Since Katherine Kersten’s column regarding Tariq ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA) in yesterday’s Star Tribune, the Minnesota Department of Education has been inundated with negative calls.
Kersten’s column claims that TIZA is violating its charter and the “church and state” separation. She bases this largely on the observations of one short-time substitute teacher who was immersed in a different school culture, and could easily have been mistaken in her impressions and interpretations.
However, whether or not TIZA has violated the strictest interpretation of religion-state separation is not the issue. What school in Minnesota has not? Indeed, last December, the Minneapolis public schools launched a large faith-based initiative weighted almost entirely to Protestant congregations. Read about it here.
If we are going to examine TIZA’s practices with a fine-toothed comb, then surely all faith-based initiatives, Easter pageants, Christmas trees, and even our choice of holiday vacations should come under strict scrutiny.
If you would like to urge the Minnesota Department of Education to be fair in its scrutiny of Tariq ibn Ziyad Academy, and to be wary of Islamophobic motivations, the department is steering all calls to this number: 651-582 8570.