By Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish
New Jersey, the Garden State, has just taken its first step toward becoming the Sharia State, with Governor Christie’s nomination of Sohail Mohammed, an attorney to detained terrorist suspects, to a Superior Court judgeship in Passaic County. The Sohail nomination continues Christie’s unfortunate pandering to the American Muslim Union and the Islamic Center of Passaic County.
Passaic County has the second largest Muslim population in the country. And the Islamic Center of Passaic County is the state’s largest mosque, and it’s the only one run by an an Imam who was a member of the Hamas terrorist organization. But when the United States government attempted to deport Mohammed Qatanani, New Jersey’s pols and wannabe pols like Christie, quickly came to his aid. Despite the fact that Mohammed Qatanani was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that is behind both Al Qaeda and Hamas, despite his own guilty plea to being a member of Hamas, and despite the fact that even in the United States, he had defended a charity that provided funds to children of suicide bombers (this is done as an incentive to reassure terrorists that if they die their families will be taken care of), Qatanani was not deported.
This is less a sign of his innocence, then of the power and influence wielded by Qatanani and the American Muslim Union. There was hardly a top New Jersey public official who did not come out for Qatanani. And that included both of the major candidates in the governor’s race, Governor Jon Corzine and Chris Christie. Christie called Qatanani, “a man of great goodwill” and “a constructive force” and allowed Charles McKenna, one of his associate attorneys to testify on behalf of Qatanani. Afterward Christie tapped McKenna to head New Jersey’s Department of Homeland Security. McKenna had spent a good deal of time on Muslim “outreach” and made numerous statements echoing their talking points.
The pioneering terrorism researcher, Steve Emerson called it, “a disgrace and an act of pure political corruption”. He stated, “I know for certain that Christie and the FBI SAC had access to information about Qatanani’s background, involvement with and support of Hamas.” Defending Qatanani required Christie to pit himself against the Department of Homeland Security, which wanted him deported. But the Department of Homeland Security wasn’t running for office in New Jersey. Christie was.
The first Imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County, Mohammad El-Mezain, was convicted of funneling money to Hamas. El-Mezain had actually boasted of raising almost 2 million dollars for Hamas. And his replacement, Qatanani, actually was a member of Hamas. An ordinary politician might have been forgiven for not knowing this, but Christie was the US Attorney for New Jersey. It’s absolutely impossible that he would not have known the background of the Islamic Center of Passaic County. Yet Christie attended a Ramadan dinner, in the same place where terrorists had fundraised, and kissed Qatanani on the cheek.
Now Christie has nominated Sohail Mohammed, Qatanan’s former lawyer, to a Superior Court judgeship. Sohail Mohammed is a board member of the American Muslim Union, an organization that has interlocking leadership with groups that have fundraised for Hamas and hosted a Hamas speaker. The American Muslim Union is closely interlinked with Qatanani’s Islamic Center of Passaic County.
When five Muslims were convicted of plotting to murder US soldiers at New Jersey’s Fort Dix, American Muslim Union president, Mohamad Younes, came out in their defense. When El-Mezain, the original Imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County, was convicted, Younes claimed that he had only been convicted because he was a Muslim. The ICPC and the AMU shared five members in their leadership, which essentially makes them one and the same. Nominating an AMU board member is an indirect payoff to the Islamic Center of Passaic County’s own leadership… and to Mohammed Qatanani.