Muslim Advocates Mourns the Tragic Death of Trailblazing Jurist Sheila Abdus-Salaam

OAKLAND – Farhana Khera, president and executive director of Muslim Advocates, released the following statement in response to the tragic death of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam who is the first African-American woman and first Muslim to serve on New York State’s highest court:

“This is a true loss for the state of New York and for the nation. It is not easy rising through a career in the public service all the way to New York’s highest court, especially for women, especially for Muslims, and especially for African Americans, but that didn’t stop Judge Abdus-Salaam from breaking through those barriers so that others may follow. While law enforcement has said they have seen no evidence of foul-play, given the circumstances, we urge the police department to pursue a full and thorough investigation to be sure. We share our deepest condolences with Judge Abdus-Salaam’s family and with the people of New York, who have lost a pioneer and a model jurist.”

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths. Learn more at