Press Releases

CAIR Offers Condolences and Support for the Wahhaj Family

Muslim Group Calls on Media to Stop Harassing Grieving Family Members, Spreading False Rumors

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/10/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy and civil rights organization, today extended condolences to the family of three-year-old Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, as well as support for his grandfather, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, a respected leader of the American Muslim community. 

CAIR’s statement also calls on the media to refrain from re-victimizing members of the Wahhaj family with sensationalistic or Islamophobic coverage. CAIR also condemns those hate groups that have already used this tragedy as an opportunity to launch a smear campaign against Imam Wahhaj.

In a statement offered by CAIR:

“In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.

We extend our sincere condolences to the family of three-year-old Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj. We pray that God grants the Wahhaj family comfort, patience and strength as they mourn the loss of this young child.

We encourage law enforcement to work as expeditiously as possible to determine what happened to Abdul-Ghani, why it happened and who must be held accountable for this tragedy. 

In the meantime, both the public and the media should refrain from jumping to conclusions, spreading rumors or harassing members of this grieving family. To do so victimizes them all over again.

We strongly condemn those outlets and hate groups that have already used this tragedy as an opportunity to launch a smear campaign against Imam Siraj Wahhaj.

Over the past forty years, Imam Siraj has made innumerable positive contributions to the people of New York, as well as the American Muslim community. 

Imam Siraj was the first American Muslim to deliver an opening invocation before the U.S. Congress. His mosque famously transformed an entire neighborhood, leading a generation of young people away from a life of crime and addiction. He has also traveled across our nation in support of various charitable, educational and social justice causes.

It is also important to note that Imam Siraj Wahhaj has spent the past year supporting those humanitarian causes while simultaneously working with law enforcement to find his missing relatives. Indeed, it was the imam’s assistance that reportedly allowed law enforcement to finally locate them in New Mexico.

Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to Imam Siraj for his efforts to stand against injustice, both on our streets and around the world. We stand with Imam Siraj, his daughter-in-law Hakima Ramzi, and the rest of his family as they grieve and seek answers in this trying time.”

CAIR is 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.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


Contact: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Manager Naaz Modan,

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