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Chris Christie Attacked By Conservative Bloggers For Appointing A Muslim Judge

Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie appointed immigration lawyer Sohail Mohammed to serve on the Passaic County Superior Court. By all accounts, Mr. Mohammed has a stellar record as an attorney and a long-standing practice in Clifton, New Jersey. In 2001, he defended several Muslim-Americans who were picked up for “suspicious” activity in the wake of the September 11th attacks. All of these men were subsequently cleared of any involvement in any kind of suspicious activities. However, that’s doesn’t mean Christie isn’t being criticized for the appointment:

Several prominent anti-Muslim voices on the right have reacted with characteristic vitriol to the elevation of a Muslim in the U.S. justice system, calling Mohammed “the enemy” and accusing Christie of turning New Jersey into a “Sharia State.” A sampling of their response:

- In a widely linked post, “Governor Christie’s Dirty Islamist Ties,” blogger Daniel Greenfield writes that “New Jersey, the Garden State, has just taken its first step toward becoming the Sharia State,” and criticized Christie for being “willing to stand up to the teacher’s union, but not to the terrorist’s union.

- Hate blogger Pamela Gellar, in a post titled “Governor Christie’s Hamas Pick for Superior Judgeship,” declared Christie’s political career over: “Governor Christie looked and sounded like he could be presidential. He’s not. He’s in bed with the enemy. All the other stuff doesn’t matter if you don’t have your freedom.

- At Commentary magazine, Jonathan S. Tobin wrote a post about Christie’s “troubling appointment,” and charged that Christie’s “appointment of Sohail Mohammed to the court shows that his judgment on the issue of support for terrorism is highly questionable.”

- The Investigative Project on Terrorism warned Christie’s appointment of an “Islamist” to a judgeship “betrays either naivete or calculation. Either is troubling.”

- PowerLine blog took extra pains to note that “The attorney’s name is Mohammed, first name Sohail — Sohail Mohammed.”

I know this doesn’t represent the attitude of everyone on the right, but the extent to which anti-Muslim bigotry like this is accepted and encouraged and given support is really rather disturbing.

As for Governor Christie, I don’t think he really cares what the Pamela Gellar’s of the world think, and I have a pretty good idea of what his response would be if someone asked him about this.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ken says:

    We’re doomed. Not for the reasons they think. Because of the prevalence of people like them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    A true Muslim will never do harm to another Muslim. That includes criticizing them publicly and, in the case of a judge, subjecting them to punishment for crimes that are permitted under Islam, such as beating a wife.

    This appointment will come back to haunt Christie one day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  3. mantis says:

    Ooh, tell us more about “true Muslims,” Patrick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  4. Brian Lehman says:

    How sadly predictable. Absolutely disgusting, but totally predictable. And these people claim to care about the Constitution, freedom of religion, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. Ernieyeball says:

    Kinda like the white judges in the legally segregated south would never do harm to another honkie. Mr. McGuire’s future fears are that Judge Mohammed will actually follow American legal precedent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  6. Ben Wolf says:

    Let’s be very clear about this. These people aren’t conservatives, they’re right-extremists. I’m tired of conceding the mantle of conservatism to radicals, giving them the cover of legitmacy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  7. mantis says:

    Let’s be very clear about this. These people aren’t conservatives, they’re right-extremists. I’m tired of conceding the mantle of conservatism to radicals, giving them the cover of legitimacy.

    Hear, hear!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  8. PJ says:

    @Patrick T. McGuire:
    “A true Muslim will never do harm to another Muslim.”

    really, that’s your view? So it’s your view then that every Muslim suicide bomber that blows up other Muslims, aren’t a true Muslim?

    Interesting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  9. PJ says:

    @Patrick T. McGuire:
    “A true Muslim will never do harm to another Muslim.”

    really, that’s your view? So it’s your view then that every Muslim suicide bomber who blows up other Muslims aren’t true Muslims?

    Interesting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Franklin says:

    Real conservatives believe in the rule of law. It appears that Christie does, his detractors do not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. anjin-san says:

    Patrick,

    It must be terrible to be a man, and yet live so filled with fear. Poor you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. MM says:

    A true Christian will never do harm to another Christian. That includes criticizing them publicly and, in the case of a judge, subjecting them to punishment for crimes that are permitted under Christianity, such as beating a child.

    This appointment will come back to haunt Christie one day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  13. John Burgess says:

    And again, Mr. Wolf says it exactly right. These people aren’t conservatives, they’re hate-mongering, frightened twerps who know how to stoke fear and hatred–and earn a few bucks doing it. As long as they make money, what’s the incentive to change?

    In a different context, they’re just Nancy Grace, off their nut on a different topic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. michael reynolds says:

    Uh huh. Not “true” conservatives.

    And yet they are self-identified conservatives and Republicans as well. And of course the “good” conservatives are happy to profit from their votes. And they don’t really say much about the Limbaughs and Hannitys of conservatism who pander to these “not true” conservatives. These “not true” conservatives who are, what, a third of the GOP vote? At least?

    Subtract these creatures from the GOP and you know what the GOP’s chances would be of winning elections? Zero.

    Cut the crap: the GOP embraces people like this in order to win. Anything for a tax cut. But for their own self-respect the “true” conservatives have to make the right noises.

    Virtuous noise, corrupt acquiescence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Peter says:

    Pssst! Haven’t you heard? The Towel Heads are soon going to Conquer the World, just like they’ve already Eurabia. We’re doomed!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. And, it is worth noting, that these are same people in many instances (Gellar being the most obvious example) who were in high freak-out mode over the so-called Ground Zero Mosque.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. Ben Wolf says:

    Well, that’s an unfortunate truth Michael. I can’t really argue with your point. But there’s no way I’d ever put people like this in the same category as Andrew Bacevich or William Ruckelshaus, men I personally consider to be “real” conservatives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. Ben Wolf says:

    The reason these people aren’t conservatives is that they aren’t attempting to conserve anything. Their venom weakens our civil society, their hate drains our treasury via endless wars, and their nihilism weakens our democratic institutions.

    Most of us are at least a little bit conservative. We want to preserve what we believe is good, and avoid actions we fear could lead to disaster. Unfortunately this sometimes means conservatives tolerate great injustice; the crusade for racial and sexual equality in the twentieth century was almost entirely the product of the left. Yet in working to preserve programs like Social Security and Medicare, liberals reveal their own form of conservatism, one which I believe our society needs.

    But these people. What they have made clear is their belief that everything, EVERYTHING, deserves to be destroyed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Herb says:

    I don’t think highly of Think Progress, but I do like their description of Gellar as a “hate blogger.” Very apt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Tlaloc says:

    I can’t muster much sympathy for people who march at the head of a crowd of rabid crazies then yelp when they get trampled.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. michael reynolds says:

    Ben:

    The problem is that conservatism, and its political expression the GOP, have become inseparable from these people. You know how many states the GOP could carry without the hater vote? None.

    Republicans know this. So they take the money, and they take the votes, and they make little sotto voce quibbles but in the end they bow down to Limbaugh et al so that they can win. Setting aside electoral imperatives, can you explain to me why people like this are still accepted and in the case of Limbaugh lauded within a party that talks about principle?

    I’m sorry but the tut-tutting isn’t enough. Not so long as Republican power rests squarely on these “untrue” conservatives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Kylopod says:

    Sarah Palin claimed she wanted “peace-seeking Muslims” to “refudiate” the Cordoba Initiative. At the time I was at a loss as to what sorts of Muslims she would consider peace-seeking if Imam Rauf wouldn’t do. To this group of bloggers, the answer is obvious: the only peaceful Muslim is a dead Muslim.

    P.S. This thread is No-True-Scotsman-tastic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. ApolloSpeaks says:

    So a true Conservative would accept the nomination of a Israel hating, pro-Hamas, 9/11 terror attorney to the NJ Supreme Court? What is conservative about that? Where is the “radicalsim” in opposing this nomination?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. sam says:

    Well, Apollo, if you can’t even get the court right, why should we credit anything you have to say?
    The appointment is to the Passaic County Superior Court.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. Michael says:

    I know this doesn’t represent the attitude of everyone on the right

    Indeed, with the exception of Geller, I’ve never heard of any of those people. And we should have all known that Geller would freak out about it (she’s probably against doctors delivering Muslim babies).

    the extent to which anti-Muslim bigotry like this is accepted and encouraged and given support is really rather disturbing.

    With the Cordoba House, yes, it was definitely accepted and encouraged by major figures in the party. I’d hope that they don’t do the same for this, but I’ve pretty much lost all hope of the GOP taking a reasonable stance on anything.

    And yet they are self-identified conservatives and Republicans as well. And of course the “good” conservatives are happy to profit from their votes

    Replace “conservative” with “muslim”, and you’ll see the error in your statement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. [...] Mataconis comments: I know this doesn’t represent the attitude of everyone on the right, but the extent to which [...]

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  27. Ben Wolf says:

    Michael, I think conservatives are out there voting for Democrats. The truth is the so-called “real” conservative was only a small minority in the Republican Party, though it did provide moderation and intellectual heft. Now that concepts like critical thought, empiricism amd self-awareness have been purged we see the Republican core’s rotten heart, bitterness and nihilistic rage.

    I’m only 33 and considered myself a conservative until the religious right and Bush Administration forced me to reconsider my political opinions. An uncomfortable process I can tell you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. John says:

    Michael Reynolds,

    There is nothing conservative about these people. They are reactionaries.

    They also call themselves Americans and patriots. Do you accept those as representative, too?

    When Democrats repudiate votes from Michael Moore and his ilk, then the Republicans can disavow people like this. If conservatives or Republicans have a responsibility to do more than “tut-tut”, I am sure there are more than enough crazies on your side to keep you busy. Undoubtedly, you would like nothing more than for the Republicans to spend every waking moment purging themselves of all elements that you find distasteful, and there is a time and place for purges, but every time an unknown wing-nut gets up and says something stupid, does the chairman of the GOP need to make a statement?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  29. mantis says:

    Indeed, with the exception of Geller, I’ve never heard of any of those people.

    The three stooges of Powerline are pretty well known. As is Commentary in general, and Tobin in particular.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. mqrk says:

    they sound more like jews that hate america more then conservatives

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. Davebo says:

    but every time an unknown wing-nut gets up and says something stupid, does the chairman of the GOP need to make a statement?

    Unknown wingut? Are Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck really unknown? How about Rep. Peter King (R-NY)? Newt Gingrich?

    I realize it’s got to be tough to defend the delusional rants coming from you base. But as others have pointed out, without them you end up with, at best, 30 republican city councilmen nation wide.

    Is it fair to the roughly 2/3rd’s of Republicans that are actually sane? No, it’s not. But since there would likely be no need for a chairman of the GOP without them, and since the GOP happily seeks them out, you’ll just have to learn to live with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  32. michael reynolds says:

    I am sure there are more than enough crazies on your side to keep you busy.

    There’s a big difference. We have crazies. The Republicans are crazies.

    In the GOP it’s the rational ones who are the fringe. Doug and James are the fringe. They’ll go to CPAC and be surrounded by anti-Muslim bigots, anti-gay bigots, race-baiters, all the Limbaugh fans and Hannity-lovers and Palinistas and of course the people who just love to talk about watering the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots. Doug and James aren’t any of those things, but they also aren’t the people with power in the GOP.

    The fact that the only guy you can think of on the left is MIchael Moore is proof in itself. Is Moore a congressman? A Senator? Does he have a TV network?

    And FYI, when my party fell under the sway of what felt to me like anti-American radicals, I cast my vote for Nixon. I prefer not to belong to organizations filled with people I’d never want to sit down and have a drink with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  33. [...] controversy surrounding a judicial appointment, at least among conservatives: Last week, the pundits on talk radio and in the conservative blogosphere were asking the same question posed by Augustine, a retiree from Cedar Grove. All were busy [...]

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