The head of a Minnesota-based Messianic Jewish ministry hopes a charter school that promotes Islam will eventually be forced to close its doors in the Twin Cities.
A new law will take effect June 30 that bans out-of-state authorizers for charter schools. That means a controversial Islamic school may be forced to shut down if it cannot find a Minnesota authorizing agency, which, so far, it has not been able to do.
So now, the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA) is prepared to challenge the new statute in court. However, the school is currently facing its own lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which says the school violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution because it promotes Islam.
Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, says there appears to be merit to the ACLU case. "There were several who were able to actually gain entry into the TIZA school, and they made very many observations," she notes. "And suffice it to say...the observations they made were very troubling; Islam definitely was being taught and promoted there within the school."
Markell hopes the school will ultimately lose all of its court cases. "We've just kind of had it with what some of what the Islamic community is doing here locally, and we're just hoping this school may be moved or closed down," she explains.
The trial on the merits of the ACLU's claim is scheduled for November.