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Governor Christie Talks About Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed

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Uploaded on Jul 26, 2011

Newark Urban Transit Hub, 07-26-2011
(Transcript Below)

"Ignorance. Ignorance is behind the criticism of Sohail Mohammed. Sohail Mohammed is an extraordinary American, who is an outstanding lawyer and played an integral role in the post-September 11th period in building bridges between the Muslim American community in this state and law enforcement. I was there for it, I saw it personally. And, the folks who criticize my appointment of Sohail Mohammed are ignorant, absolutely ignorant of that. And, they're criticizing him because he's a Muslim American, and because he represented people who were inappropriately detained by the FBI, post-9/11. The fact of the matter is there were lots of people inappropriately detained by the FBI post-9/11. It was a very difficult time for law enforcement. And, Sohail Mohammed represented, as part of his practice at that time, folks who were inappropriately detained. None of them, that Sohail Mohammed represented ever were charged with any crimes of terrorism, and they were released because of his diligent and zealous representation of them. In addition to that, he set up for me, the U.S. Attorney's Office, and the FBI, personally, dozens of meetings with Muslim American leaders across this state to convince them that Federal law enforcement could be trusted in the aftermath of September 11th, and that they should be working with us to provide information and leads to help to combat potential terrorist attacks in our state. That's the kind of guy Sohail Mohammed is, and I was proud to nominate him. I was disgusted, candidly, by some of the questions he was asked by both parties at the Senate Judiciary Committee. I thought it was awful. But, in the end, the Senate did the right thing because the facts were undeniable, that Sohail Mohammed is an outstanding attorney and will be an outstanding judge. And, I'm going there to be at his swearing-in today because he's someone who merited my support with my nomination of him and I am confident that he'll be an outstanding judge. The second Muslim American to be put on the bench here in New Jersey, I'm proud to have been able to do that. But, not just because he's a Muslim American, I nominated Sohail Mohammed because he's a good lawyer and an outstanding human being. And that what people will get to know about Sohail over his time on the bench.

Sharia law has nothing to do with this at all. It's crazy. It's crazy. The guy's an American citizen, who has been an admitted lawyer to practice in the state of New Jersey, swearing an oath to uphold the laws of New Jersey, the Constitution of the state of New Jersey and the Constitution of the United States of America. And, has never been accused of doing anything but honorably and zealously upholding the oaths he took when he became a lawyer, to license to practice in this state. And so, this Sharia law business is crap. It's just crazy. And I'm tired of dealing with the crazies. You know, it's just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background. And, that's what it's because, because I've known him personally now for nine years and there is nothing to any of this stuff. I'm not going to talk about Sharia law because Sharia law has nothing to do with Sohail Mohammed and his time as a lawyer or his service on the bench in Passaic County, which I know will be long and honorable. And, the people of Passaic County, and the people of the State will benefit from it. I'm happy that he's willing to serve after all this bologna."

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