Omar Ahmad

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This article is about the founder of CAIR. For the American politician, see Omar Ahmad (American politician).
Omar Ahmad
Born 1959
Amman, Jordan
Alma mater Santa Clara University
Occupation Businessman, founder of Council on American-Islamic Relations

Omar Ahmad (Arabic: عمر أحمد‎‎) was the founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington D.C.-based Muslim civil rights organization. He also worked for the Islamic Association of Palestine, a precursor to CAIR. He was born in Amman, Jordan. He holds a Masters in Computer Science from Santa Clara University as well as a Masters in Political Science. He also served on the Board of Trustees for the Santa Clara City Library for 8 years.

He had been the chairman of CAIR's board of directors since its founding in 1994, but stepped down from that position in May 2005.[citation needed] At the time that he resigned, CAIR claimed to be the largest Muslim civil liberties organization in the United States, with over 30 regional offices and chapters.[1]


In 1998 news journalist Lisa Gardner wrote an article containing alleged excerpts from a public speech Ahmad gave in California:

Omar M. Ahmad, chairman of the board of the Council on American-Islamic relations, spoke before a packed crowd at the Flamingo Palace banquet hall on Peralta Boulevard, urging Muslims not to shirk their duty of sharing the Islamic faith with those who are “on the wrong side.”

Muslim institutions, schools and economic power should be strengthened in America, he said. Those who stay in America should be “open to society without melting (into it),” keeping mosques open so anyone can come and learn about Islam, he said.

“If you choose to live here (in America) … you have a responsibility to deliver the message of Islam,” he said.

Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant, he said. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth, he said.

[2] Ahmad has denied saying the last paraphrased paragraph, which many, including Muslim leaders such as Mike Ghouse of the World Muslim Congress characterized as a "dangerously militant statement" and "one of the most anti-Islamic, most arrogant, bullying statement[s] made in behalf of Islam."[3]


  1. ^ "25 facts about CAIR". Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Jocelyne Cesari: Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States, Vol. 1, Greenwood Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-313-33625-6, p. 167
  3. ^ Moore, Art (December 11, 2006). "Did CAIR founder say Islam to rule America?". WorldNetDaily. 

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