Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Storm brewing between state officials and Muslim school

More news from Minnesota. This time its about a Muslim charter school and the teaching of religion in a school supported by taxpayers. A strict no - no. And get this, the school is aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood. An organization with ties to terrorism. These Muslim schools need to be strictly monitored for compliance with our rules & regulations. I'm waiting to see how far the locals will go in facing down the politically correct pressure from the Muslims. Click the title for the link to the Star-Tribune article.

Last update: September 10, 2008 - 1:09 AM

Last week, Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TiZA) and the Minnesota Department of Education appeared to reach an understanding in the controversy over whether Islam is being promoted at this public school.

But behind the scenes, a storm may be brewing.

TiZA officials have "taken a confrontational road" in discussions with the department, according to Deputy MDE Commissioner Chas Anderson, the department's No. 2 official.

Anderson says that the two sides have not yet reached an agreement on one key issue and that MDE will be closely monitoring TiZA's performance in future months.

TiZA is a K-8 charter school in Inver Grove Heights, financed by taxpayers. Its students have scored well on standardized tests. But like all public schools, it may not encourage or endorse religion, or favor one religion over another.

A number of facts raise questions about TiZA on this score. Its executive director, Asad Zaman, is an imam, or Muslim religious leader. The school shares a building with a mosque and the Minnesota chapter of the Muslim American Society, which the Chicago Tribune has described as the American branch of the Muslim Brotherhood -- "the world's most influential Islamic fundamentalist group."

Most of TiZA's students are Muslim, many from low-income immigrant families. The school breaks daily for prayer, its cafeteria serves halal food (permissible under Islamic law), and Arabic is a required subject.

School buses do not leave until after-school Muslim Studies classes, which many students attend, have ended for the day.

Last spring, MDE opened an investigation after press reports raised questions about whether TiZA has been blurring the church/state line. The investigation focused on the school's 30-minute Friday communal prayer event, among other issues. The service -- led by adults -- has been conducted on school premises, and both students and teachers have attended.


terror byte presents said...

ALL religions should not be rammed down the throats of children anywhere especially at schools.

IftikharA said...

Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist because they have been mis-educated and de-educated by the British schooling. Muslim children are confused because they are being educated in a wrong place at a wrong time in state schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers. They face lots of problems of growing up in two distinctive cultural traditions and value systems, which may come into conflict over issues such as the role of women in the society, and adherence to religious and cultural traditions. The conflicting demands made by home and schools on behaviour, loyalties and obligations can be a source of psychological conflict and tension in Muslim youngsters. There are also the issues of racial prejudice and discrimination to deal with, in education and employment. They have been victim of racism and bullying in all walks of life. According to DCSF, 56% of Pakistanis and 54% of Bangladeshi children has been victims of bullies. The first wave of Muslim migrants were happy to send their children to state schools, thinking their children would get a much better education. Than little by little, the overt and covert discrimination in the system turned them off. There are fifteen areas where Muslim parents find themselves offended by state schools.

The right to education in one’s own comfort zone is a fundamental and inalienable human right that should be available to all people irrespective of their ethnicity or religious background. Schools do not belong to state, they belong to parents. It is the parents’ choice to have faith schools for their children. Bilingual Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. There is no place for a non-Muslim teacher or a child in a Muslim school. There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools. An ICM Poll of British Muslims showed that nearly half wanted their children to attend Muslim schools. There are only 143 Muslim schools. A state funded Muslim school in Birmingham has 220 pupils and more than 1000 applicants chasing just 60.

Majority of anti-Muslim stories are not about terrorism but about Muslim culture--the hijab, Muslim schools, family life and religiosity. Muslims in the west ought to be recognised as a western community, not as an alien culture.
Iftikhar Ahmad