Why Robert George Is the Chris Christie of Conservative Intellectuals

It is likely that George knows none of this about his dear friend Hamza Yusuf or All-American Muslim’s al-Husainy. But when he acts as such a public advocate for engagement with Muslims who “thank God for the freedom they enjoy in the United States,” it is bitterly ironic for him to oppose criticism of a TV show featuring a public, unashamed foe of the freedom of speech. When he says that pious Muslims, “like faithful Christians and Jews…seek to honor God and do His will,” it is nothing less than shameful that he stands with an antisemite like Hamza Yusuf who refuses to condemn jihad groups that attack civilians or to affirm that women should have equal rights with men.

Robert George is the Chris Christie of conservative intellectuals. His naively positive attitude toward Islam and Muslims has led him to stand with individuals and causes that someone genuinely committed to justice and moral values would have avoided. In doing so, he passes on his blind spot to others as well, and effectively forfeits any chance to be a genuine voice for justice. Had he affirmed the dignity of Muslims as human beings and then called upon his “dear friends” to stand for the freedom of Muslim women not to wear hijab if they chose not to, and called upon them to affirm the freedom of speech and the equality of rights of women, he might have done some actual good. It is an opportunity wasted.