Monday, April 21, 2008

Little Concessions: How It Starts...

Germans turning a blind eye to Jewish neighbors disappearing. Afghanis shaking their heads but not speaking up when Taliban leaders began teaching in the schools.

This is how it always begins. Citizens making concessions here and there to laws being bent. Accommodating a certain group either out of complacency, apathy or fear.

The United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Denmark are learning this lesson the hard way, but I hope Americans can prove to be the smarter ones --despite what Gwenyth Paltrow says. I hope we don't just teach history...but that we can actually learn from it.

"...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.

Zaman maintains that TIZA is not a religious school. He declined, however, to allow me to visit the school to see for myself, "due to the hectic schedule for statewide testing." But after I e-mailed him that the Minnesota Department of Education had told me that testing would not begin for several weeks, Zaman did not respond -- even to urgent calls and e-mails seeking comment before my first column on TIZA..." (Read the entire article)

This article attempts to justify religious practices in a tax payer funded public school by asserting that students take off their shoes in Japan --and pointing out there are a few non-Muslim teachers at the school. So I guess my kids' school can hang photos of the crucifixion and have children doing hail Marys if there are some non-Christian or non-Catholic teachers on campus? Yeah, I highly doubt it. They can't even make things in the shape of a wreath at Christmas Winter Break time.

(H/T: jlove)

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