Rabbi testifies in Muslim cleric trial

May 9, 2008 8:43:21 AM PDT
Several character witnesses took the stand in support of a popular Muslim cleric in New Jersey facing deportation. One of them was Rabbi David Senter of Congregation Beth Shalom in Pompton Lakes. He praised Imam Mohammad Qatanani's, who resides in Paterson, for his efforts to bring together people of different faiths.

Qatanani's trial in federal court in Newark entered its second day on Friday.

He's facing deportation for not mentioning a 1993 conviction in Israel on his U.S. citizenship application. The Israeli military charged Qatanani with being a member of the militant Hamas organization.

Qatanani claims he was convicted without his knowledge after three months of detention that included physical and mental abuse. He has said he did not become aware of the conviction until last fall.