Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Mohammad Qatanani

Personal Info

  • Country of residence: United States
  • 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 was born to Ahmad Hasan Qatanani (1936–2005) and Ayisha Qatanani (b. 1941) in the town of Askar in Palestine. Qatanani has 7 siblings, 3 brothers (Hasan, Taha, and Yaseen) and 4 sisters (Aminah, Wafa', Maryam, and Sumaia). Qatanani's brother-in-law was a senior Hamas military leader and killed by the Israelis.
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.
Qatanani was accused of pleading guilty in 1993 to aiding and being a member of Hamas. He was also accused that was sentenced to three months in prison. However, Qatanani has denied being a Hamas member and said he was detained, not arrested, by the Israelis while traveling to his native West Bank in 1993. He said he was not notified of the charges against him nor his conviction and that he was mentally and physically abused while in detention.[5] On his green card application, Qatanani had answered "no" to a question asking applicants whether they had been arrested, fined, charged or imprisoned. The Department of Homeland Security was unable to provide substantial evidence that Qatanani was arrested, convicted, fined, charged or imprisoned.[6]
Qatanani, also admitted being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a controversial organization that is banned by the governments of Israel, Egypt and Syria, which argue that it has ties to terrorists. However, the Muslim Brotherhood was a legal and lawful organization in Jordan where he resided and became a member.


Achievements and Awards

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