A madrassa grows in Minnesota, at taxpayers’ expense

The Muslim American Society is a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood, out of which the genocidal terrorist group Hamas emerged. The Minnesota chapter of the Muslim American Society has been the source of local controversies involving the purported observance of Sharia in public facilities such as taxis based at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The Minnesota chapter of the Muslim American Society also houses a Minnesota charter school in the Twin Cities suburb Inver Grover Heights. The school is Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy — named for the Muslim general who conquered medieval Spain. As a charter school, Minnesota taxpayers foot the bill for it. The school is formally sponsored by Islamic Relief USA, whose parent has been identified by Israel as a supporter of Hamas. Star Tribune metro columnist Katherine Kersten recently attended the MAS Minnesota convention and discovered that the school observes Sharia and is dispensing Islamic religious instruction:

Journalists whom Zaman has permitted to visit TIZA have described the school’s Islamic atmosphere and practices.
“A visitor might well mistake Tarek ibn Ziyad for an Islamic school,” reported Minnesota Monthly in 2007. “Head scarves are voluntary, but virtually all the girls wear them.” The school has a central carpeted prayer space, and “vaguely religious-sounding language” is used.
According to the Pioneer Press, TIZA’s student body prays daily and the school’s cafeteria serves halal food (permissible under Islamic law). During Ramadan, all students fast from dawn to dusk, according to a parent quoted in the article.
In fact, TIZA was originally envisioned as a private Islamic school. In 2001, MAS-MN negotiated to buy the current TIZA/MAS-MN building for Al-Amal School, a private religious institution in Fridley, according to Bruce Rimstad of the Inver Grove Heights School District. But many immigrant families can’t afford Al-Amal. In 2002, Islamic Relief — headquartered in California — agreed to sponsor a publicly funded charter school, TIZA, at the same location.
TIZA claims to be non-sectarian, as Minnesota law requires charters to be. But “after-school Islamic learning” takes place on weekdays in the same building under MAS-MN’s auspices, according to the program for MAS-MN’s 2007 convention. At that convention, a TIZA representative at the school’s booth told me that students go directly to “Islamic studies” classes at 3:30, when TIZA’s day ends. There, they learn “Qur’anic recitation, the Sunnah of the Prophet” and other religious subjects, he said….
[W]hen addressing Muslim audiences, school officials make the link to Islam clear. At MAS-MN’s 2007 convention, for example, the program featured an advertisement for the “Muslim American Society of Minnesota,” superimposed on a picture of a mosque. Under the motto “Establishing Islam in Minnesota,” it asked: “Did you know that MAS-MN…houses a full-time elementary school”? On the adjacent page was an application for TIZA.

Not coincidentally, the school’s principal is an imam. Kersten sought to visit the school and interview the principal in connection with her work on the column. She reports that “he declined to allow me to visit the school or grant me an interview. He did not respond to e-mails seeking written replies.” The Fifth Amendment does not apply here. Only a fool would not draw adverse inferences from the prinipcal’s silence and tentatively conclude that Kersten has found a major scandal hiding in plain view.

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