Christian Zionist Org vs Islamic Center of Murfreesboro

From Talking Points:

The lawsuit to stop the construction of a mosque in middle Tennessee is getting expensive.

Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, a Christian Zionist group, hired and is paying the fees for one of the two lawyers on the case.

The lawsuit alleges that officials in Rutherford County violated its open meeting laws when approving an expansion of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. The plaintiffs, however, have spent much of their time in court arguing that Islam is not a religion.

…The group, which is based in Tennessee, is run by Laurie Cardoza-Moore. Cardoza-Moore believes, among other things, that nearly all Muslims — including those in middle Tennessee — follow a strict interpretation of the Koran: beating their wives, marrying children and killing dishonorable family members.

…If Cardoza-Moore seems familiar, that might be because she appeared in a “Daily Show” segment about the proposed mosque in August. She was also in the news earlier this year after Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) spoke at a PJTN event, and Cardoza-Moore — in violation of IRS regulations about nonprofits — encouraged members to donate money to the congresswoman’s campaign.

Cardoza-Moore also gave a speech at the anti-mosque rally in New York on 22 August (the one that took place the week before Pamela Geller’s effort, and which Geller initially condemned as “half-assed”): she denounced Muslims as “slave traders” who were America’s “first enemy”, claimed that Park51 would contain a portrait of Osama bin Laden overlooking the site of Ground Zero (although she acknowledged the existence of “many peaceful” Muslims in the USA), and called for Nancy Pelosi to be investigated. She believes tha the planned mosque expansion in Murfreesboro is a plot to destroy the Bible belt; as she told CBN’s “Terrorism Analyst” Erick Stakelbeck in August:

“You have Bible book publishers, you have Christian book publishers, you have Christian music headquartered here,” she said. “So this is where the Gospel message goes out. And the radical Islamic extremists have stated that they’re still fighting the Crusaders–and they see this as the capital of the Crusaders.”

According to a bio:

Laurie Cardoza-Moore is president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, Inc. Laurie is an accomplished lobbyist who actively supports Israel and lobbied to pass HJR 960 Resolution to support The State of Israel in the Tennessee General Assembly in 2002.  She has been responsible for bringing numerous Israeli Dignitaries to Nashville and in educating communities at many churches, synagogues, and universities in dozens of  communities. The Center For Jewish Awareness in Nashville, Tennessee, awarded Laurie the Friend of Israel Award in May of 2004, for her steadfast support of the state of Israel and the Jewish community in Nashville. Laurie works actively with the Israeli Consul General to the Southeast, to strengthen relationships between the church communities and The State of Israel.  Former Consul General Shmuel ben Shmuel awarded Laurie with The Goodwill Ambassador to Israel Award in October 2005. As a veteran co-producer and on-screen talent, she has added her talents to over 500 film and video productions.

Her view of Christianity includes not just support for Israel, but an emphasis on “Hebrew Roots”, which means that Christian expression ought to adopt Jewish cultural forms and idioms (I blogged on this trend here). In 2007, it seems that she had some association with Yair Davidy of “Brit-Am“.

In 2008, Cardoza-Moore’s filmmaker husband, Stan Moore (he runs MP Films), directed a documentary called The Forgotten People: Christianity and the Holocaust, co-produced with a Messianic Jewish believer named Yochanan Ben Yehuda (of Heart for Israel Ministries and Galilee of the Nations); according to a 2009 report from Bob Smietana and Kate Howard in the Tennessean:

Much of the film focuses on radical Islam — interposing pictures of Holocaust victims and Nazis with images of marching, shouting, angry Muslims.

Scenes from the movie are being aired weekly on WHTN, a local Christian television station, and the entire film will be shown to the National Religious Broadcasters Association in Nashville in February. Cardoza-Moore hopes to take it on a 13-city nationwide tour.

…Doris Kosmin, the wife of Rabbi Kliel Rose of West End Synagogue, heard about the film when it was advertised in local Jewish circles. After seeing it, she was stunned.

“I thought it was an abuse of the memory of the Holocaust, and a manipulation of Holocaust survivors,” she said. “I don’t think that survivors should be used that way.”

Kosmin worries about Islamic extremism but said the film demonized all Muslims. “I don’t think there was any distinction between Islamicists and moderate Muslims,” she said.

The Rev. Maury Davis of Cornerstone Church in Madison hosted a viewing of the movie at his church, and warned his Assembly of God congregation about radical Muslims in a recent sermon called “Islam: the Evil Religion.”

On an old version of the her site on Wayback, she suggested that such documentaries were needed to counter films being funded by George Soros. The same version also shows that in 2006 PJTN brought Walid Shoebat (blogged by me a number of times) and Brigitte Gabriel (who was repudiated by the United Jewish Communities in 2008) to Nashville, “to speak to our community about why these terrorist organizations exist and their ultimate goal.”

However, PJTN is not just a one-woman band; the “Program and Development Director” is Rev Sam Clarke, a local Episcopalian priest who also serves as the Director of the Christian Friends of Yad Vashem; he and his wife have a website here. According to his profile Clarke was inspired by the books of Corrie ten Boom:

Sam came to faith in Jesus Christ through the ministry of Corrie ten Boom… In 2007  he received a call to establish and become the first director of a Christian office at Yad Vashem (the Jewish Holocaust Center in Jerusalem). The establishment of this office represents a breakthrough in Jewish – Christian relations. It  was a joint project between Yad Vashem and the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. Sam spent 14 months with Yad Vashem before returning to the U.S. to begin Gateway to Israel Ministries with his wife, Marianne.

In May of 2010, Sam became the Program and Development Director for Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN.org).

(H/T: Harry’s Place)