STATE — Robert Spencer of the ultra-conservative Jihad Watch website is calling Governor Chris Christie “a foursquare tool of jihadists and Islamic supremacists” who “has allowed himself to be compromised by them.”
A dinner at the Governor’s Mansion in July, attended by prominent New Jersey Imam Mohammad Qatanani, sparked the academic’s ire.
According to published reports, Qatanani was once affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas. (Qatanani has denied any connection with the Hamas terrorist group.) The federal government attempted to deport Qatanani in 2008, citing a 1993 Israeli Military Court conviction for “assisting Hamas” that the imam did not disclose on his immigration application.
Qatanani said that he was never formally arrested or charged with a crime and that he was among hundreds of Palestinians detained during a 1993 uprising. He maintained that he was never notified of the conviction. Immigration Judge Alberto J. Riefkohl found in favor of Qatanani and granted him permanent U.S. residency.
Christie, then a U.S. attorney, and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) were among the prominent public officials who supported Qatanani during the trial.