What message is being sent through the salemistic manner in which Imam Mohammad Qatanani is being treated? The embodiment of the American Dream, an Imam of the community, a source of inspiration and most importantly a man who represents the balance beautiful message of Islam, one really has to wonder who is pulling the strings at the top?
Perhaps, some will say, “I’ve never heard of this Imam or seen him at a convention?” You see, that is what makes this Imam special. Unknown to many, those who know him have been touched by his warmth, sincerity and concern for others. Sacrifice, love, patience and responsibility make up the list of words that could describe him. When his father died, none other then the chief of police came to visit him and offer his condolences. A local Rabbi said about him, “the most moderate individual you could imagine.”
Our government needs to ask itself some serious questions when it treats people like Imam Qatanani in such a manner. Yusuf Islam, Tariq Ramadan and now this Imam have all been treated with complete disrespect. What message is being sent to those who present Islam in its true light, promote a constitutional articulation of religion and encourage dialoge and maturity amongst Muslims and non-Muslims in the West? My fear is that such actions by our government will only strengthen those on the outskirts of our community, the ideologues and the extremist. They will use this as fodder saying “See what happens? See what happens to those who promote this! See what happens to those who work and cooperate with the government!”
Muslims are struggling to wrestle with their own demons. It doesn’t help when the government comes from behind and slides a chair under the ropes.
Make a call. Send an email and let your voice be heard.
May Allah bless our Imam, grant him justice and raise his station