Bright Spot in Charter-school Report: Tarek Academy

By Marcia Lynx Qualey, Engage Minnesota On Monday, Minnesota education officials released a report on our state’s charter schools, and not all the news was good. In particular, the achievement gap between white and non-white students has widened considerably. This certainly should give us pause. But test-score troubles didn’t just hit schools with primarily non-white or low-income students. Math was one area where Minnesota kids seemed to have the hardest time. According to education reformer Joe Nathan, math-passing rates declined by half from third to 11th grades. But there were some bright spots. The Star Tribune reported that—among schools with Read More …

Policing Our Attitudes About the Police

By Zainib Ahmad I never thought I would dress up like a firefighter, oxygen tank and all, and put out a car fire, visit the dispatch center where 911 calls are handled or fire an actual shotgun. For the past month I have been doing that and more while spending my Thursdays at the fire station in Lino Lakes. I am one of eight women and twelve men participating in a nine-week Citizens Public Safety Academy sponsored by the Lino Lakes Police Department and Fire Station. This experience is teaching me a lot about the hard work these brave men Read More …

Students Deserve Equal Religious Rights Under the Law

By Fedwa Wazwaz and Marcia Lynx Qualey, Engage Minnesota On April 9, we read Katherine Kersten’s column in the Star Tribune, and the e-mail exchange between Kersten and Asad Zaman, executive director of Tariq ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA), and were compelled to respond. I (Fedwa) have an eight-year-old daughter. I visited TIZA and decided not to enroll my daughter, choosing instead Al Amal School in Fridley. The primary reason is that I was convinced TIZA is not an Islamic School and does not teach Islamic Education to kids. I pay from my own pocket to put my daughter in Al Read More …

Gaza’s humanitarian nightmare: A call for help

We are passing along this humanitarian appeal on behalf of the besieged people of the Gaza Strip. Palestinian-Minnesotans interested in writing about the situation are welcome to contact us at info@engagemn.com. Palestinians need your help and support From Islamic Relief Worldwide The humanitarian crisis unfolding in Palestine’s Gaza Strip has reached a dramatic climax after several days of violent conflict. Over a hundred Palestinians were killed, including large numbers of civilians, many of whom were women and children; the youngest just six months old. Please help us to help them; they are in real need of our support. Please donate: Read More …