Al-Haaj Ghazi Y. Khankan was a pioneer in American Muslim civic engagement
WASHINGTON, April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The board and staff of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today offered sincere condolences to the family of Al-Haaj Ghazi Y. Khankan, a respected New York Muslim community leader and activist who died today on Long Island.
[NOTE: Family and friends will gather at 6 p.m. today at the Islamic Center of Long Island, 835 Brush Hollow Road, Westbury, N.Y. Funeral prayers (Salat-ul-Janaza) will be offered after Friday congregational prayers (Salat-ul-Jumu'ah) at the Islamic Center of Long Island. The burial will take place in New Jersey.]
"To God we belong and to Him we return," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Brother Ghazi was a true pioneer in helping the American Muslim community have a voice in our society through positive civic engagement and coalition building. His interfaith efforts also helped Americans of other faiths better understand Islam and the American Muslim experience. As an early supporter of CAIR's New York chapter, Brother Ghazi was instrumental in defending the civil rights of all New Yorkers."
Awad added: "The best way to honor Brother Ghazi's memory is to continue his life's work of promoting mutual understanding."
In a statement, CAIR-NY Board Chair Zead Ramadan said:
"It is with profound sadness that we share the news of the passing of our beloved Brother Al-Haaj Ghazi Y. Khankan this morning. He was a trailblazer in advocacy for the understanding of Islam in the U.S. dating back to the 1950s. He has been a part of and helped build most of the significant Muslim organizations in New York, including leading New York's CAIR office as its executive director.
"Br. Ghazi will always be remembered for conducting his work and interactions with others with a kind heart, fairness, a brilliant poetic wit, and with a tranquil and respectful disposition. He mentored and affected so many people. May Allah, in His infinite Mercy, keep Al-Hajj Ghazi in the best place, have mercy on his soul, and bring peace to the hearts of his family and loved ones."
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations