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Taxpayer-funded madrassas in Columbus? Nearly so.

Two publicly-funded charter schools in the Columbus area, International Academy of Columbus and Westside Academy, are run by Islamic extremists tied to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), according to Patrick Poole:

Even though many of the new students are learning English as a new language, an essential tool for helping them integrate into their new community, the schools instead focuses on Arabic as part of their core curriculum. As a result, standardized test scores for the schools are well below state standards; and yet Ohio educrats continue to give the project new life, pumping millions of taxpayer dollars into each school every year to keep the schools open and renewing their contracts. One board member for both schools has even co-authored an article advocating an educational policy of “selected acculturation” and “accommodation without assimilation” to “encourage Somali youth to develop an adversarial identity that will put them at odds with mainstream society” – thus trapping the students in a cycle of perpetual cultural alienation and isolation.
The student population of both schools is overwhelmingly drawn from the Central Ohio Somali community, which itself is comprised of refugees who fled their war-torn country to escape from the warlords and clan warfare that have torn the country apart since 1991. Sadly, these refugees have arrived only to find the warlords and clan leaders in charge of the very public and private institutions here in the US intended to help them resettle and adjust to life in their new home.
One of the new educational warlords these unsuspecting Somali families are encountering is Ahmad Al-Akhras, CAIR national vice chairman, who is listed as one of the incorporators of both charter schools, and who is listed as the treasurer of International Academy. Joining him on the board of both schools is Abukar Arman, the Somali terror apologist who was recently forced to resign from the Central Ohio Homeland Security oversight board following my FrontPage exposé regarding his published statements of support for terrorist organizations and individuals (see, “Hometown Jihad: The Somali Terror Apologist Next Door” and “Terror Sympathizer Tossed from Homeland Security Oversight Panel”). Arman identifies himself as the board president of Westside Academy and March 2005 press release announcing his appointment to a government board lists him as “building director” of International Academy.

Students at the two schools perform badly on standardized tests. The International Academy of Columbus reports dismal scores, and the Westside Academy has no scores at all. Abysmal academic performance and shrinking enrollment aren’t the only problems. Poole suggests that the CAIR members who founded these schools have skimmed profits from both operations. And how does militant Islamist proselytizing grab you?

Extremist politics, rather than education concerns, seems to be the driving factor of the schools. One of the leaders of the two schools admits to creating a program designed to keep students from integrating into the “racist” American mainstream. In a published education article, “Educating Immigrant Youth in the United States“, Abukar Arman and his co-author lay out an educational plan of keeping Somali children from integrating into their new culture, and cite the experience of International Academy as the best example of their recommended “selected acculturation” educational philosophy in practice.
Another indicator of the partisan political and sectarian use of these schools is in an anti-Israel “teach-in” sponsored by CAIR-OH held at International Academy in September 2006, entitled “Palestine 101”. The event was co-sponsored by a number of Marxist and extremist organizations: The Committee for Justice in Palestine, International Socialist Union, World Can’t Wait-Columbus, and Not In Our Name-Columbus. CAIR national official and school treasurer Ahmad Al-Akhras served as one of the panelists.

Read the whole thing.
These aren’t private schools; they’re public charter schools that get bucket-loads of taxpayer funding from Ohio’s educrats. And if that isn’t enough to raise your hackles, Poole’s article points out that the CAIR bunch just incorporated a new charter madrassa school: Eastside Academy.
To stay abreast of this mess, drop by Central Ohioans Against Terrorism, where Patrick Poole blogs (his personal blog is Existential Space). This gent deserves an invitation to join the SOB Alliance.
Also, see what the charming folks at CAIR have been up to lately in their advocacy for The Religion of Peace™.
Hat tips: Michelle Malkin for the story, and Jill Miller Zimon for the school data.