Charles Edgbaston and the Ecclesiastical Court of Penticton

(updated 20 August 2008)

Over the past couple of years, various pro-Palestinian activists (some more reputable than others) have received strange menacing emails from a person who styles himself as “Dr Charles Edgbaston”, or “His Eminence The Very Rev. Charles J. Edgbaston, D.D., Ph.D”. The rambling emails – which contrast “Holy Israel” with the “Satanic Palestinians” – typically warn the recipients that they have been judged to be supportive of Palestinian terrorists, and that:

…it is my solemn duty to inform you that our Ecclesiastical Court has issued an edict inscribing you as a SLANDERER OF ZION and a TERRORIST COLLABORATOR. This means that, ipso facto, you are deemed to be an ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE.Our disciples are hereby empowered to facilitate your removal from your residence and from your place of employment. They are also to initiate a 24/7 monitoring program of your activities.In addition, an application will be made in London to have the administrative law courts revoke your passport for consorting with certain groups that are fronts for proscribed Middle East terrorists. Your inscription on the watch lists of the United Kingdom, the United States and the EU will be sought. Cause will also be given to diminish your pensionable earnings under the Terror Act. As well, a notification of this indictment will be printed in the American, British and Israeli print media and your associates and family will be so notified.

…May our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Son of Mary, have mercy upon you.You may wish to exercise your right to have this decree set aside. In such case, you are invited to submit a notarized affidavit renouncing your calumnies against the holy Jewish state, circulating a statement of support for the victory of the holy Jewish people in the Holy Land against their terrorist enemies to all your affiliated organizations and publishing it in the media, both online or offline, and paying our court costs of US$7500.

So, who is Charles Edgbaston? According to the emails, he is

Chair, Christians for Moses Ministries Inc. and Rector, Zion College of Canada, Penticton.

Neither of these organisations has any web presence, and Edgbaston himself is obscure. The earliest web presence that I could find dates to 2003, in an ombudsman’s report on Middle East coverage by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:

Rev. Edgbaston wrote to complain about [a] CBC Radio program’s interview Jan. 21, 2002, with the controversial Israeli historian, Prof. Ilan Pappe, who has largely adopted the Palestinian critique of Israeli policies. The complainant described the interview as “sickening,” saying “Prof. Pappe had nothing but venom to spew out against Israel…Rev.Edgbaston asked for a review, saying “the rot at CBO is entrenched and must be uprooted.” 

Edgbaston’s most detailed self-description is here:

I am the chairman of the Christian Zionist movement “Christians for Moses” based in Penticton, British Columbia Canada. I also am Rector of Zion College of Canada. I hold a Ph.d. in Arabic history, my thesis being “Muhammad’s Moral Exhortations to Mankind on the Jewish Ownership of the Holy Land.” A Doctor of Divinity degree is also among my awards for my Christian scholarship on the indebtedness of Christianity to the Jewish Torah.

Under the aegis of Rev. Elias Abboud, B.D., we operate an ecclesiastical court for our 50,000 plus world-wide membership. In the past year, with the epidemic of anti-Semitic poison flooding the Internet and the world’s universities in the context of the ignoble assault of the Arabs of Palestine against the holy Jewish people living in Israel, we have acceded to popular demand to fight this grievous scourge. As a consequence, scores of notorious academics, journalists and anti-Zionist propagandists in the Socialist world and in the neo-Nazi demi-monde have been subject to judicial sentences by our court. The result? With our Lord Jesus Christ’s benevolence, these reprobates have been removed from their places of employment and their links with the Palestinian Arab jihadis have been exposed to the national authorities in America, Europe and Asia. Their citizenship rights and travel freedoms are now being curtailed.

Our current main struggle is to fortify the international boycott, economic sanctions and divestment against the brutal terrorist Hamas regime occupying the Palestinian territories and to put out of business their principal running dogs comprising the apostate Hebrew schizophrenic intellectuals Ilan Pappe, Norman Finkelstein and the apostate Hebrew politician in South Africa Ronald Kasrils. May Mary, holy mother of God give us Godspeed!

Last Updated: 27 February 2007

Meanwhile, a comment left on a blog by “Ahinder Fonseca, Ph.D” tells us that

Dr. Charles Edgbaston is a leading Christian Zionist who has exposed Prof. Norman Finkelstein as a self-hating schizophrenic Hebrew. He was also the teacher of Prof. Harold Williams who demolished the fictional book “Beyond Chutzpah’ authored by Finkelstein. Dr. Edgbaston, 77, has a Ph.D. in Arabic and earned his Doctor of Divinity (D.D.) with his thesis on Muhammad’s Exhortations on Jewish Ownership of the Holy Land.

In his threatening emails Edgbaston has a tendency to associate himself with other organisations by beginning with the phrase, “Reliable sources at [Insert Org] have informed Christians for Moses Ministries that you are…” Organisations that he claims have “informed” him include the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem and the World Association of Survivors of Treblinka and Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camps; in fact, there is no indication that he has had any contact these organisations or with any others that he cites, and I doubt that they would want to be associated with either his methods or his overheated rhetoric. In 2006 The International Christian Embassy issued a statement confirming that

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem wishes to clarify that we have never conveyed to Rev. Charles Edgbaston any views or opinions on Prof Ilan Pappe.
David Parsons
ICEJ Public Relations Officer

And Anglican Friends of Israel states that

In recent days some emails have been brought to our attention claiming to be from His Eminence the Very Rev Charles Edgbaston, D.D., Ph.D…These emails make claims about ‘reliable sources’ at Anglican Friends of Israel (AFI) and, in one case, ‘extensive consultations’ with AFI…We do not know at present if these emails are genuinely from Charles Edgbaston but, whatever their origin, we strongly reject any claim that Anglican Friends of Israel has been or ever would be involved in such activities. Our legal representatives are writing to Charles Edgbaston to establish whether the emails came from him and to demand that, if so, he desist from any such claims bout AFI’s involvement.

As for Edgbaston’s associates, Elias Aboud (var. “Elias Abboud”) is sometimes described as “Pastor Elias Aboud, Court Registrar for Christians for Moses Ministries Inc.” Edgbaston and Aboud appear with two other associates on a petition against a Palestinian academic:

Rev. Anthony Habib Zion College of Canada…      
Pastor Robert Johnston Christians for Moses Ministries Inc.

Anthony Habib appears elsewhere as “Antoine Habib”; all are equally as obscure as Edgbaston himself. Harold Williams, however, entered a debate with the owner of this website; just as Edgbaston praises Williams, Williams in turn praises “the important expose by Rev. Edgbaston”. The two Arabic names, and Edgbaston’s fondness for Roman Catholic titles, suggest to me that he’s involved with some kind of Maronite traditionalist Catholic grouping, but that’s just a guess.

As well as hating Palestinians and their supporters, Edgbaston also dislikes the British:

Britain truly occupies Iraq. She truly occupies Afghanistan. In these countries, she has committed unspeakable tortures against innocent Muslim civilians. In Basra, this filthy colonialist occupier has destroyed children’s playgrounds, mutilated prisoners, forced young girls to perform oral sex on the male bodies of its troops and gone from neighbourhood to neighbourhood demolishing homes and community centres.

So why does Edgbaston keep such a low profile? Could it be because when it comes to threatening people he is one of those who can dish it out but not take it? It seems to me that a promise to have someone monitored and removed from their home and employment must count as either malicious communication, harrassment, or threatening behaviour, and that kind of thing tends to have consequences in the real world of court actions.

Incidentally, the name “Christians for Moses” is associated with Kahanist anti-missionary activity in Israel. Time reported in 1973:

Two weeks ago, eleven members of the Jewish Defense League were charged with arson against a missionary bookstore. At a protest fast at the Wailing Wall, the J.D.L.’s rabble-rousing Rabbi Meir Kahane announced, “If you lose a Jew in Auschwitz or through conversion, it’s still a soul lost.” He later proclaimed the formation of a 25-member countergroup called “Christians for Moses.”

The name re-emerged in Florida in the 1990s; a now-defunct website has some details:

Christians for Moses was co-founded by Ex-Baptist Minister The Late Delroy Brockett & Rabbi Yerachmiel Gersh of The Jewish Defense League in 1993 to bring G-d’s truth to both Jews & Gentiles.Why the name Christians For Moses if we rejected Christianity?

Actually this name is not original nor are the reasons & the concept as the concept was thought up way back in the 70’s by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane OF Saintly Memory as an answer & reaction to Jews For Jesus & similar type groups & brought to life by his student Rabbi Yerachmiel Gersh & The Late DelRoy Brockett an Ex-Bapist minister turned Noahide.

Today Christians for Moses is under the directorship of Mariano Otero a former Pentecostal Minister who today is a fully committed Orthodox Jew who teaches Bnai Noach & wayward Jews the truth as revealed in the Torah.

Mariano Otero is also known as Moshe Otero, and his “Christians for Moses” was part of an organisation called “The Ways of Israel“. I have blogged on Noahides in the past, see here. Edgbaston does not appear to have any links with this group, or to share its theology.

40 Responses

  1. I am unfamiliar with British law, but why have the police not been contacted about these threats, and investigated this man and his organization?

  2. I think the threats might cross the line, but getting the police to take it seriously might prove difficult, especially since there’s an international aspect involved.

  3. Muslims publish fatwas threatening death to apostates and infidels in America, Britain and the Middle East. Nothing is done about it. So, what could possibly be upsetting about a Christian Zionist outfit that , by contrast, mildly slaps the wrists of overwought Israel haters? Get a grip people and allow freedom of speech for all mankind, not just your own cliques.

  4. Hey, “Judith”: how come you and Edgbaston have the same IP address?

  5. I was recently hired by the Christians for Moses Ministries Inc. organization as an investigator into radical groups who are causing harm to the people of Israel. Thus, I work out of their offices on occasion.

    As part of my duties, I am preparing an extensive report on the communist backgrounds of these terrorist front groups for transmission to governments and the media .

    It appears that you, sir, maintain intimate relations with these people. As I will shortly be conducting a field survey in Manchester, Brighton, London, Camden, Edinburg and Dublin, i wonder whether you would be amenable to an interview so that my report can be as accurate as possible.

    • Aw that’s just too bad, Judith, it seems I missed you when you were in Dublin. You could have issued threats against me in person rather than semi-anonymously over the internet as you have with others.

      By the way, Edinburgh has a ‘h’ at the end and Camden is a part of London. Without taking into account those basic facts, your report won’t be very accurate at all.

      • Tommy, your reply is quite petty. Let’s face it, old-style Christianity is on its way out and the Christian Zionists are taking over. That means israel is eternal and those who oppose her, like jackasses like you, are doomed.

  6. I am casually acquainted with a couple of your targets, but I do not have “intimate relations” with any of them. Indeed, in some cases I actually have a great dislike of my own for the persons you are targeting (namely Israel Shamir and his associates). And while meeting you has curiosity value, I have no information that is not in the public domain, nor is there any reason why I would want to assist your efforts.

    However, perhaps you could answer a few questions of mine:

    (1) why is it that the organisations Edgbaston claims to have consulted, such as the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, deny any contact with him?

    (2) why is there no record anywhere of Zion College or Christians for Moses?

    (3) in which church group is Edgbaston ordained?

    (4) why does Christians for Moses share the same name as an old Kahanist group?

    (5) why do the supposed “offices” of Christians for Moses have the same IP address as the Library and Archives Canada (which, I believe, is rather distant from Penticon)?

    (6) why are you using the identity of a pro-Palestinian activist, including using an email address that is almost identical, but not quite (I checked via Google)?

  7. Am disappointed you have turned down my request for an interview. Am also astonished you are attempting to interview me via the Internet with your own series of questions.

    Fair is fair and reciprocity means we can interview each other and answer each other’s questions. If you persist in refusing to meet me in person, I will simply have to go about my investigation without your (helpful?) input.

  8. Three cheers for the Christian for Moses people who are exposing the massive hypocrisy of the British socialist imperialists who are diverting attention away from their war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan by bashing tiny Israel.

    Could there possibly be a better example of Judeophobic bullying by these Israelophobes? Hardly!

    The sooner these academics and disloyal Jews in the UK are put out of business, the better.

    • I agree with Clyde S.

      It may interest you to know that an active boycott of Palestinian goods and services has been underway since last year, headed by former Gazan Palestinian Muhsir al-Mutawakil. His parents were tortured tio death by the barbaric Palestinian gang known as Hamas. Since converting to Judaism, he has founded the Coalition Against Palestinian War Crimes which provided much of the Hamas war crime evidence to the Goldstone commission.

  9. “Clyde”, I saw an email you sent to someone else, again resolving to the Canada Library (IP 142.78.8.4). All this sockpuppetry is rather sad, isn’t it? A few people are worried you might turn violent, but apart from that nobody takes you seriously, and the various Christian Zionist groups you claim to have consulted have repudiated you. Grow up.

  10. Hey, Bartholomew,
    I received one of Edgbaston’s hate letters on Oct. 30, 2008. Friends in Canada, USA, Switzerland and Israel advise that I contact the FBI because hate mail is a federal offense, and also try to contact other recipients of Edgbaston’s hate mail with a view to taking joint legal action. Could you help me locate other Edgbaston targets? (His price for buying out of the fatwa seems to be increasing by the minute.)

    • Hi,
      I only just found this site as I have recently received an identical hate letter from Edgbaston and, never having heard of him, did a little web-search. I usually ignore such letters, but this is lengthier, nastier and more overtly threatening than anything I have ever received for my so-called crimes of daring to criticize Israeli government policy, and it also purports to have an organizational network behind it. I am seriously considering complaining to the police, so would be interested to hear if you have made any progress with your own plans to take legal action.

      • You work for Christians for Moses “Ministries” and they are sending you hate letters? If they hate you that much, why don’t they just fire your sorry ass? You can’t even do the sockpuppet thing properly.

  11. [...] Mutwakil is obviously the same person as the “Rev Charles Edgbaston”, whom I blogged on here. Edgbaston, it may be recalled, claims to run a self-proclaimed “ecclesiastical court” [...]

  12. Eve, while I accept what you say about the nature of threats and the law, is it really worth taking this all that seriously? “Oxygen of publicity” was a phrase made famous by one of our prime ministers. I’d have a different view if the writing was, er, how shall I say, I don’t think I will but you know what I mean. In some ways it sounds like a teenage wind-up, but it probably isn’t a teenager. It also sounds like lots of other things but might not be either. Anyway, I’m now retired.
    Cheers
    Brian

    PS Fascinating blog you got there, only just discovered it. Thanks.

  13. Brian,
    Yes, he does sound like someone deranged (how could it be otherwise?), and of course the wording of his hate mail is comical. Certain novelists would delight in it and perhaps steal from it.
    I wouldn’t want to give him the publicity of public exposure (except on blogs like this, and among other friends) unless I was assured there was a good likelihood of putting him in jail.
    What would you say about Irving, the Holocaust denier? Wasn’t it right to jail him? (Where was it? I forget.) I’m not sure Holocaust denial is any less comical.

  14. Ah Eve you raise a MOST interesting point about Irving whom I loathe and despise utterly, but I want to make a point about it. About 2 years ago, just a little less, I attended a most important Rally in Trafalgar Square in London, a Rally for Free Expression. It was largely boycotted by the left wing who seem to have some very confused and illiberal ideas when it comes to the people they defend and align themselves with. For example instead of supporting the very people the left should be supporting – women, dissident thinkers, gays, atheists and so on – they link up with the patriarchal bigots.

    Anyway, the whole point of this Rally for free speech was precisely that people with totally divergent points of view, polar opposites, all had to listen – seriously – to what everyone else was saying. And I had to listen, a few yards away, to one of the speakers (to whom I went up after the rally) defending Irving’s right to say what he wanted to say about the Holocaust. I subsequently discovered this speaker was a rightwing libertarian (he believed in no taxes, everyone carrying guns &c &c).

    At the time I thought it was shocking – his defence of free speech was probably no more absolute than Chomsky’s, but it made difficult listening. (I should mention this Rally was in the wake of the Danish cartoon fuss, also highly controversial – but it’s why the left boycotted it, or mainly so.)

    But afterwards I thought about it. There are in some European countries, e.g. Germany, Austria (I guess for historical reasons) where Holocaust denial is a criminal offence. Irving knew perfectly well what he was doing. I too forget the details, so I’d better not try to go into them here. But if there’s a law, and someone is proven to have broken that law, then they have to be prepared for the punishment.

    It’s possible that someone might not be so much exercising their right to free speech as setting out to incite something or other. I have always been somewhat dubious about the “No Platform” attitude to racists, homophobes, bigots. On the one hand I can see why one would not want to confer a supposed and wholly inauthentic respectability on them by “debating” with them. Especially if all they really want to do is provoke rabble-riots with the aim of exploiting a hurt victimhood afterwards.

    But if you ban them, you also make it possible for them to claim victimhood – or even perversely to claim that it’s because they’re right that they’re being marginalised. Rubbish of course.

    At the moment, the way I resolve this – but I’m open to arguments that there are better ways – is simply to ignore them. Rather like ignoring pests who come up to bother you in the street – if you ignore them they soon go away. But you may say, these pests are threatening violence of some kind. Well, I respond, assess the nature and degree of the threat and of the violence.

    I’m not at all convinced that the guy in the present case is worth taking seriously. Probably if you hadn’t mentioned Irving I wouldn’t have spent any time on replying, but I rather like telling people about the Rally for free speech.

    cheers
    Brian

  15. Re-reading that, I thought I’d like to clarify that I’m on the left – the Paul Berman, Nick Cohen, “Little Atoms” sort of liberal-left. The “left” I was talking about above are the ones who’ve forgotten what being left is, or used to be, all about.

  16. Richard: Thanks for posting “Edgbaston’s” IP address above. It allowed me to discover that “he” has been posting comments to my blog as “Dr. Miriam Garfinkle,” who in reality is a Jewish anti-Occupation activist.

    This person whoever he or she is is prob. certifiable. But it does remind me of the delightful weirdnesses and eccentricities of a Nabokov novel in which fake characters, places and events are imagined as real.

    What a rich fantasy life this person must lead.

    • This one by richard silverstein is a howler! For years he has been in therapy in Washington state where i ran across him recently trying to furiously repair his family ties.

  17. I’ve read Edgbaston’s stuff and find him remarkably well-informed, historically and politically. Tis a pity none of his detractors have been able to refute him;. they merely resort to insults and name-calling.

    • To put the record straight I have received and read Edgbaston’s (and his/her clone’s) malicious, threatening nad ill-informed rantings.

      It is cheap and nasty not just to invent alternative personas to hide his/her isolation but to adopt the names of real people to peddle these deceits.

      This trick would have lowered my opinion of him/her if it were not already at zero.

  18. as a christian arab, i support the boycott of Palestinian goods entering Britain. The Palestinian muslims do not deserve a state either. They killed my people in Nazaraeth and Bethlehem and we are continuing to flee the Holy Land because of them. you have no right to malign Father Edgbaston…he is a real scholar and hero to christians everywhere suffering in Muslim lands. Nobody has yat been able to defeat his historical knowledge about the arab and jewish worlds…all they do is point fingers and make insulting remarks.

  19. Haven’t you got anything more useful to do?

  20. Why do you insult my brother abu-awala. could it be that atheist infidels like you fear the truth… the truth is that jaffar abu-awala and his family have been martyred by the Hamas barbarians in the holy Land. It is the Palestinian muslims who are to blame and not the jews.

  21. Hamas martyrs a lot of people in Ottawa, does it?

  22. here’s a Canadian that finds you completely inane. We have 40,000 muslims living in our capital city, many refugees from Hamas and Fatah terrorists. Why do you persist in insulting them?

  23. Why is this man using a Library and Archive Canada IP address? That is a Department of the Federal Govt of Canada. I dont’ believe that this is an acceptable use of GOC resources.

  24. The Very Rev. Charles J. Edgbaston, D.D., Ph.D…..you
    left out one of his educational titles…..D.D.M(Doctor of
    Disturbed Mentality).

  25. So what’s he been up to now, then?

    • The Very Rev. Dr. Charles Edgbaston has forwarded over $10 million to victims of Arab terror in Israel. together with Christian zionists all over the world, he has also brought tens of thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab and Russian lands to Israel. Recently, he financed the Coalition Against Palestinian War Crimes research which was sent to the goldstone commission.

  26. I was having a rather depressing day. This thread has really made me feel much better.

  27. [...] The Very Reverend Edgbaston claims to have 55,000 followers worldwide. Others who were similarly threatened have tried to find out who Edgbaston is, and the results can be seen on http://barthsnotes.com/2008/08/12/charles-edgbaston-and-the-ecclesiastical-court-of-pentic… [...]

  28. If that little fucker ever sends me a letter such as that, I’ll send another back to that little piece of shit with a dead cat’s head in it.
    To hell with isrealhell and the zionist dupes who support that little shit nation. It is the zionist state of Isrealhell that is the real threat to America and the rest of the world. They are the bottom feeders of the world, the liars, the cheats, the thieves and child pornographers, the destroyers of America’s economy and the communist bastards behind gun confiscation.
    Zionism must and will be stopped very soon.
    We got the guns. Lock and load. All hail thermal expansion!

    • What a fine example of good old fashioned unadulterated anti-semitism.

      What Israel, zionism (and what the writer clearly means, Jews) have to do with child pornography, communism or gun control I am at loss to understand. Their crime is oppression of the Palestinians not a worldwide conspiracy straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

      The supporters of Israel are commonly Bushite neo-cons, anything further from communists and gun opponents it’s hard to imagine.

      We can oppose Edgbaston quite well enough on our own with the help of Mr Zook.

  29. I support Rev. Edgbaston a thousand percent. He saved my family from a massacre by the Hamas last year by financing our exodus to Egypt. We are Christians. The Palestinian Muslim majority in Gaza is seeking to execute every Arab Christian under their control.

    • This anti-Christian hatred of Hamas is embedded in its charter. The world must blockade Hamas for its nefarious designs against helpless Palestinian Christians.

  30. Great resource, thanks for sharing it!!!
    domain to look http://blahc-blahc.net

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