NEW YORK - The Council on American-Islamic Relations Monday thanked New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for his strong and rigorous defence of newly-confirmed Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed, a Muslim about whom conservatives raised doubts that he would implement Sharia law. Prior to the recent swearing-in ceremony, Governor Christie, a Republican, publicly characterized his judicial nominee as an "extraordinary American," an "outstanding attorney," and an "outstanding human being," emphasizing the "integral role" Mohammed, who is of Indian origin, played in the post-September 11th period in building bridges between American Muslim community leaders and law enforcement authorities. "We applaud Governor Christie for shining a spotlight on the tremendous contributions of Judge Sohail Mohammed," said CAIR's Executive Director for New Jersey James Yee. "Governor Christie's praise highlights the commitment of American Muslims to building a better society. We hope the governor's comments will help stem the rising tide of Islamophobia in our society and help unify our nation."