Jeffrey Goldberg talks to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who following his appointment of a Muslim judge became a target of anti-Muslim conservatives he dismissed as "sharia crazies," saying "this sharia law business is crap."
“I think al-Qaeda would like it to be a clash of civilizations. They want it to be everybody versus everybody. They are a terrorist movement that believes the only way to achieve their ends is through violence, and they don’t discriminate, they kill Muslims who disagree with them. They certainly didn’t worry about whether there were any Muslims in the towers on 9/11.”
I asked him if he thought his denunciation of the “crazies” would hurt his standing in the Republican Party. “What happened was motivated by ignorance and political opportunism, but I think it’s actually bad politics, because most thinking and voting Americans think that no one should be excluded from office because of their religion,” he said. “A deep faith in God is part of what makes America a great place. Most Americans think that people, as long as they peacefully follow their faith, shouldn’t be demonized.”
Conservatives haven't been happy with Christie pushing back against the silly conspiracy theory that American Muslims are part of a fifth column to institute Taliban style Islamic law in the United States. Andrew McCarthy, who has previously argued that Obama's aggressiveness against al Qaeda is part of his effort to help the Muslim Brotherhood (seriously) argued that the judge, Sohail Mohammed, shouldn't have been appointed because he represented someone who lied on their immigration form about their connections to Hamas. Likewise, Robert Spencer, one of the most cited sources in alleged anti-Muslim Oslo terrorist Anders Breivik, declared that "What is actually “crap” is the idea that Chris Christie is fit to be President of the United States." For the sharia panic crowd, believing that a miniscule percentage of the population will succeed in forcing extreme religious views into the law where the entire religious right has failed is a total dealbreaker.