Former NJ mosque director named head of civil-rights advocacy group

FilaliBy Hannan Adely, Bergen Record

Mohamed El Filali, one of North Jersey's most well-known and outspoken Muslim leaders, has been named executive director of the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

El Filali left his job as executive director of the Islamic Center of Passaic County in Paterson, one of the largest mosques in the state, where he began working in 2004 as an outreach director.

During his time there, El Filali was a frequent spokesman for causes in the Muslim community including concerns about New York City police surveillance in New Jersey. He has been widely quoted in newspapers and has made numerous appearances on television and radio news programs, including "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." He met often with public officials and conducted sensitivity lectures and training for law enforcement, schools, local and state organizations and houses of worship.

El Filali is a board member of the Muslim Christian Dialogue project of North Jersey. He has been a jail chaplain and is active in mental health and disability issues. (Read more)