New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is no stranger to stating exactly what is on his mind. He took advantage of the opportunity again at a Thursday press conference when he said, “I'm tired of dealing with the crazies.” Christie made the comments in defense of his appointment of a Muslim American to a state judgeship.
Conservative bloggers have been criticizing the appointment of Sohail Mohammed for many months before Christie was asked about it at the press conference. The bloggers were critical of Mohammed for his alleged ties to Islamic extremist groups.
“Sharia law has nothing to do with this at all. It’s crazy. It’s crazy. The guy’s an American citizen who has been an admitted lawyer to practice in the state of New Jersey, swearing an oath to uphold the laws of New Jersey, the constitution of the state of New Jersey, and the Constitution of the United States of America,” Christie said.
Christie, whose candid remarks have generated controversy over the last few months, also said, “this Sharia law business is crap. It’s just crazy. And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies. It’s just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background. This Sharia law business is crap. It’s just crazy.”
Critics of Sohail Mohammed raise issue with his membership on the board of the American Muslim Union (AMU) and his ties to Mohammed Qatanani, an AMU member. The AMU and Mohammed Qatanani, critics argue, have ties to Islamic extremists. Christie, on the other hand, has also been a supporter of Qatanani, taking the view that he is not an extremist.
Commentary magazine, a conservative publication, had competing views on Christie's defense of Sohail Mohammed. Peter Wehner, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, praised Christie for his remarks.
“One of the troubling tendencies that has recently arisen among conservatism is an unfair animus toward Muslim Americans. ... Thankfully, this anti-Muslim strain isn’t dominant within conservatism. But what is discouraging is how few GOP lawmakers and conservative voices have been willing to confront it. Which is why I’m grateful New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spoke out in defense of his appointment of Sohail Mohammed to a state bench. ... It’s one thing, and a laudable thing, not to participate in this ugliness. But it’s another thing, and a far more admirable thing, to stand against it. My former boss, President Bush, did this in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. And now, thankfully, Governor Chris Christie has as well,” Wehner wrote.
Jonathan Tobin countered that, while he agrees with Wehner about anti-Muslim bias in conservatism, he does not think that anti-Muslim bias is the main issue in the concerns over Christie's appointment of Sohail Mohammed.
“But the questions raised about Sohail Mohammed, the American Muslim Union and Christie’s own conduct in the Qatanani case have nothing to do with such nonsense. Rather, this is about the willingness of some Americans to turn a blind eye to the prominent role of Islamists and terror supporters like Qatanani and to the political influence of fixers like Sohail Mohammed. Smearing as bigots those who have posed questions about Christie’s bad judgment is not the same thing as standing up against religious prejudice,” Tobin wrote.