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CAIR-CA Celebrates Appointment of First-Ever Muslim Chaplain of the California State Assembly

(SACRAMENTO, CA, 12/7/2020) – The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) today celebrated the historic appointment of Imam Mohammad “Yasir” Khan as the state’s Assembly chaplain for the 2021-22 session. California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon made the announcement today.

READ: Twitter Post by CAIR-SV Executive Director

READ: Tweet by Sac Bee Reporter

Khan is the first-ever Muslim chaplain appointed to the California Legislature, and potentially the first Muslim chaplain for any state legislature in the United States. 

The Assembly chaplain opens each legislative session with a prayer.

“I’m humbled and honored by the opportunity to serve as Assembly chaplain and will serve faithfully,” Imam Yasir Khan said. “What makes California so great is our ability to engage with our state’s diverse perspectives to build bridges together for a better tomorrow, and I am eager to do my part in our State Capitol.”

“We thank Speaker Rendon for this historic appointment and for demonstrating your dedication to an inclusive California for all,” said Basim Elkarra, executive director of CAIR-Sacramento Valley (CAIR-SV), an office of CAIR-CA. “Thousands of Californians have benefitted from Imam Yasir Khan’s chaplaincy and social service efforts over the years, and to see him at the Capitol will inspire so many.”

Khan is the president of the Council of Sacramento Valley Islamic Organizations (COSVIO), which includes CAIR-SV, and the founder of Al-Misbaah, a nonprofit that supports refugees and families with financial and in-kind assistance as well as providing spiritual and youth programming. 

Khan also currently serves as a chaplain at the San Joaquin County jail and Lodi Memorial Hospital. 

Khan was born and raised in Sacramento and graduated from South African Islamic University Darul Uloom Zakariyya. 

CAIR-CA is a chapter of CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.


CONTACT: Outreach and Youth Coordinator Hasna El-Nounou,, 916-441-6269

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