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Claiming Chris Christie Has An ‘Islam Problem,’ Pipes And Emerson Demonstrate NRO’s Islamophobia Problem

2 May 2012 ThinkProgress 9 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Claiming Chris Christie Has An ‘Islam Problem,’ Pipes And Emerson Demonstrate NRO’s Islamophobia Problem

By Matt Duss on May 1, 2012, ThinkProgress

In National Review, Daniel Pipes and Steven Emerson — two key figures in the Islamophobia network discussed in CAP’s 2011 Fear, Inc report — write that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) “has a problem, specifically an Islam problem, that can and should get in the way of his possible ascent to higher office”:

In short, Christie has hugged a terrorist-organization member, abridged free-speech rights, scorned concern over Islamization, and opposed law-enforcement counterterrorism efforts. Whenever an issue touching on Islam arises, Christie takes the Islamist side against those — the DHS, state senators, the NYPD, even the ACLU — who worry about lawful Islamism eroding the fabric of American life.

A perusal of the authors’ case against Christie reveals it as comically weak, full of highly questionable characterizations and buttressed by links that don’t actually demonstrate what they’re supposed to. In a typical example, they criticize Christie for voicing support for Mohammed Qatanani, imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County, “on the eve of his deportation hearing for not hiding an Israeli conviction for membership in Hamas.” They do not mention that the hearing resulted in Qatanani being cleared of charges.

Pipes and Emerson knock Christie for his concern over revelations of the New York City Police Department’s spying on New Jersey Muslims, suggesting that he should’ve shown “gratitude” for the NYPD operating outside its jurisdiction.

And of course the authors take special offense at Christie’s bold defense of New Jersey state superior court judge Sohail Mohammed against attacks by anti-Islam activists, in which Christie offered the most cogent summation of the anti-sharia movement on record: “It’s crap. It’s just crazy.”

Pipes and Emerson suggest that there is tension between Christie’s friendly relations with Muslims and his “ostentatiously” pro-Israel stance. “This makes him unusual,” the authors write, “for a pro-Israel stance typically goes hand-in-hand with concern about Shari’a.” But in asserting such a zero-sum relationship between support for Muslim constituents and support for Israel, Pipes and Emerson inadvertently demonstrate two things: First, their own ignorance about Israel. Since its founding, Israel has maintained a publicly-funded Sharia court system for the some 19 percent of Israelis who are Muslim. (Israeli society is fraught with numerous challenges, but imminent takeover by sharia law does not appear to be one of them.) And second, that their real agenda involves creating difficulty for Christie among pro-Israel voters. As with all such smear efforts, the goal here isn’t to actually demonstrate that Christie has done anything wrong, merely to create the sense that there are “troubling questions” about Christie’s views and relationships.

While Pipes and Emerson fail to demonstrate that Chris Christie has an “Islam problem,” they succeed in demonstrating that National Review still has an Islamophobia problem. Last month the magazine took important steps to rid itself of two writers who had expressed bigoted views toward African-Americans. It’s long past time that National Review do the same with those of its writers expressing similar views toward Muslim Americans.

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9 Comments »

  1. seperation of religion and state, above all. freedom of speech can’t exist without out it. may the caliphate never rise. may jesus never return to rule. freedom for all, including the pagans…..may no apostate be stoned or any adult fornicator be lashed. may the stupidity of the torah and the bible amd the koran be abandon.

  2. I don’t like Chris Christie because of his stand on MANY things, but one thing I LIKE is his lack of prejudice toward Islam.

  3. Pipes and Emerson are the original Islamophobe dickheads. I remember them from 20 years ago, a decade before 9/11 and the current wave.

  4. This may be off topic, but I dont know where else to post it:

    As someone who wants to know what is up and down in all this islam / terrorism thing, I was wondering if anyone of you recommend what you think are the best books about islam, terrorism and the middle east in general?

  5. Great picture of Pipes! He sure looks like he hates everybody including himself. LOL

  6. Chris Christie has an eating problem more than anything else.

  7. yuri,

    have no idea about books, but faithinallah.org is a website that has a koran and some books of hadiths posted. but you should definately get a copy of the koran. the local cair spokesman gave me my copy. it’s “The Message of the Qur’an Translated and Explained by Muhammad Asad”

    for daily news i would sugesst the BBC.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17949042

    if you read the hadiths you miight see the reasons why muslim blow themselves and others up on a regular basis.

    Volume 4, Book 52, Number 44:

    Narrated Abu Huraira:

    A man came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).” He replied, “I do not find such a deed.” Then he added, “Can you, while the Muslim fighter is in the battle-field, enter your mosque to perform prayers without cease and fast and never break your fast?” The man said, “But who can do that?” Abu- Huraira added, “The Mujahid (i.e. Muslim fighter) is rewarded even for the footsteps of his horse while it wanders bout (for grazing) tied in a long rope.”

  8. Chris: its true!! Lol

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