A federal judge has rejected claims that the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota defamed a charter school that the ACLU has accused of promoting Islam.

As a public school, Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TiZA) is a governmental body and can't sue for libel, U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank said in an order dated Wednesday.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit against TiZA in January, claiming the charter school promotes religion in violation of the Constitution's First Amendment. The school, which has campuses in Inver Grove Heights and Blaine, has denied the claims.

In July, TiZA countersued, saying the ACLU had defamed the school and hurt its ability to hire qualified teachers.

Among other comments, the school complained after Minnesota ACLU executive director Chuck Samuelson said publicly that TiZA is "a theocratic school."