Press Releases

CAIR to Host Beyond Black History Month Event – ‘The Life and Contributions of Imam Siraj Wahhaj,’ March 17, 7 p.m. ET

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/12/2021) – On Wednesday, March 17, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, will host a virtual Beyond Black History Month event, titled “Life and Contributions of Imam Siraj Wahhaj,” as part of its “Upon Their Shoulders” campaign.     

The event will feature shared experiences and life lessons from Imam Siraj Wahhaj and from those who know him and his contributions to the empowerment of the American Muslim community over decades.   

For some 40 years, Imam Siraj Wahhaj has been a nationally and internationally recognized Islamic community leader and activist with a message “rooted in hope, faith and the power of redemption.”


From His Bio in “The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims 2021”:

“Siraj Wahhaj is Imam of the Al-Taqwa Mosque in Brooklyn, a prolific lecturer, community activist, the leader of the Muslim Alliance in North America, and former Vice President of ISNA. He first became famous for his successful efforts in fighting drugs and crime in his neighbourhood. In 1991, he became the first Muslim to recite the Opening Prayer of the Qur’an (Al-Fatiha) at the US House of Representatives. Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, proclaimed August 15, Siraj Wahhaj Day in honour of his “lifetime of outstanding and meaningful achievement.”

Scheduled presenters, who will join Imam Wahhaj for the event, include CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell and CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.      

“Imam Siraj’s principled work over the past decades has been instrumental in the amazing growth and empowerment we are now witnessing in the American Muslim community,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad

SEE Facebook Event:     

WHAT: The Life and Contributions of Imam Siraj Wahhaj  

WHEN: Wednesday, March 17, 7 p.m. ET    

WHERE: CAIR Facebook and YouTube page   

WHO: Imam Siraj Wahhaj, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad AwadCAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell, a representative of CAIR-NY, Other Special Guests    

Washington, D.C.–based CAIR and the American Muslim community are standing in solidarity with all those challenging anti-Black racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy.      

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 Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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