Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Mustafa Qatanani

Personal Info

  • Country of residence: Palestine
  • Gender: Male
  • Born in: 1964
  • Age: 52
  • Curriculum vitae :


Mohammad Ahmad Hasan Qatanani (born 1964) is the Imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County in New Jersey. Mohammad Ahmad Hasan Qatanani migrated to America in 1996 as the Imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County. Qatanani has a PhD in Islamic studies from Jordanian University.
Mohammad Ahmad Hasan Qatanani and his family were faced with deportation from the United States because he allegedly failed to disclose in a green card application that he was a member of Hamas, an organization regarded by the U.S. and the European Union as terrorist; officials were relying on a report that Israeli forces had arrested and convicted him as a Hamas member in 1993. Qatanani contends that he was never formally arrested nor charged with a crime, but rather was among the hundreds of Palestinians detained during a 1993 uprising. He further contends that he was convicted in absentia and faced severely harsh interrogation tactics that Israel's highest court subsequently banned as torture. A U.S. Immigration Judge subsequently declined to deport Mohammad Qatanani and his family and granted them permanent residency in 2008. The case is currently being appealed through the New Jersey Immigration Court of Appeals.

Qatanani lived in a Palestinian refugee camp until he finished high school (1982) and received a scholarship to study at the College of Amman, located in Jordan. Qatanani finished his bachelors in Islamic Law in 1985 and then continued to study until he received a masters from the Jordanian University in Islamic Jurisprudence in 1989. After a one-year break, Qatanani returned to the Jordanian University to work on his Ph.D. on Islamic Jurisprudence which he received in 1996.
After receiving his bachelor's degree, Qatanani worked as an Imam for several different mosques in Amman, Jordan until 1989. In 1989, Qatanani got a job as a full-time Imam of Abu-Qoura Mosque in Amman, Jordan. He worked there until 1996.

In 1996 Qatanani migrated with his family to America on a religious work visa. Qatanani became the Imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) in Paterson, New Jersey, the second largest Muslim community in the U.S.. He is also a Member of the Fiqh Council of North America and gave lectures at the Islamic American University, a subsidiary of the Muslim American Society (MAS). Qatanani was a speaker at an Islamic Association of Palestine conference in Chicago in 1999. He was quoted in 2004 as seeing no "big issue" with charities supporting the children of suicide bombers "after" the suicide attacks, explaining that the children are innocent, even if their parents are not.

Qatanani has paved the way in New Jersey for common interfaith dialogue between different religions. He has spoken at more than 100 churches and synagogues across New Jersey.


Achievements and Awards

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