City of Brass

City of Brass


Chris Christie defending Muslim Americans

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is just an amazing video from last year of Chris Christie, governor of Jew Jersey (and likely contender for the Republican nomination in 2016):

Suhail Mohammed is an Indian-born American Muslim lawyer who was appointed as a judge by Christie in NJ. It should be noted that Christie will probably face a challenge for the NJ governorship by democrat Cory Booker, who has extremely strong ties to the AIPAC Israeli/Likud lobby (which are overtly Islamophobic), as MJ Rosenberg points out:

Booker is a true believer, involved with Israel and AIPAC since his early 20?s, in large part due to his close friendship with ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Shmuely Boteach. Boteach is a right-wing Republican who is currently running as such for Congress in New Jersey. Here is a video of the two together at an AIPAC fundraiser. Boteach’s description of Booker’s involvement with Israel is extraordinary.

My point here is to underscore the point I made earlier with my endorsement of Obama – that Muslim Americans need to be aware of the issues and align with elected officials who speak directly to our issues rather than become yet another interest group. Democrats like Booker are not automatically preferable to Republicans like Christie, and especially for Muslim Americans in New Jersey the associations and positions of these two politicians should be taken into account during the next gubernatorial election. The same will hold true for the next Presidential election cycle.

Now, of course Christie is also a politician, one with whom I profoundly disagree with on policy issues that also affect Muslim Americans (including the African American community), so don’t read any endorsement of Christie into my words here. The defense of Suhail Mohammed in the video above was also a shrewd political move:

[Christie] has committed himself to threading a very difficult needle, appeasing New Jersey’s left-of-center swing voters in order to survive in 2013 without doing serious damage to the image that has made him a hero to national Republicans and a future White House prospect.

In this context, his defense of Sohail Mohammed is something approaching a political masterstroke. To win over New Jersey’s swing voters, Christie needs them to see his occasional tirades as outbursts of nonpartisan, non-ideological common sense, and not as grandstanding for national conservatives. This latest clip is a step in that direction. At the same time, it doesn’t do serious damage to his positioning on the national stage. As Politico’s Jonathan Martin noted last week, the national G.O.P.’s “professional class” shares Christie’s disdain for overt Muslim-baiting. His standing in their eyes has only improved because of his willingness to decry counterproductive bigotry in his own party.

So, this is also about positioning for 2016, and cultivating appeal not just to segments of the GOP who were marginalized by the Tea Party and are now enjoying some resurgence in the wake of Obama’s win, but also in appealing to moderate and independent voters. Like myself, and other Muslim Americans. But what’s wrong with that?

The bottom line is that Christie is worth watching and deserves consideration.



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.



Previous Posts

is ISIS Islamic? Wrong question.
There is an excellent longform essay on ISIS published in The Atlantic, "What does ISIS Really Want?" that lays out an excellent case fore ISIS being genuinely different in ideology, motivation and ethos than Al Qaeda. The real question boils down to, is ISIS "Islamic" or not - and makes an excellen

posted 11:34:08pm Feb. 17, 2015 | read full post »

The Price of Extremism
This is a guest post by Durriya Badani. The execution style murder of three young North Carolina students, two of whom were hijab wearing Muslim women, raises questions regarding the rise of Islamaphobia in the United States in the form of hate crimes. Some will argue that the motive for the inc

posted 11:26:53am Feb. 12, 2015 | read full post »

Can atheism drive someone to murder? #muslimlivesmatter #chapelhillshooting
Like everyone else, I am in shock at the horrible tragedy in North Carolina last night, where three young Muslim Americans were brutally executed. The police are investigating and the murderer is in custody and cooperating. The family of the victims will hold a press conference soon, until then I am

posted 4:21:58pm Feb. 11, 2015 | read full post »

Halal Italian and Mexican catering in Chicago
This is a guest post by Whitney Gaspar. I am not Muslim. I am not any religion, really. I was baptized as a Catholic to please my grandma and raised as an atheist by my mother. I am spiritual and I believe in God. But that is not why I eat halal. I eat halal because it is logical. It simpl

posted 11:09:45am Feb. 09, 2015 | read full post »

the State of the Ummah, 2014/1436
I tuned into President Obama's 2014 SOTU for a while last week - mainly beca

posted 12:06:37pm Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.