The Senate Education Committee passed a resolution Wednesday to appoint Laurie Cardoza-Moore to Tennessee’s State Textbook Commission.
But critics are concerned by Cardoza-Moore’s past anti-Muslim activism.
One of those critics, Memphis Democrat Raumesh Akbari, said she believes Tennessee’s students deserve better.
“I cannot think of someone who is more uniquely unqualified to be in this position,” she says. “This individual has peddled hate and anti-Muslim rhetoric, and a conspiracy theory about what happened during September 11th.”
Cardoza-Moore has criticized textbooks for including instruction about Islam and passages that she describes as anti-Semitic. She opposed a high school textbook used in Williamson County, for instance, because it included a Palestinian view of the conflict in the West Bank. After considering her complaint, the school board rejected her claims of anti-Semitism.
Cardoza-Moore was also heavily involved in an effort a decade ago to block construction of a mosque in Murfreesboro. She claimed it was part of a Muslim plot to take over Tennessee.
Akbari described Cardoza-Moore’s defense of Judaism as a “cloak” to attack Muslims.
“To have someone who devalues other people’s religion … is insane,” said Akbari.
At the hearing, Cardoza-Moore said that she aims to correct “inaccurate” and “biased” content found in America’s textbooks.
“We have seen propaganda that has turned our children against our country and the freedoms and the values that we were raised with,” she said.
If confirmed, she will serve on a committee of 16 members who oversee textbook materials. The resolution will now move to the House and Senate floors for final votes.