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 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.

TIZA is formally “sponsored” as a charter school by Islamic Relief USA. Islamic Relief is a problematic organization. Its parent has been identified by Israel as a supporter of Hamas. See Joe Kaufman’s disturbing “American Islamic Hamas relief.” Kaufman describes Islamic Relief USA as an extremist group.

Star Tribune metro columnist Katherine Kersten attended the MAS Minnesota convention in Minneapolis and discovered that it was essentially promoting the school as an Islamic institution. Kersten’s two Star Tribune columns on TIZA have provided a window onto a local scandal hiding in plain sight. They also elicited a call for her firing from the Star Tribune by state Rep. Mindy Greiling, chair of the Minnesota House of Representatives K-12 Finance Division. I wrote about Greiling’s contribution to the TIZA controversy here and here. (Greiling never responded to our message asking her to specify what facts she disputed in Kersten’s two Star Tribune columns on TIZA.)

In addition to Greiling, CAIR also entered the fray on behalf of TIZA. CAIR of course holds itself out as a civil rights organization representing Muslims in the United States, but it is in fact a front group serving the interests of Hamas and its friends among the offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood. Thus CAIR found itself named an unindicted co-conspirator in the government’s prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, another Hamas front group.

Working from its standard playbook, CAIR jumped in to raise alarms over the safety of the school’s students when the school allegedly received threats in the wake Kersten’s columns. CAIR Minnesota chapter coordinator Chris Schumacher said that prejudice could have prompted the alleged threats and “we wanted to bring that to light in case that wasn’t already obvious to people.”

Sensing a story here, the Wall Street Journal asked Kersten to bring its readers up to speed on it. Today’s Wall Street Journal features Kersten’s “Charter schools shouldn’t promote Islam.” It provides a good summary of the story to date.

Kersten demonstrates that Muslim activists have found a workable seam in the purported separation of church and state in Minnesota. One does not need to engage in much speculation to foresee the day when Minnesota’s burgeoning Muslim population will be educated at taxpayers’ expense in separate charter schools like TIZA, where they will receive religious instruction courtesy of the likes of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota. We can only hope that Kersten’s work will inspire someone else who practices journalism for a living to to follow up with a look at the rest of the Twin Cities Muslim-oriented charter schools and on the constellation of Islamist forces at work in Minnesota.

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