This is no surprise, really. Islamic supremacist groups in the U.S. use threats and intimidation against all who challenge them, also — and so it is no surprise that an Islamic school in Minnesota that is receiving public funding would be trafficking in the same thing with investigators and those who are challenging it in court. These actions reflect the same mindset that is held by those who try to intimidate into silence those who stand for freedom and destroy them personally. And they will increasingly poison the public discourse.
“TiZA vs. the search for truth: The school — public, mind you — tries to intimidate all who would challenge it,” by Katherine Kersten for the Star Tribune, October 16 (thanks to Pamela Geller, who supplies a good deal of useful background information):
The battle over the role of Islam in a Minnesota public school is heating up again in a federal courtroom in St. Paul. The conflict began in January 2009, when the ACLU of Minnesota sued Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy — a K-8 charter school with campuses in Inver Grove Heights and Blaine — for violating constitutional prohibitions against government endorsement of religion.
TiZA since has fought tooth and nail — erecting procedural barriers to prevent the ACLU from investigating what goes on behind its doors. The school’s tactics have gone far beyond the usual rough-and-tumble of lawyers in our adversary system. Its chief tool has been attempted intimidation of all who would draw back the curtain on its secrets.
One of TiZA’s first targets was the ACLU itself. A few months after the suit began, the school filed a $100,000-plus defamation claim, citing ACLU executive director Chuck Samuelson’s simple statement that “[TiZA is] a theocratic school … as plain as the substantial nose on my face.” The court dismissed the claim.
In January 2010, the ACLU was back in court to seek a protective order, on grounds that intimidation by TiZA was discouraging potential witnesses from appearing. The ACLU filed affidavits by a former TiZA parent and a former TiZA staff member, who described what they interpreted as threats of violence against them. In her affidavit, the female staff member said that Asad Zaman — TiZA’s executive director — had suggested after she displeased him: “We could just kill you, yeah tell your husband we’ll do his job for him.” (Zaman has no recollection of making such a statement, he said in an affidavit.) The court barred witness harassment or intimidation by either party.
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.”…
There is much more. Be sure to read it all.