Annual Report 2017

Muslim Advocates protects the rights of American Muslims and defends our nation’s promise of freedom, justice, and equality for Americans of all faiths. In addition, Muslim Advocates provides American Muslims the legal knowledge, tools, and resources to understand their rights and defend themselves and their institutions from discriminatory policies and anti-Muslim hate.

We Filed Lawsuits Challenging Bigotry & Discrimination Targeting American Muslims

  • Seven (7) lawsuits challenging the Muslim ban and its implementation, including the first major lawsuit against Muslim ban 3.0, ​Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump; a​nd a suit that ordered the State Department to turn over critically important reports about the development and creation process of Muslim Ban 3.0.
  • A​ defamation lawsuit​ against the most viewed neo-Nazi website ​The Daily Stormer ​and its founder Andrew Anglin on behalf of Dean Obeidallah, an American Muslim comedian and political commentator. The lawsuit was filed in response to a defamatory post, published by The Daily Stormer​, which falsely asserted that Obeidallah was the “mastermind” behind the bombing of a concert in Manchester, UK in 2017.
  • A lawsuit on behalf of the Islamic Center of Culpeper (ICC), which was wrongfully denied a permit to build its mosque in Culpeper, Virginia.​ This suit led to a settlement from the county allowing the ICC to build its mosque​.

We Held Corporations Accountable for Their Roles in Promoting Anti-Muslim Bigotry

  • For months, we ​issued​ calls for ​Twitter​ and ​Facebook​ to combat the use of their platforms to promote hate and bigotry. In December, Twitter updated its policies and deleted the hate-ridden accounts of Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of anti-Muslim hate group Britain First, and several other Britain First members.
  • We joined with others to ​pressure the CEO of Uber to be the first to step down from President Trump’s business council​, shortly after the first Muslim ban was issued. This first defection helped pave the way for more corporate CEOs to step down and ​the eventual dissolution of each of the Trump business councils​ in August.
  • We launched ​#NoRoomForHate​, a digital campaign, to pressure Marriott International to cancel their hosting of the annual ACT for America convention – the largest anti-Muslim gathering in the country. While the Marriott still hosted the hate-convention, we, alongside diverse allies, pressured the Marriott CEO to publicly address the controversy and garnered widespread national news coverage in the​ New York Times​,​ Washington Post​,​ Buzzfeed​,​ Fortune​,​ Slate​,​ Travel Weekly​,​ Asian American News​, ​Huffington Post​,​ UK Independent​,​ LA Times​,​ Quartz​,​ Associated Press​,​ Travel Pulse​ and​ Newsweek​.

We Made Clear that Anti-Muslim Hate Cannot Be the “New Normal” in Public Life

  • Our ​#EvictTheBigots​ campaign helped lead to the stepping down of virulently anti-Muslim officials like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka and helped torpedo the nomination of Army Secretary nominee Mark Green. This work has sent a clear message that anti-Muslim bigotry is unacceptable for a federal appointment.
  • When the largest anti-Muslim hate group in the country planned a series of marches on Ramadan,​ we helped to organize over 100 local and national advocates to speak out, urge their mayors to condemn bigotry, and to hold counter-events​ that showed unity in the face of hate.

We Equipped American Muslims to Protect Their Rights

  • We hosted​ a nationwide panel series to discuss the impact of​ the Muslim ban, on the heels of the announcement of the third iteration. The panelists highlighted the changes in the latest iteration, its scope, and the ways in which it has already affected local communities.
  • We issued know-your-rights travel advisories and fact sheets in advance of ​hajj​, the annual religious pilgrimage, and the ​winter travel season​. Some of these materials were available in seven different languages. After each major change in the Muslim ban, we hosted nationwide community calls and immediate alerts to inform community members of their rights while traveling.
  • In advance of Ramadan and given the significant rise of mosque burnings, vandalism, and bombings, ​we issued an arson awareness alert to mosques and Muslim charities nationwide​ with best practices and resources.

We Joined Forces with Diverse Communities to Fight Back Against Anti-immigrant, Anti-People of Color, Anti-Woman, and Anti-LGBTQ Policies and Bigotry

  • We filed an ​amicus​, or “friend of the court,” brief, in conjunction with Columbia Law School’s Public Rights/Private Conscience Project, in the ​Masterpiece Cakeshop ​Supreme Court case arguing that overly-broad accommodations of religious liberty, such as that requested by Masterpiece Cakeshop, undermine not just LGBTQ rights but religious liberty itself. ​
  • Following President Trump’s hateful decision to bar transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military, Muslim Advocates ​joined​ the bipartisan chorus calling for a policy reversal.
  • After President Trump’s ill-advised decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Muslim Advocates ​joined​ the bipartisan chorus calling on Congress to pass a clean Dream Act, including filing an ​amicus​ brief in support of a lawsuit in federal court in New York challenging the President’s decision to end the program.

We Grew to Meet the Demands Put on Our Community

  • We grew to our largest staff in our organization’s 13-year history, with more on the way.
  • We opened a new Washington, DC office in addition to our Oakland headquarters.
  • We ​joined forces​ with the Dulles Justice Coalition to defend individuals and communities who are unjustly targeted and to push back against unlawful and discriminatory policies.
  • We dramatically raised our profile, with hundreds of news clips and significant growth in our email list and social media following.

Roster of Board of Directors

Farhana Khera

President and Executive Director

Muslim Advocates Oakland, CA

Rashid Alvi

Chair of the Board of Directors

NovoPath, Inc.
Chief Strategy Officer and V.P. of Operations Princeton, NJ

Faiyaz Hussain

Chair of the Governance Committee


Senior Counsel

Chicago, IL

Saema Somalya

Chair of the Finance Committee

Fifth Third Bank
Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary Cincinnati, OH

Nahid Aliniazee

Chair of the Development Committee

Philanthropist & Community Activist Los Altos, CA

Shahzad Malik


Nixon Peabody LLP Partner
Los Angeles, CA

Eyhab Aejaz


​Liberty Mutual Benefits – Global Accident & Health Director, Business Development
Boston, MA

Irfan Galaria

Galaria Plastic Surgery & Dermatology Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon Washington, DC

Mohamed Yusuf Mohamed Tesla Motors, Inc. Associate General Counsel Fremont, CA

Mohammad Fadel
University of Toronto Faculty of Law Associate Professor
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

Aaliya Yaqub Forward
Medical Founder Stanford, CA


2017 audited financial statement to be finalized; 2016 provided below: Total Income: $ 3,003,202
Expenses for Program to End Profiling: $ 390,593
Expenses for Program to Counter Hate: $ 681,571

Expenses for Program to Strengthen Charities: $ 579,442 Total Program Expenses: $ 1,651,606
Total Fundraising Expenses: $ 511,366
Total Administrative Expenses: $ 213,176

Net Assets: $ 1,553,085