Chris Christie: Stop Playing Politics And Stop Painting All Muslims As Extremists
I don’t intend to highlight every politicians response regarding the proposed Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan, but this statement from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stands out because it seems like an island of sanity in what is turning into a vast ocean of cynical political pandering:
Given my last position, that I was the first U.S attorney post 9/11 in New Jersey, I understand acutely the pain and sorrow and upset of the family members who lost loved ones that day at the hands of radical Muslim extremists. And their sensitivities and concerns have to be taken into account. Just because it’s nearly nine years later, those sensitivities cannot and should not be ignored. On the other hand, we cannot paint all of Islam with that brush. …We have to bring people together. And what offends me the most about all this, is that it’s being used as a political football by both parties. And what disturbs me about the president’s remarks is that he is now using it as a political football as well. I think the president of the United State should rise above that. And should not be using this as a political football, and I don’t believe that it would be responsible of me to get involved and comment on this any further because it just put me in the same political arena as all of them.
“My principles on this are two-fold. One, that we have to acknowledge, respect and give some measure of deference to the feelings of the family members who lost their loved ones there that day. But it would be wrong to so overreact to that, that we paint Islam with a brush of radical Muslim extremists that just want to kill Americans because we are Americans. But beyond that … I am not going to get into it, because I would be guilty of candidly what I think some Republicans are guilty of, and the president is now, the president is guilty of, of playing politics with this issue, and I simply am not going to do it.”
Asked if he’d call upon both parties to stop, he said, “Well, that again will be playing politics with the issue. I said what I feel about it, and I don’t believe it is up to me to pontificate on other people about what they should do. I just observe what I observe. And I don’t believe that this issue should be a political football. I just don’t. And I think that both sides of this issue now are using this as a political football. And I don’t think it brings people together in America, I think it just further drives people apart, and creates divisions, and I think that’s bad for our country. And all people in our country suffer when those kind of things happen.”
I wish there were more Republicans, and Democrats, out there saying stuff like this.