Wednesday, May 21, 2008

News Crew Attacked at Tariq ibn Zeyad Academy

Minnesota madrassa officials attack news crew, May 20, 2008

This past Monday, a KSTP Television News crew went to the Tarik ibn Zayad Academy (TIZA) in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, to seek comment from school officials regarding a Minnesota Department of Education letter directing the charter school to change two of its practices that impermissibly advance Islam.

However, instead of obtaining a statement from school officials, the KSTP TV crew was assaulted by two people, one of whom is the director of the school.

Back in March news stories containing allegations that TIZA, a tax-funded charter school, was improperly advancing Islam. At the time, the director of the school denied all allegations, but thanks to public pressure, helped in part by our email campaign and the actions of a Minnesota ACT! for America chapter, the Minnesota Department of Education launched an investigation into the practices of the school.

The Department then issued a letter to the school directing the school to correct two practices that amounted to an impermissible advancement of religion.

Given TIZA’s denial of the allegations originally leveled against it, and the totally uncalled for and unprovoked actions on the part of the TIZA director against the KTSP News crew, we remain skeptical that the concerns that have been raised will be thoroughly addressed by the school.

What’s more, a new question has been raised: Where has the Minnesota Department of Education been? How could such obvious violations of law regarding religious indoctrination in a tax-funded school be allowed to go on as they have? The Minnesota Department of Education deserves credit for finally uncovering these violations, but it seems unlikely these violations just began recently. Had it not been for public outcry, these violations would be going on unchecked to this day.

What’s more, what other impermissible activities are going on inside the school that the school has successfully hidden from state officials? This is not an unreasonable question to ask of a school whose director would deny all allegations and assault a TV news crew. This is not an unreasonable question to ask of a school which routinely prevents members of the public and the media from seeing what goes on inside the school. What is the school trying to hide?

In conclusion, while we are glad that two unlawful actions by the school have been uncovered, we remain dubious that all the problems have been exposed and that those that have been will be corrected as directed.

Our advice to the Minnesota Department of Education: Over the next six months, schedule some unannounced visits to the school. And if lack of compliance is discovered then, consequences more severe than a letter would certainly be called for.

A Little History Lesson on Tariq ibn Zeyad and the Iberian Peninsula

Tariq ibn Ziyad

Taric bin Zeyad

Tarik ibn Zayad

Tariq ibnu Zeyad

Tariq en Ziadh

Taric el Tuerto (Taric the one-eyed)

طارق بن زياد‎

Berber Muslim and Umayyad general who led the conquest of Visigothic Hispania/ the Iberian peninsula/modern Portugal and part* of Spain in 711 under the orders of the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I.

According to the historian Ibn Khaldoun, Tariq Ibn Ziyad was from the Berber tribe of Netzaoua, a particular branch of the Oulhasas, which live to this day on the banks of Oued Tafna, in modern day Algeria.

Orginally the general of Musa Ibn Nusair/Mosa ibn Nosair

*Northern Spain was never conquered by the Muslims. They were stopped at Covadonga by General Don Pelayo and his forces. The Muslims were repelled, defeated and did not dare to return to Northern Spain.


Text in italics from the Christian perspective.
Text in Bold from the Muslim prospective.

The Eighth Century, CE
A period of swift changes and cultural diversity, the seventh century, CE sees the invasion and conquest of the Iberian peninsula by Muslim forces, a major dynastic change in Damascus, the beginning of the Carolingian Renaissance in Frankish lands and the beginnings of a Jewish and Muslim Golden Age in al-Andalus.

The weak Visigothic empire under King Roderic is defeated near Medina Sidonia (prov. of Cádiz) by the Berber governor of Tangier, Tariq ibn Ziyad. This marks the end of the Visigothic Empire in Spain. Muslim conquest of the Iberian peninsula begins in the summer of this year with Tariq's expedition of roughly 1,700 men and is complete by 713. The force of this conquest cannot be overstated: In the 81 years following the death of the prophet Mohammed, Islam had spread its influence from the Arabian Peninsula to the Atlantic Ocean and was threatening to take France next (Their advance was finally halted by Charlemagne's grand-dad, Charles Martel, at Poitiers in 732). Compare this to the two centuries it took Rome to successfully colonize the Iberian peninsula.... A small percentage of the Christian population in the North flees to the mountains of Asturias to escape Muslim rule.

711 Tariq ibn Ziyad attacks southern Spain - beginning of the conquest of al-Andalus. Destruction of the Gothic army of King Roderick at Wadi Bakka. Conquest of Sind by Muhammad ibn al-Qasim.

719 Cordoba becomes the residence of the Arab governors of al-Andalus.

Historians symbolically attribute the defeat of a Moorish army at the Battle of Covadonga to a Christian noble, Pelayo. Whatever really happened at Covadonga, it is certain that Pelayo gains fame and is elected King of Asturias. The battle itself continues to exist as a part of Spanish historical legend. It has become part of the national "creation myth" much as Paul Revere's midnight ride or "the shot heard 'round the world" has in the United States. Alfonso I eventually succeeds Pelayo's son.

755-88 'Abd al-Rahman I, since 756 amir of Cordoba, establishes the Spanish Umayyad dynasty (755 - 1031).At first the rulers bear the title amir, but from 929 they take the title of caliph. Persistent unrest through the mutual rivalry of Arab tribes and with newly-converted Muslims.

The ruling Umayyad dynasty in Damascus gives way to the Abbasids from Bagdad. Abd ar-Rahman (an Umayyad) flees to Egypt and eventually to Spain where he ousts the governor and appoints himself emir. His reign sees the beginning of the construction of the great mosque in Córdoba, the quelling of a number of rebellions, a peace treaty with the Asturians and perhaps most importantly, the beginning of a Muslim society and culture in Spain that is independent from Damascus. "Al-Andalus," as the region is called, begins to take on a life of its own.

The ruling Umayyad dynasty in Damascus gives way to the Abbasids from Bagdad. Abd ar-Rahman (an Umayyad) flees to Egypt and eventually to Spain where he ousts the governor and appoints himself emir. His reign sees the beginning of the construction of the great mosque in Córdoba, the quelling of a number of rebellions, a peace treaty with the Asturians and perhaps most importantly, the beginning of a Muslim society and culture in Spain that is independent from Damascus. "Al-Andalus," as the region is called, begins to take on a life of its own.

785-86 Caliphate of al-Hadi. The building of the Great Mosque at Cordoba.

796-822 Al-Hakam I caliph in Spain; rebellions in Cordoba, city-state in Toledo.

822-52 'Abd al-Rahman II of Cordoba.

852-86 Muhammad I of Cordoba.

Wilfred "The Hairy," Count of Barcelona, wins Catalan independence. At the same time, the Basques of Navarre emerge as a strong Christian state with its capital at Pamplona.
879-928 'Umar ibn Hafsun and his sons challenge the authority of the Spanish Umayyad state.

888 -912 In Cordoba, the caliphate of the Umayyad Abdallah. Ongoing strife with the rebels around Ibn Hafsun.

From 912 to 961, CE, Abd ar-Rahman III establishes a strong central Muslim authority in Spain. He drives back the Christians in the North and diplomatically subdues much of North Africa. His army and navy are the strongest in Europe at this time, and the cultural achievments of his caliphate (on January 16, 929 he declares himself caliph, signifying his total political independence) are unmatched by any Christian or Muslim state. The period of his reign (and really until 1031) marks the Golden Age of both Arab and Jewish culture in Spain.

912-961 Abd al-Rahman III of Cordoba. Struggles against the Fatimids and the Berbers in the Maghrib. The Spanish Umayyad empire enjoys its golden age during his reign.

929 'Abd al-RahmanIII of Cordoba adopts the title of caliph. Death of the astronomer al-Battani (Albatenius)
961-76 AlHakamII of Cordoba. After his death the Spanish Umayyad caliphate collapses from within.

939 'Abd al-Rahman III is defeated by the Christian Ramiro of Leon at Simancas.

1023-91 The 'Abbadids of Seville.

The dissolution of the caliphate of Córdoba into 23 taifas, or republican oligarchies. The King of Seville manages to grab some of the powers of the now-defunct caliphate and assert some measure of central authority.

1031 The Umayyad hegemony in Spain ends as al-Andalus breaks up into small states.

The power of Seville declines. To protect themselves from invading Christians, many Taifas are forced to call upon Muslim armies from outside of Spain to help them deal with the Christian threat. These kingdoms quickly find themselves the objects of these "invited" forces' reformist zeal.

1027-31 Hisham III, last Umayyad ruler of Cordoba.

1083 Alfonso VI of Castille and Leon defeats al-Mu'tamid of Seville and conquers Toledo with the forces of the Reconquista. Death of the theologian al-Juwayni, teacher of al-Ghazali

King Alfonso VI (1065-1109) of Castile conquers Toledo, the old Visigothic capital, gaining control of, among other things, its immense library. This library held hundreds of volumes on astronomy, medicine, philosophy, metaphysics, algebra, ethics, etc. It is precisely through this library (and the heavy translating efforts of many toledanos) that Europe came to know the works of Aristotle, Plato and Muhammed abu-Muhammed al-Ghazali.

In response to the taifas' pleas, the Almoravids (a Muslim fundamentalist movement from Morocco) lead a counter-attack against Afonso VI at Sagraias. They return to Africa after this expedition, but return to stay in 1090, signifying the beginning of the dissolution of Alfonso VI's kingdom.

1086 Yusuf ibn Tashufin defeats the Spanish Christians under Alfonso VI in the battle of Zallaqa at Badajoz. Supremacy of the Almoravids in al-Andalus until 1148.

1090 The Almoravid Yusuf ibn Tashufin after suppressing the petty rulers of al-Andalus (mulÅk at-tawÉ;if) becomes sole ruler of Muslim Spain.

Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (El Cid) sets himself up as absolute ruler of the Muslim city of Valencia. It is during his second exile from castile that the Cid, with a combined army of Moors and Christians, takes Valencia (in the service of Zaragoza).

The death of the Cid. Valencia retaken by the Moors.

1061-1106 The Almoravids (al-Murabitun) underYusuf ibn Tashufin conquer Morocco, founding their capital at Marrakesh in 1062. In 1086 they cross the straits of Gibraltar and conquer Spain. Rigid legalism according to the doctrine of the Malikite legal school.

The fall of Zaragoza to Christian forces.

1064 Death of Ibn Hazm, Spanish politician, theologian and man of letters.

1106-43 'Ali ibn Yusuf ibn Tashufin, ruler of Islamic Spain and North Africa. Decline of power of the Almoravids, from 1120 in conflict with the Almohad movement.

Almohad Berbers (like the Almoravids, a fundamentalist movement from Morocco) invade Spain and incorporate much of Muslim Spain (al-Andalus) into the African Almohad Empire.

1148 Death of Ibn Rushd alHafid (known in the West as Averroes), Andalusian qadi , physician and philosopher in the Aristotelian tradition, and author of important commentaries on the works of Aristotle.

Castilian King Alfonso VIII (1158-1214) challenges Almohad emperor Yacub to battle. It ends in the defeat of the Christian army at Badajoz.

1199-1214 The Almohad Muhammad alNasir in North Africa and Spain. Successes of the Reconquista.

Alfonso VIII returns to fight Yacub. The Christian armies of León, Castile, Navarre and Aragon defeat the Almohads in the decisive Battle of Navas de Tolosa, a mountain pass that guaranteed Christian forces passage into Southern Spain.

1212 Peter II of Aragon defeats the Almohads in the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. The Reconquista leads to the retreat of the Almohads from Spain (1225)

Ferdinand III (1217-1252) of Castile conquers Córdoba.

Jaume I of Aragon takes Valencia from the Moslems. He also gains control of the prized paper mills at Xativa.


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