It appears that in the politically correct climate we live in 2008 America, the State of Minnesota will financially and give legitimacy to an Islamic charter school-at taxpayer expense.
Columnist Katherine Kersten of the very left-leaning Minneapolis Star-Tribune http://www.startribune.com/local/17406054.html gives us a first hand look at the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy or TIZA in the Twin Cities suburb of Inver Grove Heights.
What Miss Kersten found was that right off the bat, the public charter school is located in the headquarters of a group called the Muslim American Society whose stated aim is "establishing Islam in Minnesota." In the building headquarters is a mosque. That alone should be enough to decertify the charter status of the public school.
But wait, theres more!
The school cafeteria serves Halal food-Islamic kosher so to speak. And, "Islamic Studies" is offered at the end of the official school day. And the students have organized prayer daily.
But, thanks to a substitute teacher, Amanda Getz, the lid is blown off as she saw Friday noonday prayer take place blatantly in the middle of the school day.
Miss Getz describes the students being led to the school gym while a prayer leader was prostrating on a prayer rug and another was dressed in white, with the white Islamic skull cap.
Imagine if say a charter school was led by Roman Catholics and that there was a mandate to have chapel daily. Or to pray the rosary? And what if a priest came in to lead a Mass and or confessions. Oh, maybe the priest would not wear a Roman collar. The howls would be from coast to coast. The Americans United For The Separation of Church and State and People For The American Way would be marching on the school and demanding it be shut down. To be fair, the ACLU is launching an investigation of the school and now that this column has been written the state board of education is also launching an investigation
Oh, did I mention that TIZA is led by Asad Zaman? And guess what? He is an imam, essentially an Islamic minister.
The state of Minnesota department of education has inspected the school only three times in five years. And none of the visits focused on the clear violation of the school-that it is imposing Islam using taxpayer money as a charter school.
Even the columnist, Miss Kersten notes that if this were a Christian school, this would be shut down before your head could spin around.
Now there is a large Islamic population especially in the Twin Cities area. In recent visit, Mrs. rightviewfromtheleftcoast and I went to the Mall Of America in Bloomington and I was shocked at how many of the employees in the Nordstrom Rack store were dressed in the Islamic chador.
Personally, I was appalled. I admit that I was not at all comfortable. The real reason for my discomfort was the fact that I wondered if these woman realized that they set back the cause for human rights for women. Did they understand what wearing a chador means to a Westernized, predominately Christian nation?
I admit, I had a very negative image in my mind seeing those women. But, finding that there is this taxpayer-funded Islamic school is even more disturbing. The fact that the left-leaning Star-Tribune newspaper discovered this shows that Islamics may have crossed the line and that this expose will more than likely shut the school down.
While I struggle to overcome my negative reaction to seeing department store employees in full Islamic dress, what I am definite about is that no taxpayer money can fund any religious school. And, no matter how much the imam, Mr. Zaman, tries to skirt around it, that is what it is.
If this school is not reformed and or shut down, then there will be a wave of these charter schools across the United States. Lets see if the state of Minnesota, or any other state, will fund decidedly Christian charter schools. Don't hold your breath.