Mohammed is mainly known for the fact that he was the defense attorney for Muslims who were arrested in the wake of 9/11 because of their ties to terror organizations. In one case, Mohammed fought the government’s effort to deport Mohammed Qatanani, the imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County and an influential member of the extremist — though well-connected — American Muslim Union. Though the New York Times praised him in 2008 during his deportation trial as a “revered imam” and portrayed the case as an overreaction to 9/11, Qatanani, a Palestinian, is a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and admitted to being a member of Hamas when he was arrested by Israeli authorities in 1993 before coming to the United States. Though he claimed to be an advocate of interfaith dialogue (and was accepted as such by some liberal Jews), Qatanani was no moderate on the Middle East. His ties to Hamas were well known, and just the year before his deportation trial, Qatanani endorsed Israel’s absorption into an Islamic “Greater Syria.” Qatanani clearly lied about his record as an Islamist on documents that he used to enter the country. But he was nevertheless able to evade justice in the immigration courts because the judge accepted his undocumented claim that the Israelis tortured him.Qatanani also benefited from having some highly placed friends in the justice system as a result of the political pull of the American Muslim Union, which boasts Sohail Mohammed as one of its board members. The AMU was able to get former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, Democratic Congressman Bill Pascrell, and then U.S. attorney Chris Christie to intervene on Qatanani’s behalf during the trial. As far as Christie was concerned, this was not a matter of merely signing a letter or making a phone call. The day before the Immigration Court announced its decision, Christie actually spoke at Qatanani’s mosque (Qatanani’s predecessor had boasted of raising at the mosque $2 million for Hamas via the now banned Holy Land Foundation) at a Ramadan breakfast dinner, where he embraced the imam while praising him as “a man of great good will.”Terror researcher Steve Emerson was quoted at the time as calling Christie’s involvement in the case “a disgrace and an act of pure political corruption,” especially since “I know for certain that Christie and the FBI had access to information about Qatanani’s background, involvement with and support of Hamas.”
Around the Web
Chris Christie’s won the hearts of many conservatives for standing up to charlatans in the public education establishment, but does even he have a dark side? Maybe – Jonathan Tobin has the scoop on Christie’s recent judicial appointment of Sohail Mohammed, who has represented radical Islamists in the past. Consider this a shining example of why I say we shouldn’t be too quick to anoint standard-bearers.
“An unprecedented study that followed several thousand undergraduates through four years of college found that large numbers didn’t learn the critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication skills that are widely assumed to be at the core of a college education.” Surprised? Me neither.
My NRB colleague Walter Hudson explains how Twilight star Kristin Stewart’s plan to set up a halfway house network to help women escape prostitution is only possible because we let people get rich in this country. Love Twilight or hate it (I’ve neither read the books nor seen the movies), you’ve gotta give Stewart credit for this.
Also on NewsReal, Joseph Klein takes issue with Bill O’Reilly going easy on Bill Maher for bashing the Tea Party. It never ceases to amaze me that O’Reilly has a reputation as some right-wing fire breather, considering that he gives passes to abominable liberals all the time, and his definition of “stand-up guy” is basically “anyone willing to come on my show.”
Rep. Steve King wants to get to the bottom of whether or not your federal tax dollars are paying for Planned Parenthood’s telehealth services.