Why he lost my vote for Dog Catcher (jsk)
Why Chris Christie Will Never Be President of the United States
By Daniel Pipes
August 5, 2011
Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor since 2010, has qualities and achievements that appeal to mainstream conservatives, from his direct style to his impressive budget cutting. As a result, he has won impressive support to run as a Republican candidate for president of the United States. But Christie has an Achilles Heel that gives one pause.
He came under criticism from fellow conservatives for nominating Sohail Mohammed, an Islamist who aspires to apply Islamic law, the Shari’a, as a state superior court judge; for an outline of these concerns, see the Investigative Project on Terrorism, “Gov. Christie’s Strange Relationship with Radical Islam.”
In response, Christie delivered a tirade on July 26, 2011, on the topic of Shari’a:
Sharia law has nothing to do with this [i.e., the appointment of Sohail Mohammed] at all. It’s crazy. It’s crazy. … So, this Sharia law business is crap. It’s just crazy. And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies. I mean, you know, it’s just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background. [Excerpt from 2:43 on the video.]
Comments: (1) These are fighting words against fellow conservatives that will not soon be forgotten: “this Sharia law business is crap. It’s just crazy. And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies.”
(2) Calling critics of Mohammed “crazies” who are “accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background” reveals Christie to be a headstrong ignoramus; the IPT report on Mohammed is not about religious background but political activities.
(3) Contrarily, Christie won the hearty endorsement today of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, (CAIR), whose New Jersey branch issued a statement thanking him, applauding him, and urging a note of gratitude be sent him via the “Contact Us” page at the governor’s website.
(4) Not a bad idea to contact Christie: if you live in New Jersey and wish to register your displeasure, go to http://www.state.nj.us/governor/contact/.
(5) Although still a small issue, Shari’a has grown very fast since 9/11 as a concern to Americans and should continue to do so for many years and decades to come.
(6) Conceivably, Christie could apologize for these remarks and undo much of the damage he’s done himself. But, given his public persona, I doubt this will happen.
(7) Therefore, I predict that Christie’s unremitting Grover Norquist-like friendly attitude toward Islamists will turn conservatives against him and sink his possible candidacy of his for higher office. (August 5, 2011)
Aug. 6, 2011 update: For a substantial reply to Christie’s rant, answering him point by point, see the excellent 2,500-word analysis by Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. Excerpts from his article, “Christie’s ‘Crazies’: Sharia is not a figment of our imagination”:
sharia concerns can’t be dismissed as “crap.” They help us sort out the pro-American Muslims we want to empower from the Islamists. When we dismiss these concerns, we end up building bridges to all the wrong people, as government has done, to its repeated embarrassment, for two decades.
That is how we end up “partnering” with the likes of Abdurrahman Alamoudi and Sami al-Arian (both ultimately convicted, with their ties to terrorism duly exposed); Salam al-Marayati, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee leader who argued that Israel should be at the top of the 9/11 suspect list; and such Islamist organizations as CAIR and the Islamic Society of North America, which, though not indicted, were shown by the Justice Department to be co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing case.
Governor Christie would have you believe opposition to Mr. Mohammed was sheer bigotry: “It’s just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background,” he railed to reporters. It’s a narrative Christie fans would like to help cement. It’s not true. For the record, Sohail Mohammed is not just an attorney. He served as a board member for an Islamist organization, the American Muslim Union.
The questions about Governor Christie’s appointment of Sohail Mohammed and his exertions on behalf of Mohammed’s client, Mohammed Qatanani, have nothing to do with either sharia or the all-purpose smear of Islamophobia. They are about the governor’s judgment.
They are about a U.S. attorney with political ambitions pandering to a politically active constituency at the expense of national security and enforcement of the immigration laws. They are about his decision to award a state judgeship to an attorney who was an active and vocal board member of a very troubling Islamist organization — and who has a penchant for presuming that perfectly valid anti-terror prosecutions are, instead, anti-Muslim persecutions. Those questions are not answered by bluster.