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Gibson film violates
'hate crime' statutes?

Claiming Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” has resulted in “hate crimes” against Jews, a nonprofit organization is seeking online signatures for a petition asking Attorney General John Ashcroft to “evaluate possible actions” against the filmmaker.

According to a statement from the Messiah Truth Project Inc. – a nonprofit group that says its purpose is to “combat the deceptive missionary techniques of evangelical Christian denominations and the Messianic movements” – “The Passion,” through “purposeful rewriting of the Christian Gospel mythos has, itself, become an anti-Semitic diatribe.” The organization claims the movie has caused crimes against Jews, synagogues and Jewish cemeteries “throughout the U.S.”

In making its case, the Messiah Truth Project cites Adolf Hitler’s description of a 1934 performance of the Oberammergau passion play in Bavaria as “a convincing portrayal of the menace of Jewry.” The group says the use of extreme graphic violence against Jesus in the film, at the urging of the Jewish crowd, displays a “clear prejudicial bent” against the Jewish faith.

The group has set up a petition that can be signed online. The petition states:

“Gibson’s ‘The Passion’ violates state and federal hate crime statutes for the purposeful encouragement of anti-Semitic violence. We implore U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to evaluate action against the perpetrators involved and those responsible for the work itself.”

While the petition states a goal of 50,000 signatures, just 250 people had signed as of yesterday.

In its statement, the Messiah Truth Project failed to cite specific incidents of violence attributed to a perpetrator who had viewed the film.

On the group’s website, a message proclaims:

“Evangelical Christianity has spent over $1 billion in the last decade to convert Jews to Christianity. Under the guise of ‘Jews for Jesus’ and ‘Hebrew Christians,’ a new threat of spiritual terrorism has emerged in the form of ‘Messianic Synagogues,’ whose theological tenets are identical to the Christian fundamentalists who created them. Their ultimate goal is the eradication of the Jewish people through assimilation – it is our obligation to stop them.”

Editor’s note: Coinciding with the release of Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ,” WorldNetDaily has issued one of the most extraordinary editions of its monthly Whistleblower magazine ever produced, titled “THE DAY JESUS DIED.”

Read WorldNetDaily’s extensive coverage of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.”