Sultan Knish — Representing 9/11 detainees may make him a less than ideal choice in a state that lost a great many people to Muslim terrorism on that day, but if that alone were the issue, there would be little to discuss here. Attorneys can and do represent clients without sharing their beliefs. The problem comes about when the attorney shares the beliefs of his clients.
Examples of lawyers like that include Lynn Stewart and Stanley Cohen. Like them, Sohail Mohammed did not just defend terrorists as an attorney, he made appearances on their behalf as a private citizen. From the Holy Land Foundation trial to Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian to a defense of Imam Quantani, even when he was no longer acting as his lawyer–Sohail Mohammed always seemed ready and willing to condemn the government’s legal campaign against terrorists, not in court, but as a private citizen. The issue is not so much what Sohail Mohammed did in court, as what he did out of court.
The issue isn’t that Sohail Mohammed is a Muslim.
In 2008, Judge Joseph Charles, a non-Muslim Superior Court Judge, heard a case involving a 17 year old Muslim girl in an arranged marriage who had been repeatedly beaten and raped by her husband. An Imam was called to the stand who testified that a wife must comply with her husband’s sexual demands. And Judge Charles decided that the husband was acting within the norms of Muslim practice, and could not be held accountable for it.
Again, Judge Charles was not a Muslim. Yet he issued a ruling in compliance with Islamic law, a legal code that discriminates against women. Lefty blogs have mocked the idea of Sharia in New Jersey. Except for that woman who stood in front of Judge Charles, it wasn’t a joke, but a horrible reality. And who was Judge Charles, he was a former Senator representing Jersey City, which has one of the larger regional Muslim populations.
We can see that a judge does not need to be a Muslim in order to rule in accordance with the discriminatory codex of Muslim laws. The issue is not that Sohail Mohammed is a Muslim, but what his view of the role of Islam in public life is.
The issue is that Sohail Mohammed is on the board of trustees of the Muslim American Union.
The American Muslim Union is not a benign group, it has been accused of being extremist in the past, and shares much of its leadership with the Islamic Center of Passaic County, a mosque that certainly is extremist. Despite its nature, Christie has appeared at the ICPC and befriended its Imam, Imam Qatanani, who admitted to being a member of Hamas. Sohail Mohammed defended the Imam, as his lawyer and later spoke out as a private citizen. This raises concerns about both Sohail Mohammed and Christie.
There are legitimate concerns that the nomination is going forward as a payoff to Imam Qatanani of the ICPC, whose support Christie solicited during the election.
Imam Qatanani‘s association with the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization which seeks to impose Islamic law worldwide, and which has generated terrorist groups such as Hamas and Al Qaeda, raises legitimate questions about any politicians who would choose to affiliate themselves with him, and any organizations he is involved with. He has already shown the ability to compel politicians of both parties to do his will. The Muslim American Union is closely integrated with Qatanani’s mosque and Sohail’s role in the MAU should bear close scrutiny, particularly in light of recent revelations by terrorist researcher Steve Emerson that the AMU list appears to have circulated anti-semitic apologetics for 9/11.
The issue also is that New Jersey cannot afford a Superior Judge who is sympathetic or affiliated with Islamic extremists.
Rather than ratifying Sohail Mohammed without vetting him, his defenders should perform the due diligence necessary to clear the path for him. So far that hasn’t happened. Any questions raised about Sohail Mohammed have been treated as illegitimate without any actual grounds. Attacks have been leveled against those asking the questions, in order to ridicule the subject off the stage. It is of course easy to dismiss all questions by shouting racism, even though Islam is not a race.
But Judge Joseph Charles was not a Muslim, yet he denied justice to a Muslim woman, because his political background in Jersey City may have predisposed him to give more weight to the discriminatory dictates of Islamic law, rather than the laws of the State of New Jersey.
It is possible to be a Muslim, without following the discriminatory tenets of Islamic law. Without oppressing women, discriminating against gay people or hating Jews or Christians. Likewise, it is possible to be a non-Muslim, and yet give excuse such actions because they have a basis in the Koran. As Judge Joseph Charles did.
Charles is not a Muslim. Neither is Christie. But both have enabled Islamists to avoid the law. The law that says you cannot rape your wife or be a member of an Islamic terrorist organization, just because the Koran says so. Now the question falls on Sohail Mohammed. Can he honestly dispense justice or will he be influenced by his ties to Islamists in the AMU?
It’s not a ridiculous or a theoretical question. New Jersey has already experienced a Superior Court Judge ruling based on Islamic law. That makes it vital that no such incident can take place again. Too much depends on it.
The role of a judge is to bear the burden of the law. American law is the product of the people. Islamic law is the product of a religious theocracy. Any liberal who holds a lifelong membership in the ACLU, and devours articles about the dangers of Dominion Theology, should ask himself why he is so willing to ignore the political rise of a theocratic cult in any corner of the United States? Even at the cost of more abused women being denied justice because Islamic Sharia law says that a wife cannot say no to her husband.
To properly address the controversy involving Sohail Mohammed’s nomination by Governor Christie, it is important to take a long hard look at the American Muslim Union, at his relationship with him Imam Qatanani and at Sohail’s out of court activity and statements on terrorist prosecutions.