Christie Bent on Including Islamists in Security Forums

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The top tier of NJ law enforcement continues to meet and consult with extremists even though Gov. Christie knows their ideology.

BY RYAN MAURO:

Almost 10 months after the Clarion Project originally made public its discovery that four Islamists are members of N.J. Governor Chris Christie’s Muslim Outreach committee, the Clarion Project has obtained documents obtained from the Office of the Attorney General that the four radicals continue to participate in this sensitive forum.

In addition, a fifth committee member with a faulty background has since been identified. Christie also appointed the Attorney Generalwho oversees the committee as the interim Senator after the death of Senator Lautenberg.

On November 15, 2012, Clarion released the names and backgrounds of four committee members, including a Hamas-linked imam named Mohammad Qatanani whose deportation is sought by the Department of Homeland Security. Christie has long defended the imam, describing him as a friend in July 2012 and attacking his critics as “bigots.”

QatananiThe four were:

Imam Mohammad Qatanani, whose deportation is sought by the Department of Homeland Security for not disclosing on his green card application that he was arrested and convicted by Israel in 1993 for his involvement with Hamas;

 

 

Ahmed ShedeedAhmed Shedeed, a fervent website currently contains disturbing statements about jihad, the West, wife beating and polygamy;

Mohammed Younes, the President of the American Muslim Union, a group with Islamist leadership and close ties to Qatanani’s mosque, which was founded by a Hamas fundraiser; and

Imam Abdul Basit of the New Brunswick Islamic Center, a mosque founded by a radical cleric. In July, it held a Brotherhood-linked seminar featuring multiple extremist speakers.

Disturbing information about a fifth committee member, Khader “Ken” Abuassab of Paterson, has since been found. After the controversy over the NYPD’s intelligence-gathering in N.J. began ,Abuassab said, “I would tell people not to cooperate” with law enforcement because “I can’t promise people they will be safe or not be spied on again.”

Abuassab pled guilty to credit card fraud in 2002 after using over 40 cards to make $615,000 in purchases. He then declared bankruptcy to have the debt wiped out. Two years later, he was sentenced to 13 months in prison; a request for a delay so he could make the pilgrimage to Mecca was rejected.

Abuassab organized Paterson Mayor Jeffrey Jones’ declaration of May 19, 2013 as “Palestinian-American Day” and the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s flag flew over City Hall. The chosen date coincided with Israel’s Independence Day holiday. About 120 demonstrators protested in Paterson, which Abuassab says is called “Little Ramallah.” (Ramallah is the seat of governance of the Palestinian Authority in Israel.)

It is obvious that the Clarion Project ‘s November 15 revelations about the Islamists on Christie’s Muslim outreach committee, which were picked up by the Daily Caller, show that our research has not compelled the Christie Administration to change course.

Read more at The Clarion Project

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Four Islamists on Gov. Christie’s Muslim Outreach Committee

by: Ryan Mauro

A RadicalIslam.org investigation has discovered that at least four Islamists sit on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s Muslim outreach committee, which was formed after Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa concludedin May that NYPD intelligence-gathering operations in New Jersey did not break any laws.

All of the information about the Islamist backgrounds of these four committee members is publicly available, yet the Christie Administration picked them to serve as liaisons to the Muslim community of the state. As a result, they are having private meetings with N.J.’s top security officials. This is just the latest example of Christie’s embrace of Islamists that should be shunned, not exalted.

The discovery that the Islamists were on the committee was made when RadicalIslam.org obtained a previously unreleased list of committee members present at a September 5, 2012 meeting at the Leroy Smith Building in Newark.

The four committee members of concern are:

  • Imam Mohammad Qatanani, whose deportation is sought by the Department of Homeland Security for not disclosing on his green card application that he was arrested and convicted by Israel in 1993 for his involvement with Hamas;
  • Ahmed Shedeed, a fervent supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and President of the Islamic Center of Jersey City, a mosque with a history of Islamist leadership. Its website currently contains disturbing statements about jihad, the West, wife beating and polygamy;
  • Mohammed Younes, the President of the American Muslim Union, a group with Islamist leadership and close ties to Qatanani’s mosque, which was founded by a Hamas fundraiser; and
  • Imam Abdul Basit of the New Brunswick Islamic Center, a mosque founded by a radical cleric. In July, it held a Brotherhood-linked seminar featuring multiple extremist speakers.

Addressing the committee were: Attorney General Chiesa, NJ State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes and the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Director Edward Dickson. These addresses were followed by dialogue with committee members.

Other NJ officials that were present at the meeting were: First Assistant Attorney General Calcagni, Special Assistant Christopher Iu, Special Assistant Paul Salvatoriello, State Police Major Gerald Lewis and Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Community Affairs Chief John Paige.

Profiles of the Four Islamist Committee Members

Imam Mohammad Qatanani

Imam Mohammad QatananiThe most notorious of the committee members is Mohammad Qatanani. He was arrested in Israel in 1993 because of his links to Hamas, including the fact that his brother-in-law was a Hamas official in the West Bank. Qatanani told the Israelis that he had been a member of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood but left in 1991 because he had limited time for this project. The Israeli government says he admitted to being a Hamas member and was convicted, but he was released as part of a plea bargain. The Department of Homeland Security is seeking his deportation for failing to disclose this on his green card application.

In 1994, Qatanani moved to NJ to lead the Islamic Center of Passaic County in Paterson, a mosque founded in 1989 by Hamas fundraiser Mohammed El-Mezain. In November 1994, El-Mezain stated that ICPC was collecting money for Hamas, according to an FBI report. The two men jointly led the ICPC and lived together as El-Mezain raised money for terrorism until he stepped down in 1999. In July 2006, the Department of Homeland Security began deportation proceedings against Qatanani.

The DHS says Qatanani “engaged in terrorist activity” and is guilty of “material misrepresentation” and “engaging in unauthorized employment … by allowing an out-of-status alien to reside with him.” It also describes a “highly dubious” transfer of thousands of dollars to the West Bank.

“It is certainly suspicious when a person who has been convicted of being a member of, and providing services, to Hamas, who has personal ties to a Hamas militant leader, and a Hamas fundraiser also sends undisclosed cash to the West Bank,” the 2008 DHS court filing states.

Qatanani is the only Hamas supporter identified by name in a July 2008 NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness intelligence report about the Hamas network in the state. His preaching between 2007 and 2009 reflected his radical views, as shown in translations made by the Investigative Project on Terrorism. For example, he prayed for the defeat of “occupation and oppression” in Iraq, Palestine and Chechnya in 2007. The enemies of Islam are the U.S., Israel and Russia in this context.

He also preached that Jews and Christians “will be swiftly punished by Allah” and that Muslims should not speak poorly of Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, a top Muslim Brotherhood cleric that endorses suicide bombings and Hamas. He also defended donations to the families of suicide bombers. Just this September, Qatanani said the U.S. should outlaw criticism of Islam.

Under Qatanani’s leadership, the ICPC has held various Islamist speakers, such as Hamas-supporter Imam Reda Shata, Hamas-linked activist Abdelhaleem Ashqar (who is now in prison for refusing to testify about the Hamas network in the U.S.) and Wagdy Ghoneim, who was voluntarily deported from the country in 2005 for his terror ties and now preaches extremism in Egypt.

In April 2004, a former chairman of the ICPC’s board, Esam Omeish, praised Palestinians who “[understand] that the jihad way is the way to liberate your land,” pointing out the “beloved” founder of Hamas as an example to follow. He also supports the Muslim Brotherhood as a “moderate” force and once was the president of the Muslim American Society, a Brotherhood front. He also “likes” Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi on Facebook.

Despite this record, Christie defended Qatanani against the DHS in 2008, calling him  a “man of great goodwill.” His Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles McKenna was as a character witness for him during the trial. The immigration judge granted Qatanani permanent residency, but the Board of Immigration Appeals overturned the ruling. The next deportation hearing is scheduled for November 26.

In May, Attorney General Chiesa met with Qatanani after he cleared the NYPD of breaking state laws. On July 24, Qatanani attended an Iftar dinner at the Governor’s Mansion. During his address, Christie pointed out Qatanani, calling him a “friend” and attacking his critics as anti-Muslim “bigots.”

Mohammed Younes

The President of the American Muslim Union, Mohammed Younes, is also on the Muslim outreach committee. This organization is very closely tied to the Hamas-linked Islamic Center of Passaic County led by Imam Qatanani, having had five common officials as of 2004. For example, Younes has served on the mosque’s board of trustees.

Younes sounds sympathetic to the cause of Hamas. He said in 2001, “I put myself in the Palestinians’ shoes, the suffering, the pain, the hunger. I don’t know what I would do. Are they dogs? Are they garbage? I don’t want to see anyone killed. But you can’t be selective.” He called the U.S. hypocritical for condemning Hamas but not Israel. However, he said he would not donate to Hamas because “they are killers,” but supports giving aid to the children of killed Hamas operatives.

During Qatanani’s deportation trial, Prosecutor Alan Wolf said that a pamphlet was found at the ICPC after the 9/11 attacks that explained what Muslims should not tell the police. Wolf also mentioned that a newspaper quoted Younes in 2002 where he advised against giving personal information to law enforcement. As he left, Younes complained, “The FBI is abusing us.”

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Ryan Mauro is RadicalIslam.org’s National Security Analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.

Free Speech That Mocks Islam Is National Security Threat for U.S., Prominent NJ Imam Tells TheBlaze

Imam-Mohammad-Qatanani (Photo Credit: Carmine Galasso / The Record)

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There are religions that promote turning the other cheek even when mocked, but it appears Islam is not one of them. According to one of the most prominent imams in North America, Islam never condones violence, but it also, under no uncertain terms, “ever accepts” speaking ill of the Prophet Muhammad.

In fact, so grave is mockery of the prophet considered, that the cleric – Mohammad Qatanani, who leads one of the largest mosques in New Jersey – even believes free speech that criticizes Islam poses a national security threat to the U.S. and that those responsible should be investigated by the Department of Homeland Security.

“We, as Americans, have to put limits and borders [on] freedom of speech,” Qatanani, leader of the Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC), told TheBlaze. He explained that while Americans may ”have the freedom to speak their mind, ultimately, they “have no right to [talk about Muslim] holy issues“ as it will incite ”hatred or war among people.”

Qatanani said he thinks agitators who slander Islam, or, more specifically, the Prophet Muhammad, incite violence and hence, pose a national security risk that threatens the safety of Americans at home and abroad. Thus, America should disregard its First Amendment as it is typically applied and instead act in accordance with sharia law for the ultimate “good” of society.

In an exclusive interview with TheBlaze, the cleric, who was nearly deported in 2008 for failing to disclose his former ties to the terrorist organization Hamas on a 1996 Green Card application, explained that Muslims are required by Islam to respect the law of the land in their host-countries. He followed up that statement, however, with a treatise on how those who slander the prophet be pursued legally.

While some leaders within the Muslim community have spoken out against the anti-America driven violence in the Middle East, many have qualified their condemnation with moral equivalence, treating a film dubbed “Innocence of Muslims” (which some claim served as the catalyst for the attacks), with even harsher disdain than they do murder. Qatanani said the Obama White House should take legal action against the filmmakers.

“My position is that White House has to say strong in its condemnation [of the filmmakers] and take this person to court. If he is innocent, we will accept that… The government has strong case against this person.”

When asked what can be done to prevent future attacks, Qatanani invoked Homeland Security again, suggesting that the department actually step-in to prevent artists, composers, movie-makers, or satirists (among others), from producing works critical of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. He believes it is in America’s best interest to quell this kind of free speech as it “ruins” America’s image abroad and will ultimately hurt people.

Qatanani’s statements make it appear that, in so many words, the cleric is advocating for the U.S. to operate by sharia law – the religious law of Islam – when it comes to freedom of speech as it relates to Islam. If so, it would seem to echo comments in a previous report on TheBlaze outlining Islamists’ “10-year plan” to make slandering Islam unlawful on an international level.

American freedom versus Islamic freedom

One of the most revealing insights made by the controversial faith leader came when he juxtaposed American freedom with the type of freedom permitted under sharia law.

The imam acknowledged that observant Muslims view freedom only through the lens of that which is permitted by the Quran and Sunnah, the two sacred texts of Islam, and is therefore much different from the way Americans view freedom.

“They [Muslims] think our [American] freedoms are too much,” Qatanani said. “The freedom of the American people is so different from their [Muslims’] freedoms. We believe freedoms have limits and rules, otherwise we will get people into trouble…Freedom according to Islam must be according to the Quran and Sunnah. You can do [anything] you like within the teachings of these two resources. This is the difference and main reason [for the conflict].”

A different standard of freedom?

“People there [in the Middle East] don’t understand the American Constitution and freedom of speech,” Qatanani said. We have to understand each other because misunderstanding is a killing issue… The issue of Prophet Muhammad is very delicate – they [Muslims] will not accept in any way, anybody who talks badly about Muhammad.”

He went on to explain that not even Jesus or Moses, who Muslims also revere as heroes and prophets, would be permitted to speak ill of their ultimate Prophet Muhammad and stated emphatically, and repeatedly, during the interview that Muslims will never “accept” or tolerate such slander even in the U.S. under the auspices of freedom of speech.

At one point Qatanani said that it is essentially fine to mock Jesus or Moses (as Americans often satire various religious figures) but that is absolutely verboten to mock Muhammad. Later, he added that Muslims would be equally upset if anyone were to slander Christian or Jewish figureheads.

On the embassy attacks

At the end of the day Qatanani was consistent in his call for peace, however, he was particularly fixated on the “Innocence of Muslims” as egregious enough to justify violence.

“I believe the producer of the film’s [goal] was to have people hate each other. We are against the bad reaction, but the producer wants people to react that way [rioting]. He has a hidden agenda.”

In fairness, TheBlaze has reported that the filmmakers appear to be dubious characters with checkered pasts, and perhaps even ill-intentions. That said, they were certainly within their “right” under American law to produce the movie, whether tasteful or not. Qatanani pressed that irrespective of context, such movies and rhetoric will be exploited by extremists and thus, America has a responsibility to prevent inflammatory material that could agitate jihadists from reaching the mainstream.

An interesting point to note was that throughout the discussion, Qatanani repeatedly called for peaceful action and condemned violence as being anathema to true Islam. Conversely, he referred to the attacks on U.S. embassies abroad that left a U.S. ambassador, two Navy SEALs and one additional civil servant dead, as merely ”a bad reaction.”

He then repeated calls for peace and maintained that such “bad reactions” go directly against Islam’s peaceful nature.

“We condemn any bad reaction that is not peaceful. That is not Islamically acceptable, even by the teachings of the prophet. It is unacceptable.”

Read more at The Blaze

 

Christie’s Embrace of Islamo-Fascists

By Robert Spencer

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie held an Iftar dinnerat the Governor’s Mansion in late July. He took the opportunity to declare himself a foursquare tool of jihadists and Islamic supremacists, and even adopted their language in deriding those who have pointed out how he has allowed himself to be compromised by them.

Christie complained about a “gaze of intolerance that’s going around our country that is disturbing,” and referred dismissively to concerns that he has gotten too close to Islamic supremacists: “These are the kind of red herrings that people put up who are bigots, who want to judge people based upon their religious beliefs, want to judge people with a broad brush.”

Attending the dinner was the prominent New Jersey Imam Mohammad Qatanani, and Christie was glad to see him, telling him before the audience: “I’m glad to have you here.” Qatanani, he said, was his “friend,” and someone who has “attempted to be a force for good in his community.”

Christie did not mention several salient details about his “friend.” Investigative journalist Daniel Greenfield reports that “despite the fact that Mohammed Qatanani was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that is behind both al-Qaeda and Hamas, despite his own guilty plea to being a member of Hamas, and despite the fact that even in the United States, he had defended a charity that provided funds to children of suicide bombers (this is done as an incentive to reassure terrorists that if they die their families will be taken care of), Qatanani was not deported.”

Christie also referred to another friend of his, Sohail Mohammed, whom he appointed to a Superior Court judgeship in Passaic County. Mohammed was Qaranani’s lawyer when he pled guilty to membership in Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Christie has defended Mohammed before, and last year even went out of his way to slam opposition to Sharia in the U.S. as “crap.”

What is actually “crap” is the idea that anyone would consider Chris Christie fit to be President of the United States. “Ignorance is behind the criticism of Sohail Mohammed,” Christie declared, without bothering to explain how “ignorance” provoked Qatanani’s guilty plea, or involvement in Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, or Mohammed’s other ties to Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas-linked individuals and groups.

But Christie’s most egregious statements at that time came after a followup question about the spread of Islamic law, Sharia, in the United States. “Sharia law has nothing to do with this at all.  It’s crazy!” Christie sputtered. “The guy”—Sohail Mohammed—“is an American citizen!” He declared that “this Sharia law business is just crap … and I’m tried of dealing with the crazies.”

Listening to all that from Christie, you’d get the idea that Sohail Mohammed is being unjustly maligned out of “hatred,” “bigotry” and “Islamophobia”—and that any concern about Sharia in the U.S. is just another manifestation of the same thing.  Never mind that courts in 23 states have already used Sharia as a factor in their deliberations, despite its contradictions of American law on the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, equality of rights for women, and more.

Never mind that the Muslim Brotherhood, with which Sohail Mohammed’s client Mohammed Qatanani was involved, is dedicated in its own words, according to a captured internal document, to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house … so that Allah’s religion is victorious over other religions.”

A manifesto for sedition and subversion?  Sure.  But only if you’re one of the “crazies” who fall for that “crap.”  Christie knows better—or at least he knows something.  Christie knows, according to terrorism expert Steve Emerson, all about Mohammed Qatanani’s unsavory ties:  “I know for certain that Christie and the FBI special agent in charge had access to information about Qatanani’s background, involvement with and support of Hamas.”  Yet even as he knew this, Christie called Qatanani “a man of great good will” and “a constructive force”—and defended Qatanani from Department of Homeland Security attempts to deport him.  Emerson rightly called this “a disgrace and an act of pure political corruption.”

Read more at Front Page

Video: Christie Says “Bigots” Attacking Him on Radical Islam

by RYAN MAURO

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, often described as a “rock star” in the Republican Party, has finally addressed the criticism of his courtship of Islamists. On July 24, Christie held an Iftar dinner at the Governor’s Mansion, attended by Imam Mohammad Qatanani, a Hamas-linked cleric whose deportation is sought by the Department of Homeland Security. Christie reiterated his support for Qatanani and made the case to his Muslim audience that he is their ally by ridiculing the “bigots” attacking him.

Christie opens by talking about the attacks on “our relationship” (between him and, as he would characterize it, the Muslim community of N.J.) that show a “gaze of intolerance that’s going around our country that is disturbing.” You can watch the entire speech on YouTube.

Ramadan Iftar at Governor Christie’s Mansion 7/24/2012:

He mocked his critics, saying “You’ll all be fascinated to learn that in many publications around the country, I’m called an Islamist.” No one ever said he is an Islamist himself and only a handful of writers have covered the controversy, including myself,, the Investigative Project on TerrorismDr. Daniel PipesRobert Spencer and my fellow N.J. resident, Andrew McCarthy.

Christie blatantly accused us of having anti-Muslim motivations.

“These are the kind of red herrings that people put up who are bigots, who want to judge people based upon their religious beliefs, want to judge people with a broad brush,” he said.

He stood by his support for Imam Qatanani, pointing out that he was in attendance and “I’m glad to have you here.” He called him a “friend” that “has attempted to be a force for good in his community.”

To prove to his audience that he is their ally against “Islamophobia,” though he didn’t use that exact word, he cited the controversies surrounding three of his actions: His support for Qatanani, his nomination of Sohail Mohammed as a Superior Court Judge and how he stood against the NYPD’s intelligence-gathering operations in his state. Let’s address these cases one-by-one.

Imam Mohammad Qatanani

The story begins in 1993. The Israelis detained Qatanani for three months because they believed he was working with the Hamas terrorist group, partially because his brother-in-law was a Hamas leader in the West Bank. He told the Israelis that he had been a member of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood but left in 1991 because of time constraints, not over any ideological split. He admitted to being a member of Hamas as part of a plea bargain and was released.

Qatanani came to N.J. in 1994 to serve as an imam for the Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) in Paterson. The mosque was founded in 1989 by Mohammed el-Mezain, who later was convicted of being a Hamas fundraiser. It was in this mosque that el-Mezain boasted of having raised nearly $2 million in the U.S. for Hamas. Qatanani served alongside el-Mezain, even sharing the same address, until el-Mezain handed the reigns over to him.

Another extremist ICPC official was Esam Omeish, who once was the chairman of the board. He is the former president of the Muslim American Society, a Muslim Brotherhood front. Omeish calls the Brotherhood “moderate” and has expressed admiration for the founder of Hamas and Palestinians who believe “that the jihad way is the way to liberate your land.”

ICPC had Abdelhaleem Ashqar as a guest speaker, who was accused of being involved with Hamas and was later convicted for refusing to testify about the terrorist group’s fundraising. Another guest speaker at ICPC is Hamas-supporter Imam Reda Shata. When he was the leader of Brooklyn’s Islamic Center of Bay Ridge, he had El-Mezain as a guest speaker. The NYPD put Shata under surveillance as a “Tier One Person of Interest.”

In 1999, Qatanani applied for a green card and did not disclose his conviction by the Israelis as a member of Hamas. The Department of Homeland Security began seeking his deportation in July 2006. A 2008 court filing by the DHS accuses him of “material misrepresentation” and “engaging in unauthorized employment…by allowing an out-of-status alien to reside with him.” It also states that he “has engaged in terrorist activity.” Qatanani sent thousands of dollars to the West Bank and the DHS described his explanation that it was easier than a wire transfer to be “highly dubious.”

“It is certainly suspicious when a person who has been convicted of being a member of, and providing services, to Hamas, who has personal ties to a Hamas militant leader, and a Hamas fundraiser also sends undisclosed cash to the West Bank,” the filing states.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism translated some of his sermons between 2007 and 2009 that show the radicalism he preaches. Here are some highlights:

  • 2007: He prayed that Allah will help “our brothers and sisters in Philistine [Palestine] and Iraq and Chechnya” to “remove occupation and oppression.” The enemy “occupiers” are Israel, the U.S. and Russia.
  • June 2007: He teaches that Christians and Jews “will be swiftly punished” with “the hypocrites [who] are in the lower pits of hellfire.”
  • November 2007: He instructs Muslims not to talk bad about fellow Muslims, using Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi as an example. Qaradawi is the top Muslim Brotherhood cleric who vocally supports Hamas and suicide bombings.
  • January 2008: “You see now that you should do jihad or struggle, to change evil-doing…You know, I mention in so many times that jihad is greater than fighting. It is not only fighting. And you cannot just contain it in fighting.”
  • May 2009: He prays that Allah will release the imprisoned officials of the Holy Land Foundation, who were locked up for financing Hamas. He said that they were the victim of a “political judgment” and that the U.S. government is persecuting the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America by labeling them as “unindicted co-conspirators” in the trial.

 

Qatanani was booked as a speaker on June 24 at Dar al-Hijrah, an extremely radical mosque tied to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and frequented by Al-Qaeda operatives.

So, how did Christie, then U.S. Attorney, react to the DHS’ efforts to deport Qatanani?

He sent his Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles McKenna to testify as a character witness on his behalf. In September 2008, Christie went to the ICPC to praise Qatanani as a “man of great goodwill.”

After becoming Governor, Christie appointed McKenna as his director of the N.J. Office of Homeland Security, a post he held until February. In July 2008, the office McKenna would later lead actually produced a report about Hamas networks in the state that contradicted McKenna’s assessment of Qatanani. The imam’s name was the only one to be mentioned in it.

The day after Christie’s endorsement, the immigration judge ruled in favor of Qatanani, granting him permanent residency and dismissing Israel’s evidence against him. The Board of Immigration Appeals overturned it, deciding that the Israeli evidence was “properly authenticated and that there was no adequate basis for the immigration judge to give them ‘very low evidentiary weight.'”  The Israelis provided three documents: A letter from their liaison and the military court’s verdict and indictment. The DHS points out that Qatanani never said he was forced into confessing that he was a member of Hamas and admitted that he underwent a trial process in Israeli custody, proving that he knew he was convicted when he filed his green card.

The deportation hearing continues November 26 and Christie is standing by him.

Sohail Mohammed

In his Ramadan dinner speech, Christie boasted of nominating attorney Sohail Mohammed as a Superior Court Judge and blasted the “hysteria” surrounding his decision and “all the nonsense and all this business about Sharia Law.”

Mohammed was the General Counsel of the American Muslim Union, which has had at least five common officials with the Hamas-founded ICPC. The organization’s newsletter stated that “Zionist commandos orchestrated the 9/11 terrorist attacks” and supports Neturei Karta, a pro-Hamas, pro-Ahmadinejad Jewish group dedicated to the destruction of Israel. The group also declined to participate in the 2005 “Free Muslims March Against Terror,” which condemned all terrorist groups, including Hamas.

Mohammed also spoke out against the prosecutions of Sami al-Arian, a convicted leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Holy Land Foundation. The evidence against them was enormous. He dismissed it and is now a Superior Court Judge, thanks to Christie.

When the controversy first broke, Christie reacted with: “This Sharia Law business is crap. It’s just crazy. And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies. I mean, you know, it’s just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background.”

In his speech on July 24, Christie said he had known Mohammed for years. What he didn’t say is how he knew him.

Mohammed was Qatanani’s attorney.

 
Read more: Family Security Matters

Ryan Mauro is Family Security Matters’ national security analyst. He is a fellow with RadicalIslam.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at ryanmauro1986@gmail.com.


NJ Gov. Christie Courting Islamist Cleric

by: Ryan Mauro

After New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa cleared the NYPD of misconduct in its intelligence-gathering efforts in N.J., he met with some Muslim leaders to discuss his findings. The full list of attendees hasn’t been publicized but there is one name that is known: Imam Mohammad Qatanani of the Islamic Center of Passaic County.

N.J. Governor Chris Christie  has been feeling heat from anti-Islamist activists ever since the Investigative Project on Terrorism published a startling report about his relationship with Imam Qatanani, who the Department of Homeland Security wants deported. In 1999, he failed to disclose on his green card application that he was convicted by Israel in 1993 of being a member of Hamas. He also admits to having been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood but says he left it in 1991—not because he turned against the group, but because he simply didn’t have enough time in the day anymore.

The mosque that Qatanani currently leads, the Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC), was founded in 1989 by Hamas operative Mohammed el-Mezain, who has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for financing the terrorist group. El-Mezain also served as the ICPC’s imam and was the chairman of the Holy Land Foundation, a charity that was shut down for being a Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood front.

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