At times during the past week, Utah Muslim leader Yussuf Awadir Abdi thought he might never be allowed to return to the United States.
Abdi, a U.S. citizen and the imam of Salt Lake City’s Madina Masjid Islamic Center, had recently traveled to Kenya to pick up his wife and five children. On Wednesday, his family was allowed to board a plane, but officials at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International pulled Abdi aside.
The imam said he was told the United States would not allow his re-entry into the country. His family stayed with him while lawyers with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Refugee Justice League of Utah worked to untangle the matter.
“The night they told me, You are not allowed to go, I thought I [might] never go,” Abdi said.
His children also wondered whether they would ever get to the United States, according to the imam.
On Sunday afternoon, however, the Abdi family landed at Salt Lake City International Airport, ending a journey that included two more delays after leaving Kenya.
They were met by a crowd of about 100 supporters who cheered and clapped loudly as they walked into the baggage claim area. Many …