Watch TiZA executive director Asad Zaman "attack" KSTP cameraman [VIDEO]

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Asad Zaman "attacked" the KSTP news crew
This week's feature chronicles the troubled history of TiZA, the controversial charter school blasted by conservative critics as the "Minnesota madrassa."

TiZA began humbly, serving poor Somali immigrants in Inver Grove Heights. It grew into a media darling, and Congressman Keith Ellison enrolled his youngest child at the school, as we detail in our story. But after Katherine Kersten wrote a column in March 2008 accusing TiZA of being an "Islamic school," a wave of legal problems descended upon the academy.

Its officials reacted aggressively to criticism, hiring a PR firm and lobbying the media. Its monitor, Wayne Jennings, wrote a letter to the Star Tribune defending TiZA. Executive Director Asad Zaman traveled to the Strib's offices to demand Kersten be fired, according to a former parent at the school. But that paled in comparison to the school's reaction when KSTP reporter Chris O'Connell made an unwelcome visit in May 2008.

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Asad Zaman with his students
O'Connell went to TiZA in May 2008 to follow up on a Department of Education report released about the school.

"Our assignment took us here to Inver Grove Heights to get reactions from school leaders about corrections ordered by the state department of education in regards to religious programs at the school," O'Connell said on the live broadcast that evening.

O'Connell had made "several phone calls" to school leaders but didn't hear back. He went to the school anyway and saw that TiZA officials were talking to reporters from KARE-11. So his cameraman started rolling and they approached the school. A group of students mobbed the camera.

In the footage, one young Muslim student walks up to the reporters, puts a thumb up, and says, "Nice camera."

Then Asad Zaman, the school's executive director, rushed out in a hurry. He grabbed the camera, and "tried to wrestle" it away from the videographer, according to O'Connell.

KSTP called the cops and an ambulance came to check up on the cameraman. Watch the report below:

Previous
The truth behind TiZA: The controversial charter school was more than just a First Amendment fiasco
TiZA bankruptcy trustee opposes paying landlord, in part, "on the basis that they were fraudulent transfers"


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8 comments
KM
KM

There is nothing wrong with the actions of the staff here. They do not have permission to take video of students, there was no media release from the parents or school.

Boom Boom Shikadance
Boom Boom Shikadance

You take pride in being an ignorant dimwit?

On another note, based on an assumption that Channel 5 never asked for permission to film the students or faculty on school grounds, I'd be pissed too if they were there trying to make a story during the school day after Kare11 already was granted permission and currently filming there. Who would want multiple news camera teams running amok in a school? So he grabbed the camera, who gives a crap, tons of people who get mobbed by cameras do this all the time. Channel 5 decided to milk an otherwise dead story by saying "photojournalist being treated by ambulance"? Did he pull a knife? Throw punches? No all that was said was he grabbed the camera. If it was a bigger story, KARE-11, who was on the scene, would've said something.

Quit being sissies KSTP.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Are you saying the news crews should not have been allowed into anoka-hennipen school board meetings because they "did not ask for permission" to enter the school?  Would it have been ok for the board to attack LGBT people that stacked the meetings because they "did not ask for permission" and they live outside the district?Careful with that, you will inspire hate from the LBGTBesides, TIZA has shown their mission to hide the facts before.

Boom Boom Shikadance
Boom Boom Shikadance

I'm having trouble finding sensible logic in your comment here Kirk.

First off this wasn't an Anoka-Hennepin school board meeting, it was a normal day at an elementary school. And yes, I am saying that when news crews wish to film in/on school grounds, they need permission. The charter school is private property, not a public park. In fact, I mentioned, as stated in the article, that KARE-11 was already at the school speaking with TiZA faculty, meaning they were most likely permitted to do-so. Otherwise I'm sure they would've been met with the same attitude as KSTP, who after not getting phone calls returned, decided heck lets just show up anyway and start filming students and the school.

Second. In reference to your comment "Would it have been ok for the board to attack LGBT people that stacked the meetings because they "did not ask for permission" and they live outside the district?"

Explain to me the relevancy of you bringing in the LGBT community into this conversation? In no way shape or form was this article or even the line of stories about TiZA ever been about the impact on/of the LGBT community. Nice job fishing for a controversial angle, not gonna work here. Your confusing/misguided sentence/thought process is trying to equate news crews showing up at private elementary schools, to LGBT groups that show up to school board meetings to voice their concern over an ignorant, don't ask don't tell policy-esque stance of remaining "neutral" in regards to  sexual orientation in class. (Which was recently overturned, and the new "respectful exchanges of views" was put in place)

It's hard for me to be careful about commenting on an issue I didn't bring up, but rather you did, in a weak attempt at sparking more controversy over a non-related topic.

Bottom line: KSTP should've been granted permission, instead of showing up and just start filming. Had they, they may have been treated better, such as the KARE-11 team that was already there, interviewing school officials. Sure Zaman could've handled it differently, but KSTP is making it out to be like this is the first time in TV-NEWS history that someone didnt want to be interviewed, and instead grabbed the camera. It happens all the time.

Boom Boom Shikadance
Boom Boom Shikadance

BTW nice choice of having an oxymoron for a name. Your credibility was shot from the get-go.

Boom Boom Shikadance
Boom Boom Shikadance

And then what? I'm sorry, you misunderstood, I wasn't looking for travel destination advice. Having actually been to all of them, I'm curious what you're implying with such a vague comment. If you're in East St. Louis, I'd reccommend Best Fish House off MLK Drive. Too many good food options in Detroit to mention. Corrine's Place in Camden is reaally good too. But you were saying....?

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