Twin Cities television station KSTP has followed up on Katherine Kersten’s column on Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy. TIZA is a charter public school in suburban St. Paul. The school is named in honor of the Muslim conqueror of Spain and requires the study of Arabic as a second language because it is the language of the Koran. It comes in handy for the “after-school” religious instruction provided by the Muslim American Society of Minnesota and an integral part of the school’s course of study.
In KSTP’s first report, executive director (and imam) Asad Zaman regurgitates the customary disinformation regarding the school over which he presides. The KSTP reporter noticed no American flag flying at the school and asked Zaman why. Lying is second nature to Zaman. He responded that he doesn’t know how to work the flagpole. If he had answered truthfully, he would have said something more along the line that he doesn’t know how to buy an American flag, not that he doesn’t know how to fly one.
In KSTP’s second report, it is noted that an American flag now flies at the school “for the first time since the academy was founded in 2003.” Zaman amazingly found someone with the ability to work the flagpole. Now if he can only find someone with an understanding of First Amendment law, he might be able to bring the school into compliance with basic legal requirements.
Kersten’s column on TIZA represents a big black eye for the Minnesota Department of Education. The Department of Education has released a statement inadvertently documenting its minimal oversight of TIZA. The Star Tribune has also posted Kersten’s email interview with Zaman. It is an interesting document. Taking Zaman’s responses at face value, it appears there is a lot Zaman doesn’t know in addition to how to run a flag up a flagpole.