Scott Johnson at Power Line reported today on the closing down of the Tarek ibn Ziyad (TiZA) Academy K-8 public charter school in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota. The school was originally sponsored by Islamic Relief USA.
According to the article:
The school was housed in a building that was owned by the Muslim American Society of Minnesota. The study of Arabic was required at the school. The Arabic came in handy for the Koranic studies that follow the regular school day.
Star Tribune reporter Katherine Kersten charged that the school was a religious school operating with public funds. After her columns were published, the Minnesota American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) investigated and sued the school and the Minnesota Department of Education.
The article further reports:
As a result of its failure to find a sponsor as required by state law, TiZA failed to open this fall. The ACLU's case against TiZA nevertheless remains. Despite the blasé media reports on the settlements with the Department of Educationand Islamic Relief USA, the ACLU Minnesota obviously obtained some highly interesting evidence in the case. The "stipulation of facts" underlying thesettlement has now been approved by the court and unsealed. The ACLU Minnesota has posted relevant documents here.
Thanks to the work of Katherine Kersten, the Star Tribune has owned this story. Yet it cannot have been a pleasant experience for her to have worked on the story while inside an organization that would sooner have served as TiZA's public relations arm than investigator or whistleblower. In its patheticeditorial postmortem on TiZA, the Star Tribune jumped straight to the ACLUlawsuit without including in its chronology the fact that one of its own writers broke the story. By contrast, the ACLU Minnesota acknowledged Kersten's role in uncovering the scandal from the outset of the lawsuit. Wouldn't a genuine newspaper want to tout its key role in the events? Why is this story different from any other story?
Please follow the link to Power Line to read the entire story. There were problems with the school from the start. When the case was finally brought by the ACLU, the school charged anti-Muslim bigotry in an attempt to intimidate the investigators. The article points out that one of the weapons used by the Muslims when they are challenged to obey American lawsis to charge bigotry against Muslims. The laws of America should apply to all of us equally, and they should be enforced equally. We need to remember that when dealing with any group that is looking for special privileges.