First let me say that I cheered when the ACLU finally filed a lawsuit in January against a publicly funded Islamic school. The suit "argues the school violates the First Amendment by sharing space with the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, promoting prayer in school and endorsing Muslim clothing rules and dietary practices". It was a "when pigs fly" moment. I hadn't cheered the ACLU in……………. decades. They are notorious for suing Christian organizations in the petty exploitation of the separation of church and state (i.e., suing to remove nativity scenes on public ground, removal of a cross that was first erected in 1934 by a group of veterans, opposing family festival day events and displays containing religious and nonreligious artifacts, including a menorah, a red sleigh, Kwanza symbols, the list goes on and on) while remaining conspicuously silent on the egregious acts of advancement of Islamic supremacism in almost every aspect of American life.
So what did the Islamic school do? Sued, of course. Litigation jihad.
Students pray daily, the cafeteria serves halal food – permissible under Islamic law — and "Islamic Studies" is offered at the end of the school day.
"teachers led the kids into the gym, where a man dressed in white with a white cap, who had been at the school all day," was preparing to lead prayer. Beside him, another man "was prostrating himself in prayer on a carpet as the students entered."
"The prayer I saw was not voluntary," Getz said. "The kids were corralled by adults and required to go to the assembly where prayer occurred."
Islamic publicly funded charter school. Got it? Your taxpayer dollars at work.
BTW, Why are children covered up? Are they sexual objects?
TiZA charter school in Inver Grove Heights countersues state's ACLU chapter, claims defamation
Twin Cities hat tip Marbles
Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy claims the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota has defamed the Inver Grove Heights charter school and is trying to damage its relationships with parents and prospective employees.
In a countersuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, lawyers for TiZA argue the ACLU has made maliciously false and defamatory statements that have injured "the good name of TiZA" and its reputation.
The statements also have sparked threats of violence against TiZA staff members, the suit contends.
TiZA's suit is in response to an ACLU lawsuit filed in January, which argues the school violates the First Amendment by sharing space with the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, promoting prayer in school and endorsing Muslim clothing rules and dietary practices.
"The ACLU's claims are meritless, as TiZA has followed state and federal regulations," said TiZA legal counsel Erick Kaardal. "TiZA hopes the court will prevent the ACLU from inflicting further interference and defamation with a permanent injunction."
Chuck Samuelson, executive director of the ACLU-MN, declined to comment Tuesday night because the organization's lawyers were still wading through the new legal filings.
The countersuit by TiZA also claims that the ACLU has unlawfully interfered with contracts the school has with its sponsor, families and employees.
The ACLU knowingly made public statements that were untrue about the school, and those "false statements and innuendo has caused potential employees to rescind their respective employment applications with TiZA," school officials contend in the suit.
Since the January ACLU lawsuit, TiZA officials claim, at least 10 prospective educators withdrew applications in the middle of the hiring process. As a result, the school has several open positions.
TiZA, founded in 2003, has about 480 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The school has campuses in Inver Grove Heights and Blaine. It received about $4.7 million in state funding this past school year.
Tuesday's filing is the latest twist in the school's legal battles. TiZA also sued state education officials July 16 in Ramsey County District Court over allegations that some of its teachers lack proper licenses.
Read it all. Chutzpah.
Related: ensuring missing Somali terrorists' safe return to US, had been very cagey about who paid for his pilgrimage to the haj and why. The cost of his Mecca trip was covered by a group that got taxpayer funds in a rental arrangement for TiZA school.here at Atlas.
Rep. Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville, who chairs the K-12 Education Finance Division Committee, said the state funds were intended to help charter schools rent space.
She said she is troubled by the large grants to the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, whether or not the money can be tied directly to Ellison's trip.
"It calls into question the sensibility of the people who lead the school," Greiling said. "And to send Keith Ellison off to Mecca just compounds it."
State officials say the arrangement illustrates long-standing concerns about the relationship between charter schools and the affiliated groups who hold their leases.
Chas Anderson, deputy commissioner for the state education department, said that state law does not regulate how lease dollars are spent by such property-holding corporations.
"While this type of relationship is legal, it is nonetheless concerning," she said of the TiZA payments.
TiZA, which also has a campus in Blaine, received an estimated $4.7 million in state aid this year, including more than $520,000 in annual lease aid. The school also got more than $873,000 in federal charter school grants last year.
Chuck Samuelson, executive director of the Minnesota ACLU, said the flow of any public funds to a sectarian group that funded a public official's trip to a religious site heightens the questions Samuelson's group has raised about the separation of church and state.
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