Paging Ms. Kersten: TiZA's $375,000 government grant reinstated


The best part about conservative religious scold Katherine Kersten's ongoing war with the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, or "TiZA," is that we are treated to the irony of her making common cause with the American Civil Liberties Union -- the bane of all conservative religious scolds everywhere. And we can almost hear Kersten clearing her throat for another screed against the charter school for Muslims, now that the state Department of Education has reinstated a $375,000 federal grant that it suspended last year over what it said were violations of the state's teacher licensing requirements.

Kersten began her crusade against TiZA in March 2008 -- more on that here -- announcing in a column that the school was some kind of crypto-Islamic terrorist training ground, and that it was supported by taxpayer dollars.

Hey, she said, if godless politicians aren't going to force taxpayers to fund the evangelical impulses of Christians, then what's up with funding Muslims?

As we reported, after Kersten's column was published, Charles Samuelson, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, fired off a letter to the school's principal, Asad Zaman. It said, in part:

"We ask that you please review the situation and take the necessary steps to ensure that TiZA Academy does not impermissibly promote or endorse religion or religious activities."

Last year, the ACLU filed a complaint in federal district court itemizing the ways it said that TiZA was endorsing Islam through prayer, dress code, menu, calendar and finances.