Aasif Mandvi, the muslim correspondent for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, recently made a trip to Murfreesboro to cover the outrage over a planned Islamic center. While the coverage, aired on August 25th, is definitely intended to be humorous, it sheds light on the bigotry and ignorance of those voicing their opposition to its construction.
Mandvi spoke with Laurie Cardoza-Moore, a staunchly pro-Israel advocate, who is leading the opposition to the building of the Islamic center. Cardoza-Moore is also the president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, a pro-Zionism organization with a strong conservative Christian membership. “This has nothing to do with religion. It’s about stopping the advancement of radical Islam in the United States,” said Cardoza-Moore in her interview with Mandvi. Cardoza-Moore apparently doesn’t realize that opposing a religion’s right to free worship has everything to do with religion.
She also makes the fallacious supposition that all Muslims are members of “radical Islam.” She is even quoted saying, “30% based on the numbers that were done are terrorists.” There isn’t much context for that quote, but one can assume that she is implying that 30% of Muslims are terrorists. Whatever the context may be, it is clear that she is using every opportunity to draw links between Al Qaeda and Muslims in America.
Cardoza-Moore admits that the Murfreesboro Muslim community has already had a mosque in place for decades. It is clear by her all-too-timely opposition to their expansion into new quarters that she is capitalizing off the rampant anti-Islam sentiments drummed up by the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque”, a building that would be 2.5 blocks from Ground Zero on the same hallowed ground where there is currently a strip club (only one block from Ground Zero). Mandvi points out that in all the years of the mosque’s existence there have been no episodes of violence from the Muslim community. Cardoza-Moore replies, “None yet.” Cardoza-Moore is calling her shots directly from the religious right’s book of fearmongering tactics.
Cardoza-Moore also stated, “Islam is a political system of global domination.” One could argue that Christianity is as well, though the language of the Great Commission is certainly less colorful that the similar proclamations in the Quran and Hadith. Like Christians, there are cafeteria Muslims as well that do not follow their religion’s holy book to the letter. On a personal note, I have had many different varieties of Christians knock on my door trying to recruit me, but I have never once had a Muslim knock on my door. Christian missionary tactics are widespread and seek similar aims of global spread. One would have to be blind to not see their belief system injected into our political system from all angles.
Like Jon Stewart said, “One side says our wekness emboldens jihadists. The other side says our strength embitters jihadists. How about we try a new system where we don’t give a f*** about what they think?”
View the video on The Daily Show’s website.