Dr. Kimat Khatak (2021)
M Riaz Khan, PhD
On January 7, 2021, the Islamic Council of New England (ICNE) lost one of its most stanch benefactors, a visionary leader and community organizer. Dr. Kimat Khatak was a vocal advocate of Council’s mission to be a collective Muslim voice in New England on regional and national issues, particularly those concerning Islam’s standing in this country. With his entrenched commitment and altruistic leadership dedication, he always remained engaged in promoting and mobilizing Muslim communities to be a force in effectuating a positive change in the society. Those who worked with him had known him as a straight shooter and often blunt in his resolve to pursue what he deemed important for those he served, yet admired for his candor and forthrightness even by people with opposing views. He will be remembered for his generosity and philanthropic efforts to elevate his community in the cause of Islam and humanity.
Dr. Khatak joined ICNE in 1987 and remained affiliated with it since. He was among the founding Benefactors of the Council who established its Endowment Fund and contributed to it as a financial backbone of the Council and for its fiscal viability. Dr. Khatak chaired ICNE Annual Conference in 1997 at Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA. He served as ICNE President in 2008.
Among Dr. Khatak’s major accomplishments is the establishment in 1984 of the Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts, West Springfield, MA. He was one of its founding members and was elected as its first President. The area of beneficence of dynamic leaders of altruism has no frontiers. Dr. Khatak spearheaded the rise of yet another Islamic center that seals his legacy. He played a leading role in 2015 in the establishment of Masjid Bait Salaam, Springfield, MA; and remained its Head until his earthly tenure came to conclusion. Both organizations are ICNE
Dr. Khatak was a well-respected Cardiologist in his professional circle. A graduate of Liaquat Medical College (1963), Pakistan, Dr. Khatak was associated with Holyoke Medical Center, Holyoke, MA. He joined the Center in 1979 where he was held in high esteem by his peers, colleagues and staff: “….those who strive in Our cause, We shall surely guide them to Our path. Indeed Allah is with those who do good.” [Qur’an, 29: 69]