A Muslim man’s five year battle for U.S. citizenship will end after a Virginia judge ruled in his favor. Jamal Abusamhadaneh, had been questioned by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials regarding his religion, which played a part in his being citizenship application being denied in the past, according to The Associated Press.
U.S. District Judge James Cacheris decided that the officials drew inaccurate conclusions of Abusamahadeneh and personally administered the man’s citizenship oath on July 25.
According to data from the Pew Research Center, it is estimated that 77 percent of Muslims living in the United States are citizens and that 65 percent of them are immigrants that became citizens through naturalization. However, the size of the Muslim population has been difficult to track through the U.S. Census because the mandate doesn’t record religious affiliation. Although the exact population is unknown, the Muslim-American population has been growing rapidly through immigration recently, according to United States Embassy in Baghdad.
Abusamhadaneh’s quest for citizenship had issues from the beginning, the source reports. He applied for citizenship in February 2008, yet after he failed to respond to an email requesting an interview, officials believed Abusamhadaneh was purposely dodging some of their questions, such as alleged associations regarding his religion. Questions included information on the Muslim Brotherhood an Islamist group banned in several countries, which he denied having any connection to.
The AP reported that officials originally believed Abusamhadaneh had a connection to the Muslim Brotherhood due to the group having past associations with Dar al-Hijrah, the northern Virginia mosque at which Abusamhadaneh practices his religion.
According to legal professionals close to Abusamhadaneh, he is pleased that the fight for his citizenship will be over soon and that the judge trusted him.
“He’s happy that, as a matter of law, a judge determined he’s a person of good moral character,” legal expert Denyse Sabagh told the AP.