Transformation of Minnesota's Only Islamic School

August 29, 2002

Source: The Associated Press

On August 29, 2002 The Associated Press reported that on the night of September 11, someone draped [Minnesota's Islamic Al-Amal] school in toilet paper, a usually benign prank that struck fear into students, parents and administrators in the context of the terror attacks. Since then, Al-Amal School has been reborn, determined to connect with its neighbors and demystify Islam. 'We felt the need to be more outspoken about the moral aspect and the peaceful aspect of our religion,' said Principal Salah Ayari. When police caught the culprits - three teenage boys - Ayari chose not to press charges. Instead, he invited them into the school so they could learn more about Muslims. School officials say that, to their surprise, they've been overwhelmingly accepted. The closer ties will be apparent this Sept. 11, when Al-Amal students hold a joint prayer service with students of Totino-Grace, the nearby public school."