Islamic Schools, Christian Schools â€¦ Same Difference
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I've been getting a lot of email about this putatively Islamic public school in Minnesota, Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy. It's a wretched situation -- this is a school associated with the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, and clearly all the students and families involved are Muslims who want a little bit of cultural isolation, and I suspect there is a lot of religious indoctrination going on behind closed doors -- and I think it's a bad thing that this school is receiving state tax dollars.
I've been reluctant to jump on this story, though, for a couple of reasons. The main person fanning the hysteria is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Katherine Kersten, who is a far right-wing kook with a history of hypocrisy, and this is just another example. I am actually quite happy to see her and her fellow Christianists tearing their hair out in anxiety over the existence of a culturally Islamic school in our midst -- maybe (but I doubt this a bit) they are actually getting a vague idea of what it feels like to be non-Christian in America, and watch as the schools are blithely used as organs of theological propaganda while the administrators claim they are not.
For instance, Kersten is outraged at this report: