“Minnesota education officials need both the backbone and the oversight tools necessary to prevent the blurring of lines between Islam and the public schools”

Katherine Kersten recaps in Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy controversy in “Charter Schools Shouldn’t Promote Islam” in the Wall Street Journal, June 14 (thanks to all who sent this in):

[…] After my columns appeared, the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union began an investigation, which is still underway. The Minnesota Department of Education also investigated. Its report, released last month, concluded that the school is breaking the law by holding Friday religious services on school grounds; that it should stop Muslim teachers’ practice of praying with students at that service; and that it must provide bus transportation home before Islamic Studies classes let out.

But the report was flawed in important respects. Most significantly, it was silent about the school’s close entanglement with the religious organization with which it is affiliated.

It’s a safe bet that if the school in question here were essentially a Catholic school, this wouldn’t be a debate. Imagine a public charter located in the headquarters building of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Its principal is a priest and its board chairman is the archbishop. Catholic students there “are comfortable asking questions about their own religion.” Latin is required, and the cafeteria serves fish during Lent. Students break for prayer and attend Mass during the school day, and buses leave only when after-school Catholic Catechism classes are over. Such a school would never open.

But with Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy we have something different. It’s held up as a model, “religiously sensitive” public school. It is justified in terms of culture and “religious accommodation.”

Minnesota education officials need both the backbone and the oversight tools necessary to prevent the blurring of lines between Islam and the public schools. If they continue their tepid response, a separate system of taxpayer-financed education for Muslims may take root here. Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy could be the first of many.

FacebookTwitterLinkedInDiggBlogger PostDeliciousEmailPinterestRedditStumbleUponPrint


  1. says

    “Minnesota education officials need both the backbone and the oversight tools necessary to prevent the blurring of lines between Islam and the public schools.”

    Hah, hah. That a good one! The state of Minnesota can’t even teach mathematics with multiculturalism rearing its ugly pate. In Minnesota, educators are directed to be tolerant of “multiple mathematical worldviews.” See Minnesota State Statutes Governing the Licensing of Teachers, p. 106,111.

  2. says

    Backbone from public school officials in a Blue state? Don’t bet Uncle Sven’s 800 acres of black loam.

    It is clear that only Christianity draws the ire of secular liberals. Before radical Marxism and axe-wielding Islam, it can only roll over and play dead.

  3. says

    Asking for the public school officials to have ‘backbone’ would imply that the officials would adhere to moral, ethical, and legal standards that apply to us all.

    I agree the school officials should have a ‘backbone’, but I believe there is someone or group higher up that is pushing this cause. If the school officials want to have a ‘backbone’ why don’t they have a press conferance and tell everyone WHO is behind the curtains pushing this.

    That would be a start.

  4. says

    It is truly amazing how many high-level bureaucrats move about without spine, guts, and other vital organs, and still make decisions that amaze and severely affect the rest of us.

  5. says

    Who was/ is the Tarek Ibn Ziyed after whom the school is named?

    Answer: I just looked up Wikipedia and discovered that he was “one of the most important military commanders in Iberian [sic] history” (i.e., one of the most important MUSLIM military commanders) – the one who spearheaded the Muslim invasion and occupation of Christian Spain, from 711, under the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I.

    This is a VERY ominous, and indeed aggressive, name to give to a Muslim school in the Christian USA.

    As Visigothic Spain in the 8th century so, in the Muslim mind, the USA in the 21st?

  6. says

    Catholic schools are supported by the tuition charged each student and the Church. This academy is financed by tax-payer funds, to promote muslim religious beliefs. Let their “church” and the attending student’s PARENTS (thru tuition) finance this school! Otherwise this would enable ANY religion to demand it’s schools be publicly financed. And the seperation of church & state “will go right out the window”.