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WEST VALLEY CITY — One of Utah’s prominent spiritual leaders is leaving the state, and Utah’s Muslim community is wishing Imam Muhammed Mehtar the best.
At the Khadeeja Islamic Center in West Valley City, Imam Mehtar led Friday prayers for the final time. After 11 years as the Imam in West Valley City, he is moving to California, so he can better care for his parents.
“I think I will miss the mountains, sometimes I will miss the snow,” he chuckled.
But he says, he will certainly miss the people of Utah.
“Amazingly friendly, very, very kind, very, very hospitable, and this is something I will really miss, not only among my faith, but other communities as well,” he said.
During his time in Utah, Imam Mehtar’s friendly and welcoming personality helped to build bridges in the community. He’s been part of the Interfaith Roundtable and a frequent guest on Utah college campuses, helping to bring more understanding about Islam.
On Friday, his office was full of thank you cards and gifts from friends of all walks of life. Despite all of the well wishes he is receiving, Imam Mehtar says he is taking much more with him — he says the goodness of the people he has come to love in Utah.
During his tenure, attendance at the mosque has flourished, and he says other Muslims here will always be part of his family. It's a fond farewell, he says, but certainly not a goodbye.
“It will be a good thing to come by in the future and say hello. It is something I will look forward to,” he added.