to agree not to enforce the secrecy clause "sends the ominous signal that current and former employees who talk to the ACLU may be forced to defend themselves against a baseless, expensive lawsuit."
On Oct. 1, Judge Donovan Frank agreed -- affirming an order the ACLU had earlier won barring TiZA from enforcing the confidentiality clause in the context of this litigation.
The court's order and memorandum spoke volumes: "It appears that information related to TiZA's business, finances, operations and office procedures is public data and cannot be kept secret." "The relevant question ... is why TiZA, a public charter school, does not want to allow its former and current employees to participate in the informal discovery process to ascertain the truth about how TiZA operates."
The court's strong language in response to TiZA's actions was unusual: "[I]ntimidation and threats will not sit well with a fact-finder such as a jury." As a result of the school's actions, "[T]he Court may be required to draw adverse inferences about how TiZA operates as a result of TiZA's efforts to keep information about its operations secret. ... [TiZA's] behavior during the discovery process thus far ... has not been consistent with a good faith search for the truth."
The ACLU has characterized TiZA's recent actions regarding the secrecy clause as "only the last in a long line of intimidation efforts." Not quite. Last month, an attack was launched from a different front.
Several organizations that are not even parties to the lawsuit went to court in an attempt to disqualify the ACLU's lawyers -- Dorsey & Whitney -- from representing the ACLU on grounds that Dorsey personnel had previously communicated with Zaman about entities involved in the litigation. The organizations include the Muslim American Society of Minnesota (MAS-MN), MAS-MN Property Holding Corporation and the Minnesota Education Trust (MET).
"The ACLU believes Mr. Zaman's testimony relating to control of virtually every significant event at TiZA, MAS-MN, MET and MET's subsidiaries, coupled with his efforts to hide such control, constitute powerful evidence against TiZA's denials that it is a Muslim school and that it funnels state and federal money to other Muslim organizations."
Every time we read about this lawsuit, we have to pinch ourselves and say: We're talking about a public, taxpayer-funded school.
Previously at Atlas:
Executive Director of Taxpayer-Funded Islamic School TIZA Academy ...Feb 28, 2010 ... Atlas readers are very familiar with the supremacist Islamic academy, Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA), a K-8 charter school in Inver Grove ...
The Ummah Fights for Islam in Public School - Atlas ShrugsMar 13, 2010 ... "Basically, TiZA is being sued for the Muslim-ness of its students," it said. ... TiZA families seek to join in legal fight over religion at ...
Atlas Shrugs: Litigation JihadTiZA charter school in Inver Grove Heights countersues state's ACLU ... In a countersuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, lawyers for TiZA argue the ...
Muslim Prayer in Islamic Public School - Atlas ShrugsApr 9, 2008 ... Recently, I wrote about Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA), a K-8 charter school in Inver Grove Heights. Charter schools are public schools and ...
Unethical Congressman Keith Ellison's Pilgrimage to Mecca Paid for ...Jul 22, 2009 ... TiZA, which also has a campus in Blaine, received an estimated $4.7 million in state aid this year, including more than $520000 in annual ...
Publicly Funded Islamic Charter School Counter Sues the ACLU for ...Jul 30, 2009 ... TiZA's suit is in response to an ACLU lawsuit filed in January, which argues the school violates the First Amendment by sharing space with ...
Secretive World of Muslim Public Schools - Atlas ShrugsMar 9, 2008 ... Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA) -- named for the Muslim general who conquered medieval Spain -- is a K-8 charter school in Inver Grove ...