Domestic Affairs

Revisiting Salem: Imam Dr. Mohammad Qatanani

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

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.

Add Comment

  • Asalamu alaykum,

    Daroon! I’m sure you’ve got the wrong guy. Sh. Qatanani is from Jordan and I just talked to a person from his community. The case has not been decided.



  • Hello:

    Daroon, Suhiab Web – The Imam was born in Palestine the holy land when he finished High School went to Jordan to continue his education.
    We all know that he will inshaa allah win the case.


  • Salam,

    Thanks for the correction Nidal. Of course I was being sarcastic (always a bad idea on blogs) that since he is a Palestinian then he will be deported.

    I truly hope (and pray) that he wins the case, but the pertinent point for me is that there is huge growth in the Anti-Muslim propaganda.

    Pressure after pressure is having two affects in my view. 1) people (mainly younger) are being driven away from mainstream engagement and 2) ‘some Muslims’ are compromising way too much to fit in. In the UK we had an organisation called the British Muslim Forum publicly support our government’s call for the extension of pre-charge to 42 days (i.e. the police can hold you up to 42 days, not tell you why and then either charge or release you on the 42nd day). Or we have others like the Qulliam Foundation that have called the Hadd punishment “barabaric” and that there is no need (or hukm) for Shar’iah or the Imam.

    Not only is the middle ground in urgent need of being identified, but it needs charismatic leadership to give hope to the Muslims living in the West. Indeed this is the THIRD way!

  • Subhanallah, he sounds like precisely the sort of Imam our communities are in great need of. The other posts about pornography addiction and domestic abuse highlight the fact that we need Imams who care deeply about the community and who are dynamic enough to find solutions and build bridges. It’s a shame that immigration is going after him. May Allah preserve him and bless us with many more like him. Ameen!

  • As Salaam Alaykum:

    I recently read of this brother’s story. SubhanAllah. I am wondering other than making Duaa, what can we do to support our Brother?

    It gives you a whole different perspective when you think about any “problems” or hard-ships we’re experiencing.

    May Allah grant Imam Qatanani tawfiq! Ameen.

    May Allah grant him Jannatul Firdaus! Ameen.

    As Salaam Alaykum

  • Dear All:

    I have been following the case, this man is the sweetest person I have ever met.
    His community was fragmented up until he migrated to the US. His mosque is the most diverse mosque I have ever seen. It is also, the largest mosque in the NJ area. His outreach program in unbelievable. The interfaith program is unreal. There are truely rabbis, priests, county sheriffs, congressmen and other government offcials that came to support Imam Qatanani during his trial. It was incrediable. America will lose a lot if deport him. They should pay him to stay.
    One final word, Imam Qatanani, do be affraid Allah is with you, we are all with you and we will support you forever.


  • […] fleecing of victims who might otherwise have resisted: Imam Fawaz Damra. Yes, that Fawaz Damra. …Revisiting Salem: Imam Dr. Mohammad Qatanani Suhaib Webb …The embodiment of the American Dream, an Imam of the community, a source of inspiration and most […]

Leave a Comment