August 9, 2011

A REPUBLICAN VS THE RIGHT:

Chris Christie Says Jersey's Safe From Shariah (Jeffrey Goldberg, 8/08/11, Bloomberg)

Even Placido Domingo has the occasional off night. But when Christie settles on a suitable target, his scorn can scatter his enemies like crows from the trees.

Such was the case last week, when he directed a blast of righteous anger at a campaign to thwart the appointment of a prominent Muslim lawyer to the Superior Court in Passaic County, mainly on grounds that the lawyer is, well, a Muslim. "I just thought this was a ridiculous and disgusting situation," Christie told me when I called him this past weekend, a couple of days after his explosion. "I think it is terrible to try to exclude someone from office based only on his religion, and that's what was happening here."

A bit of background: The lawyer in question is an Indian- born Seton Hall graduate named Sohail Mohammed, who represented, while in private practice, Muslims who had been detained by the FBI after the Sept. 11 attacks. None of the men was ever charged with anything related to terrorism. During that tumultuous period, Mohammed also served as a liaison between New Jersey's Muslim community and law-enforcement agencies. This is how Christie, who became the U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey soon after the attacks, first came to know him.

Earlier this year, Christie nominated Mohammed to the Superior Court. Almost immediately, the anti-Muslim blogosphere erupted. Pamela Geller, the doyenne of Web-based anti-Muslim prejudice, wrote, "Governor Christie looked and sounded like he could be presidential. He's not. He's in bed with the enemy."


Posted by Orrin Judd at August 9, 2011 4:29 PM
  
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