Who Are We? 

The History     The Mission      Services     Statistics     Management & Staff

The History :

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a nonprofit, grassroots membership organization.  CAIR was established in 1994 to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims. Its headquarters are located in Washington, D.C. where it plays an active role in influencing policies that affect Muslims.  With its successful work, professional staff and attitude, CAIR expanded quickly, forming chapters in most major cities across the United States and Canada. 

The Los Angeles chapter of CAIR was formed in 1996, initially consisting of a group of dedicated volunteers.  The need for a full-time staff person to handle the vast amount of work was quickly apparent, and a permanent office was established.  As CAIR-Southern California continued to expand its work, two more full-time staff members were added in 2000.

The Mission :

CAIR is dedicated to presenting an Islamic perspective on issues of importance to the American public.  In offering that perspective, we seek to empower the Muslim community in America through political and social activism.  We believe that the many misrepresentations of Islam prevalent today are most often the result of ignorance on the part of non-Muslims and reluctance on the part of Muslims to articulate their cause

Services :

From CAIR’s inception, it aspired to create a comprehensive structure for education and training on Islamic issues for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.  This structure consists of the following services:

1-Media Relations:  We work with media professionals both locally and on a national level to help shape a positive image of Islam.  CAIR activists also monitor the local, national and international media to challenge negative stereotypes of Islam and Muslims and present Muslim viewpoints on issues of concern to our community.  CAIR works with the media to ensure a wide and positive coverage of Ramadan and Hajj. 



2-Conferences and Seminars:  We organize conferences and seminars for media professionals, government officials and the academic community.  These events are designed to present otherwise unavailable information about Islam and Muslims.



Last year, over 800 people attended the CAIR Conference.

3-Publications: A variety of publications addressing the status and needs of Muslims in America are offered to opinion leaders and the public at large.  In addition to publishing a quarterly newsletter, “Faith in Action,” CAIR produces practical handbooks, such as “Hajj and Ramadan Publicity Resource Kits,” for use by Muslim leaders and activists. (See Appendix 2 for sample publications.

4-Action Alerts:  CAIR issues Action Alerts to local communities as a rapid means of promoting local activism and generating a grassroots response on important issues.  We believe local response is a key factor in making our voices heard on both the local and national levels. 

5-Research:  CAIR undertakes research on subjects relevant to the American Muslim community, including gathering data for an annual report on the status of Muslim civil rights.  This report details incidents of anti-Muslim bias and violence.  Position papers on a variety of issues relating to Muslims in America are produced as required.

6-Anti-Discrimination Work:  CAIR works through its legal advisors and local activists to fight discrimination of any type directed against Muslims in America.  This discrimination often relates to misuse of Islamic symbols or the violation of civil rights in the workplace.  With Allah’s help, CAIR succeeded in assisting hundreds of Muslims win back their jobs.  Hundreds of companies, schools, and hospitals are now educated about Islamic religious practices. 



7-Lobbying:  CAIR activists lobby American political leaders on issues related to Islam and Muslims in America.  Issues of particular interest include freedom of expression and religious practice for Muslims in America.  Over the last few years, CAIR-LA has met and communicated with most Congressmen from the Southern California area.  This has lead to a better understanding between our Muslim community and the political leaders in cooperation toward our issues


8-Training/Outreach:  CAIR trains American Muslim community activists and leaders in techniques of effective media and public relations, lobbying and public speaking.  Experts are available to offer seminars in local communities.

  CAIR volunteers working on a community project

9-Internships:  CAIR offers internships to students and other interested individuals who wish to gain experience in media relations, political activism and anti-discrimination work.  CAIR-LA has recently announced internship opportunities for four positions at its office.

10-Interfaith Relations:  Islam places much stress on promoting mutual respect and good relations between Muslims and the People of the Book.  CAIR works toward this goal through public education and interfaith cooperation.  CAIR-LA is an active member of several interfaith councils in Southern California.

Ra’id Faraj, Public Relations Director of CAIR-LA, presenting a workshop on Islamic religious practices to hospital employees at CHOC

Statistics :

Management & Staff :

CAIR – National:

Board of Directors
Omar Ahmad, Founder and Chairman
Dr. Sulayman Nyang
Dr. Ihsan Bagby
Dr. Mujeeb Cheema
Nabeel Sadoon
Dr. Sheema Khan
Nihad Awad, Co-Founder


Board of Advisors
Dr. Jamal Badawi
Dr. Ali Mazrui
Fmr. Rep. Paul Findley
Imam W.D. Mohammed
Imam Siraj Wahhaj
Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed
Dr. Mohammad Cheema
Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi
Manzoor Ghori
Dr. Abdullah Idris


CAIR – California:

Board of Directors
Omar Ahmad
Chad Carson
Malika Khan
Fouad Khatib (President)
Mahmud Musbah
Haseeb Rizvi
Athar Siddiquee


Executive Committee
Asem Abusir                            
Dyan Hansford
Mohammad A. Auwal              
Ashraf Ibrahim
Hussam Ayloush                      
Sherrel  Johnson
Fathi Dweik                            
Sohail Merchant
Riad Abdelkarim                      
Saed Moujtahed
Mohammad Aftab                    
Masoud Nasimi
Mohiddine Akkad-Salam         
Hanif Paracha  
Maher Ghorani            
Fawad Yacoob



Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director.  Holds an MBA degree from California State University in Fullerton.  Mr. Ayloush has been involved with CAIR-LA since its beginning.  He currently oversees media and political activities at the office, as well as managing the general affairs of the office.

Ra’id Faraj, Public Relations Director.  Holds an MA in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University.  Mr. Faraj handles cases of discrimination and coordinates training activities for the community.  He also manages CAIR’s interfaith programs.

Sakeena Mirza, Research and Education Director. Holds a BA in Arabic from UCLA.  Ms. Mirza oversees CAIR’s activities with local schools and libraries concerning Islamic awareness.  She also handles membership relations.

©2001 The Council on American-Islamic Relations 2115 W. Crescent Ave. Ste 260 Anaheim, CA 92801 USA

Tel: 714-776-1847 , Fax: 714-776-8340 cair@nayzak.com