New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s appointee picked four Islamists for an advisory panel intended to improve relations between the government and the state’s small but growing community of Muslim immigrants and settlers, according to a new report by RadicalIslam.org.
Christie commissioned the 10-member advisory panel in the spring when Islamist and progressive political groups objected to routine surveillance by New York police of nearby Muslim neighborhoods.
Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa, a Christie appointee, set up the panel, which met for the first time in September.
The panel meets with state police and political leaders, giving Islamists an opportunity to push their top-level demand that Muslim neighborhoods be allowed to govern themselves by their own rules, including Islam’s Shariah law. After a recent meeting, a spokesman for the New Jersey attorney general would only say that the gathering was “productive” and that “several issues were raised.”
The police checks on New Jersey Muslim communities began after the Sept. 11, 2011, atrocity, in which 19 Muslims killed 3,000 Americans in September 2001. Since then, numerous Muslims, imams and Islamist activists have been jailed or deported for harboring or providing aid to Islamic radicals or jihadi groups.
The names of the 10 panel members were on a list of attendees at the September meeting. The list was discovered by the RadicalIslam.org site.
The four Islamists appointed by Christie to the outreach panel include the controversial Imam Mohammad Qatanani, who is facing deportation for trying to hide his ties to the Islamist terror group Hamas.
Deportations hearing are slated to restart this month, said Ryan Mauro, the national-security researcher for RadicalIslam.org, which is supported by the New York-based Clarion Fund.
A Department of Homeland Security attorney urged an immigration judge in 2008 not to admit Qatanani because “he has engaged in terrorist activity.”
Hamas is back in the news this week, after its top leaders fired more than 100 rockets at civilians in Israel. The Israeli military struck back Nov. 14, killing the group’s top military commander.
Qatanani is an orthodox Sunni Muslim, who holds orthodox Sunni views. For example, he supports limits on speech that is disliked by Muslims.
“We, as Americans, have to put limits and borders [on] freedom of speech,” he said in September amid White House claims that a YouTube video had prompted a jihad group to destroy the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and killed four Americans. Americans “have no right to [talk about Muslim] holy issues,” and will incite “hatred or war among people” if they try, he told The Blaze.