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Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy

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The Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA) is a public charter school in Minnesota, at the headquarters of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota.[1][2] It was named after African Muslim general Tarek ibn Ziyad who led the Moorish invasion of spain in 711 A.D.

Katherine Kersten has noted that "Evidence suggests...that TIZA is an Islamic school, funded by Minnesota taxpayers." [3]

Outrage erupted after it was disclosed that the school did not fly the U.S. flag, as is required of publicly funded schools under Minnesota law. The school's director, Azad Zaman, explained "Frankly I actually don't know how to work that flagpole. For five years it has sat empty."[4] Azad Zaman is also an Islamic Iman--a Muslim cleric, who founded the Muslim American Society.[5]

The Minnesota ACLU has been working with Tarek Academy in dealing with allegations that they are violating establishment clause.[6][7] The ACLU's "investigation" has been termed "coaching" by conservative bloggers.

The school has emerged from the establishment controversy unscathed, and is in fact expanding by 9500 square feet.[8] Katheren Kerstein has noted that other Islamic schools are already seeking public funding in Minnesota as a result Tarek Academy's success.[1]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Kersten, Katherine (October 26, 2008) Katherine Kersten: New Minnesota charter schools heading into a legal minefield Startribune
  2. Kersten, Katherine (April 8, 2008) E-mail exchange with TIZA's executive director Startribune
  3. Kersten, Katherine (May 19, 2008) Teacher questions Muslim practices at charter school Startribune
  4. Muehlhausen, Nicole (4-10-2008) Charter school makes changes after Islamic accusation KSTP
  5. Featherly, Kevin (March 2007) Brothers' Keeper Minnesota Monthly
  6. ACLU-MN (3-14-2008) Letter to Tarek Academy
  7. ACLU-MN (March 18, 2008) ACLU-MN opens investigation of Tarek Academy
  8. Controversial Metro charter school approved expansion KAAL

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