Muslim cleric heads back to court to fight off deportation

The leader of one of New Jersey’s largest mosques is heading to court to fight from being deported after federal authorities say he lied on his green card application.

The Record reports that Imam Mohammad Qatanani told his congregation at the Islamic Center of Passaic County that he will return to court on Monday.

A judge ruled against immigration authorities’ attempt to have him deported eight years ago. Federal officials say that he didn’t disclose being convicted in Israel for being a member of Hamas.

Qatanani denies that he was ever part of the group classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. He says that he was only detained and never convicted.

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An immigration judge dismissed the case in 2008, but the Department of Homeland Security appealed.

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