Original Hearing Was Supposed To Take Place On Sept. 12

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The deportation case of a prominent New Jersey Muslim leader has been further delayed.

An attorney for Mohammad Qatanani says a hearing originally scheduled for Sept. 12 has been delayed until March.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is seeking to deport the spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Passaic County.

An immigration judge in Newark ruled in 2008 that the government’s case against the Palestinian was too weak to prove he had any ties to terrorist groups.

The government appealed the decision to grant Qatanani legal permanent residence. The Board of Immigration Appeals has sent the case back to the Newark court to be reconsidered.

Qatanani’s immigration fight garnered national attention after several high-ranking law enforcement officials and Gov. Chris Christie praised him as a peaceful community leader.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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