• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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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)

26 Responses

  1. So, ummmm … Murfreesboro, TN is too close to Ground Zero, too?

    Can we just be honest and admit that these people view Muslims as illegitimate citizens?

  2. Hey, Bartholomew, great piece. However, I kind of wish you hadn’t said “Christian Zionist Org” vs. the mosque as my website http://www.christianzionism.org is at the forefront of the effort to challenge the distorted ideology of Christian Zionism. I’m assuming you meant “christian zionist organization” :)

    Anyway, I’ve often linked to articles on your blog and will continue to do so. In fact, I just put this one up in our news section.

    Keep up the good work.

    John Hubers
    webmaster
    http://www.christianzionism.org

  3. Can I just say what a relief to find an individual who really knows what theyre talking about over a internet. You actually know how to bring an problem to light and make it important. Much more folks need to read this and realize this side on the story. I cant consider youre not much more well-liked due to the fact you really have the gift.

  4. Another rancid wahabbist trophy mosque.

    A 53,000 square foot facility for a congregation that counts only 45 official members.

    But hey!

    It’s legite!

    And you can listen to your own echo!

    • Of course its legit, just as legit as any church or synagogue built for whatever reason by whatever means at whatever size those who are footing the bill decide to make it. This is called freedom of religion which is one of the pillars of our republic.

  5. Hey, Bartholomew, great piece. However, I kind of wish you hadn’t said “Christian Zionist Org” vs. the mosque as my website http://www.christianzionism.org is at the forefront of the effort to challenge the distorted ideology of Christian Zionism. I’m assuming you meant “christian zionist organization”

    So you’re a fan of John M. and his conspiracies?

    I wouldn’t want to get to cosy with you.

    But I’m glad you popped in because your endorsement of Bart’s views on the “anti-mosque” crowd simply gives credence to the opinions of that same crowd.

    Thank-you.

  6. OBAMA SUPPORTS PUBLIC DEPRAVITY

    Google “Zombietime” and click on “Up Your Alley Fair.” This mayor-and-police-protected sexual debauchery (naked men having sex with each other) regularly occurs in view of children in the San Francisco district represented by Sneaker of the House Nancy (“You’ll find out what’s in the bill after we pass it – TEE HEE HEE”) Pelosi – that is, in “Madam Nancy Pelosi’s Brothel District!” One wonders how soon San Fransicko’s “underground” saint – San Andreas – will get a big jolt out of what goes on over his head. View the above Zombietime “Pompeii on the Bay” before the predicted Californicatia earthquake happens a la Rev. 16:19 (“the cities of the nations fell”) and before other disasters like tsunamis occur (in Matt. 18:6 Jesus advocated drowning for any child abuser!). For related eye-openers Google “Michelle Obama’s Allah-day,” “Obama Fulfilling the Bible,” and “Imam Bloomberg’s Sharia Mosque.” BTW, here’s a new pro-life slogan: “Unborn babies should have the right to keep and bear arms – and legs and ears and eyes etc.!”

    • Lucy–I have no idea what your rant has to do with the discussion here. But congratulations. You are the one who finally got to me with that Pelosi (mis) quote and I had to go look it up. The contextualized quote reads as follows:

      ““You’ve heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other. But I don’t know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket. Prevention, prevention, prevention—it’s about diet, not diabetes. It’s going to be very, very exciting.

      “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy. ”
      from: Pelosi Remarks at the 2010 Legislative Conference for National Association of Counties

      What Pelosi was saying–by way of explanation–is that continued debate (as was being called for by many on the right at that time) was going to provide no new information of any utility–but rather allow more time for obfuscation, fear-mongering, innuendo and a whole lot of other opposition tactics.

      Looking at context is important whether the forum is politics, literature or religion.

      BTW–I didn’t google and click as you suggested, but I’ll wager it’s some of the same tired old titilating film bits that anti-gay folks of the religious variety love to share with one another. Again–pay close attention to context, my friend–in your choice of film clips as well as your selection of Biblical support.

  7. This is called freedom of religion which is one of the pillars of our republic.

    Islam, as any Muslim scholar will tell you, ‘is a whole way of life’.

    Islam brokers no separation between church and state, declaring such a separation to be against the stated will of god as it appears in the ‘perfect’ Koran.

    The denial of that separation means that Islam defines itself much more as an ideology than a belief system.

    Ya see, separation of church and state is THE central piller of your republic, and since the mosque in murfreesboro represents an ideology that recognises no such distinction, that mosque then becomes a direct affront, a direct long-term existential challenge to the continued existence of your republic.

    You’d do well to remember that little detail when dealing with Islam’s complaints and DEMANDS with regards to U.S. “religious freedoms”.

    • “Islam, as any Muslim scholar will tell you, ‘is a whole way of life’.”

      June–I hate to complicate your life, but there are many of us Christians who view Christianity in the same way. (And I still endorse the separation of church and state).

    • Why is it that countries like Turkey and Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country, among others have secular governments?

      • The Wikipedia article on Shari’a law is very well written and worth consulting to show how off base June is in her assertions. Here’s the situation as it currently exists in Muslim majority countries:

        from:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia#Modern_perspectives_on_Sharia

        The legal systems in 21st century Muslim majority states can be classified as follows.

        Sharia in the secular Muslim states: Muslim countries such as Mali, Kazakhstan and Turkey (which is under pressure from religious political parties) have declared themselves to be secular. Here, religious interference in state affairs, law and politics is prohibited.[37] In these Muslim countries, as well as the secular West, the role of Sharia is limited to personal and family matters.

        Muslim states with blended sources of law: Muslim countries including Pakistan, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Nigeria, Sudan, Morocco and Malaysia have legal systems strongly influenced by Sharia, but also cede ultimate authority to their constitutions and the rule of law. These countries conduct democratic elections, although some are also under the influence of authoritarian leaders. In these countries, politicians and jurists make law, rather than religious scholars. Most of these countries have modernized their laws and now have legal systems with significant differences when compared to classical Sharia.[38]

        Muslim states using classical Sharia: Saudi Arabia and some of the Gulf states do not have constitutions or legislatures. Their rulers have limited authority to change laws, since they are based on Sharia as it is interpreted by their religious scholars. Iran shares some of these characteristics, but also has a parliament that legislates in a manner consistent with Sharia.[39]

  8. There are “official” teachings of a religion and religion as it is actually believed and practiced by the adherents. Muslims have lived and continue to live as minorities in a number of different countries without insisting any different, India being the best example, which is the second largest group of Muslims in the world (next to Indonesia).

    The idea of Islam being an “ideology more than a belief system” is certainly not the way Islam has been practiced since the 7th century anymore than Christianity or Judaism or Hinduism or Buddhism. All, in fact, have their “official” teaching (which with Christianity also includes a desire that “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord”, which could be interpreted also ideologically). As a devout Christian myself I, too, would say that my faith demands that it be a “whole way of life.”

    Final point: Saudi Arabia is the only country that even comes close to having the kind of theocracy you believe Muslims are promoting here. Most Muslim majority countries use Shari’a law for family courts, but have a combination of various European laws in place for regular business. If they aren’t even pushing for this kind of ideology in their own countries, why would they be pushing for it here?

    This is called paranoia, I believe – false projections based on the fear of the unknown.

  9. June–I hate to complicate your life, but there are many of us Christians who view Christianity in the same way. (And I still endorse the separation of church and state).

    No there aren’t.

    You don,t understand that in Islam, politics, religion, the organs of state AND the judiciary are all ONE, and are all inextricably intertwined.

    The Koran, with all its hatreds, superstitions and bile IS the consitution of Saudi Arabia.

    Muslims have lived and continue to live as minorities in a number of different countries without insisting any different, India being the best example, which is the second largest group of Muslims in the world (next to Indonesia).

    Have you evdr been to India? Ive seen several Muslim ghettos in India that fly Pakistan’s flag at the entrance.

    There isn’t a single majority-Muslim state in which non-Muslims live as equals under the law.

    And indeed why should they be allowed to live as equals, seeings that the ‘inferiority’ of non-Muslims is divinely ordained.

    I suggest you attend Sunday mass in Iraq for more clarifcation.

    You comment flies in the face of many harsh realities, and amounts to nothing but wishful thinking.

    Here’s just a smidgen of that disgusting reality, that “paranoia” you so love to complain about

    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=170181

    There are more and more apostates from Islam giving clueless, western leftists the straight dope, and at some point you’ll be forced to look at the ugliness for what it is.

    Lastly, I don’t fear the unknown; I know quite a bit about Islam, having first read the Koran over 35 years ago. I,ve gleaned a great deal of info from ex-pat iranians, some of whom are the apostate sons and daughters of clerics.

    You, you are still stuck in equivalence mode because of the comfortable bromides such a mode provides.

    • What has the JPost article got to do with religion? The guy betrayed his people by collaborating with the enemy. He’d be marked for death by the IRA, the Irgun, pretty much every violent nationalist movement ever.

    • “There are more and more apostates from Islam giving clueless, western leftists the straight dope, and at some point you’ll be forced to look at the ugliness for what it is.”

      Does the name Ergun Caner ring a bell?

      • Touche . . . . And he’s just one of a number of phonies who are playing off American ignorance to get rich. Walid Shoebat is another – as phony as a three dollar bill.

    • June: The Koran, with all its hatreds, superstitions and bile IS the consitution of Saudi Arabia.

      John: Actually not. The Qur’an has never been used as the sole source of Islamic law. Nor has there ever been one definitive interpretation of Islamic law. The Saudis represent the most severe form of that law. It is, indeed, the only Muslim majority country where Shari’a law comes close to being the law of the land.

      Apparently you are less clued in than you think you are.

      June: Have you evdr been to India? Ive seen several Muslim ghettos in India that fly Pakistan’s flag at the entrance.

      John: A number of times, actually. I lived for thirteen years in the Arabian Gulf (and have been in Saudi on several occasions – much more repressive society than any other Muslim country), and also have been back and forth to India. So you happened to see a Pakistani flag? And your point? Muslims in this largest of democracies are found on all levels of society, fully integrated, and in no way demanding what you say all Muslims everywhere are demanding – the institution of Shari’a law.

      Are you aware, by the way, that there are only around 3 million Muslims in America out of a population of 300, 000 million? Are you also aware that there is great diversity among even this tiny population. Paranoia reigns supreme among anyone who thinks that a handful of Muslims – or any other tiny minority – is ever going to “take over” the US. But, then, perhaps you also think that our brains are being controlled by aliens, right?

      June: There isn’t a single majority-Muslim state in which non-Muslims live as equals under the law.

      Really? Not Egypt? Syria? The PA? Lebanon? Actually Saudi is the odd country out here. What do you actually know about jurisprudence in these countries. Apparently as much as you know about the Koran (Qur’an).

      June: I suggest you attend Sunday mass in Iraq for more clarifcation.

      I’ve met with Christian leaders and worshiped in a number of Arab countries and what you seem to be hinting at would not be affirmed by them. Each country, in fact, is quite different. As for Iraq, it is tragic that the radical Shi’a community has targeted Iraqi Christians like they have. That’s what our invasion accomplished, as this was not true before the invasion. We have empowered the radicals.

      June: You comment flies in the face of many harsh realities, and amounts to nothing but wishful thinking.

      John: Actually its based on real experience of living and working in the Muslim Middle East. I see no evidence that you have had anything like the same experience, basing your attacks more on hearsay than actual facts.

      June: Lastly, I don’t fear the unknown; I know quite a bit about Islam, having first read the Koran over 35 years ago. I,ve gleaned a great deal of info from ex-pat iranians, some of whom are the apostate sons and daughters of clerics

      John: You’re kidding, right? You read the holy book of a faith community 35 years ago and that makes you an expert? Or talked with a handful of Iranian expats? You know, of course, that there are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world representing a rich civersity of cultures and atitudes and perspectives? Or maybe you aren’t aware of that. There sems to be a lot you aren’t aware of, only that you hate Muslims and will pick up whatever little snippet of anti-Muslim information you can.

  10. “There isn’t a single majority-Muslim state in which non-Muslims live as equals under the law.”

    What June advocates is that non-majority Muslims in this country be granted unequal status under the law.

  11. The Saudis represent the most severe form of that law. It is, indeed, the only Muslim majority country where Shari’a law comes close to being the law of the land.

    You’re full of it. there are presently peple in ‘Palestine’ Pakistan, Afganistan Iran and Egypt who are either imprisoned of facing the death penalty for apostasy, just as in Saudi Arabia.

    Even in oh-so moderate Malaysia it is virtually impossible for a Muslim to change their religion.

    Your assertions haven’t a leg to stand on because this situation is well documented, and the laws governing apostasy are unambiguously drawn from, and sanctioned by, Islam’s core texts, and that situation exists only because Islma makes no distinction between the spiritual and the temporal in the sense we westerners understand such distinctions.

    It’s a plain as the nose on your face.

    But then even when you’re given the straight dope on Islam by none other than the son of a founder of Hamas, you still persist in your denials and fantasies.

  12. ” there are presently peple in ‘Palestine’ Pakistan, Afganistan Iran and Egypt who are either imprisoned of facing the death penalty for apostasy, just as in Saudi Arabia.”

    Please rather than simply making assertions based on heresay provide documented examples – that people are being put to death in Egypt for “apostacy.” The next step will be to document that this is, in fact, the law in all Muslim majority countries as you assert, which will be hard to do considering several of the Muslim converts I know who live openly as converts in Bahrain.

    What you write simply illustrates the point I’m making. Those who start with a prejudice against Muslims find heresay information to pass on as “facts” knowing that there are very few people who have the ability to check those “facts” hoping in this way that it will become “truth” simply by their insistence that it is truth. The moon is made of green cheese too, you know :)

    • I spent some time yesterday trying to read Pam Geller’s posted defense of her libelous statements against Omar Tarazi. Although she claims to have legal representation, the motion to dismiss that she posted has her stream-of-consciousness, dismiss-all-doubters-as-conspiracists style all over it. And since she apparently doesn’t know much about web design, it reads with all page headings and footnotes interspersed in the text.

      But it looks like her defense is:
      1) Nobody should take the things that she says seriously–it’s all just blogging “hyperbole.”
      2) Everything that she said My Pet Jawa said first (that’s the part that I really enjoyed–the merry-go-round of circular citations);
      3) It’s all a conspiracy between Omar Tarazi, Meredith Heagny, Hamas, Noor Islamic Center (for this she cited Stemberger–her co-defendent), Cair, etc; and
      4) Anyway, it’s all covered under Freedom of Speech.

      I gave up reading. It was starting to make my head hurt.

  13. My head hurts everytime I read this kind of stuff. It’s truth by assertion – if you just say it loud enough and often enough with real conviction you’ll get enough people to believe that it must be true.

    With Islam what we’ve got right now are non-Muslims telling other non-Muslims, neither of whom actually knows what they’re talking about, what Muslims believe. Muslims aren’t allowed to speak for themselves. History isn’t allowed to speak for itself. It hyperbole as truth statements hiding behind “freedom of speech.” Case in poitn: June.

  14. This is what happens when bigots run wild.

    And right now, anti-Islam bigotry is very fashionable in the US. Calling it bigotry, in fact, is derided as ignorant.

    … by people who tend to get their information from talk radio.

  15. Here’s an article that highlights why bigots like June are a menace to the values that define America at its best:

    http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/rnstext/another_wound_for_muslims_who_lost_family_on_9_11/

    • Christian Zionism is a movement which supports terrorism, particularly Zionist terrorism. It ought to be banned and it’s hate preachers thrown behind bars for life.

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