Christie faces heat from anti-Muslim right

CHRISTIE FACES HEAT FROM ANTI-MUSLIM RIGHT…. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) made several state judicial appointments last week, including an immigration lawyer named Sohail Mohammed, known for having defended many clients falsely accused of terrorism.

The right, at least the contingents that don’t bother with a pretense of avoiding transparent bigotry, really isn’t pleased. George Zornick has been keeping track of conservative reactions, and there are some doozies.

* 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.”

As evidence to bolster the attacks, Christie’s critics point to … nothing in particular. Adam Serwer had a good post on this.

The case against Mohammed — if you care to tumble down that rabbit hole — is that he’s represented people accused of ties to terrorism. The “stealth jihad” crew, despite ostensibly being concerned about the secular rule of law being subverted by Islamic fundamentalists, don’t actually believe in the presumption of innocence, or in providing legal representation to Muslims accused of crimes. The arguments against Mohammed resemble those leveled against Justice Department lawyers who represented Gitmo detainees last year, that providing representation to suspected terrorists automatically means you are sympathetic to the goals of terrorists. With Mohammed of course, the fact that he’s a Muslim adds an extra layer of certainty. […]

At this point, one starts to realize that these [critics on the right] have about as much reverence for American society and the rule of law as the “stealth jihadists” that populate their conspiracy theories.

I’m not much of a fan when it comes to Chris Christie, but these attacks from the right are ugly and odious. When we’ve reached the point at which a Republican governor can’t even name an accomplished Muslim attorney to a district state court bench without a conservative freak-out, the simmering bigotry has bubbled over in unhealthy ways.