Written by RightSideNews
April 10, 2008
TIZA Executive Director Azad Zaman insisted the school follows with state and federal laws.
"TIZA does not endorse any religion," he said.
However, TIZA Academy is sponsored by Islamic Relief USA, based in California.
The questions came after substitute teacher Amanda Getz taught at TIZA last month and told the Star Tribune about things she observed that day that shocked her.
"I've been in a lot of schools and I've never been in a school where they had washing rituals, or they had prayer, or where they had a room where you had to take your shoes off," Getz said.
"It is most likely that this substitute teacher was sadly mistaken," said Zaman.
He said the school follows state and federal guidelines when it comes to religion.
"We're required under the federal guidelines to allow students to pray when they wish to do so. And as Muslim students, they're allowed to pray around 1:30 p.m., so we allow them to do that," Zaman explained.
The State Department of Education said they would conduct more site visits and write to the State Department to find out more about the school’s sponsor.
TIZA requires all students to learn Arabic as a second language English.
State law requires the school to fly an American flag during school hours, however no flag flies outside of TIZA Academy.
Zaman told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he didn’t know how to work the flagpole.
MORE: From Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition:
Charter Public School in Minnesota being Islamified AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE!
Stop the Madrassa is also calling s for Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy to be Closed by Authorities for Misuse of Taxpayer Funds and Violation of the Establishment Clause
New York, New York, April 10, 2008 -- The Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition is calling for the Tarek ibn Zayad Academy (TIZA) in Inver Grove Heights in Minnesota to be investigated and closed immediately, after an eyewitness to the school’s Islamist activities has stepped forward and revealed details about the academy.
The school is designed as a taxpayer-funded charter school for kindergarten through eighth grade pupils. However, Amanda Getz of Bloomington, Minnesota has worked as a substitute teacher for two fifth grade classes at TIZA (see article below) and her eyewitness reports indicate that TIZA imay be abusing taxpayer funds and violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten, who broke the story, has written in her April 9, 2008 article that “TIZA has many characteristics that suggest a religious school. It shares the headquarters building of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, whose mission is 'establishing Islam in Minnesota '. The building also houses a mosque. TIZA's executive director, Asad Zaman, is a Muslim imam, or religious leader, and its sponsor is an organization called Islamic Relief. Students pray daily, the cafeteria serves halal food - permissible under Islamic law -- and 'Islamic Studies' is offered at the end of the school day.”
Kersten reports that the school offers extra-curricular classes on the Quran and Sunnah, has a carpeted, designated prayer space, and has students observe Muslim holidays. All of the school’s students reportedly must fast during Ramadan.
Stop the Madrassa is calling on Minnnsota elected officials and the Minnesota Department of Education to investigate this academy, which is paid for by Minnesota taxpayers, as we believe that the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy is violating the Establishment Clause and may be, at public expense, sponsoring Islamic prayer and religious studies in the school. We are also concerned about other activities reported in the school, and intend to investigate them thoroughly.
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Stop the Madrassa is addressing the issue of Islamization in our public schools nationwide. It is a grassroots coalition working to help parents and teachers investigate, expose and eliminate Islamist and other ideological influence on textbooks, curricula and courses. . For more information please visit www.stopthemadrassa.wordpress.com..# # #
Wall of silence broken at state's Muslim public school
By KATHERINE KERSTEN, Star Tribune
Last update: April 9, 2008 - 12:45 PM
Recently, I wrote about Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA), a K-8 charter school in Inver Grove Heights . Charter schools are public schools and by law must not endorse or promote religion.
Evidence suggests, however, that TIZA is an Islamic school, funded by Minnesota taxpayers.
TIZA has many characteristics that suggest a religious school. It shares the headquarters building of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, whose mission is "establishing Islam in Minnesota ." The building also houses a mosque. TIZA's executive director, Asad Zaman, is a Muslim imam, or religious leader, and its sponsor is an organization called Islamic Relief.
Students pray daily, the cafeteria serves halal food - permissible under Islamic law -- and "Islamic Studies" is offered at the end of the school day.
CONTINUE TO HER FULL ARTICLE HERE