Omar Farah is a respected civil rights leader and legal advocate with a distinguished history of fighting for American Muslims and other historically targeted communities.
Farah comes to Muslim Advocates after more than a decade at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he was the organization’s associate director of strategic initiatives and where he oversaw litigation and advocacy related to abusive policing and counterterrorism practices—including the unlawful surveillance of American Muslims, discriminatory policing and the indefinite detention and torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.
During his tenure at CCR, Farah was dedicated to the organization’s ongoing expansion into the American South, helping lead the reestablishment of the Southern Regional Office, a hub from which CCR partners and supports southern movements addressing emergent social justice challenges in the region.
A distinguished litigator, Farah has a long and accomplished track record of defending civil rights in court. He was lead counsel in Color of Change v. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation, which unsealed records that helped reveal the monitoring and surveillance of the Movement for Black Lives. He partnered with Muslim Advocates to win a historic settlement in Hassan v. City of New York, a landmark victory that led to the end of an unconstitutional NYPD surveillance program targeting New Jersey Muslims.
For more than a decade, Farah has fought to close the Guantánamo Bay detention center. He has represented several of the Muslim men and boys who were indefinitely detained without charge, including Fahd Ghazy who was sent to Guantanamo at just seventeen years of age and Tariq Ba Odah, who spent nearly nine years on hunger strike before being released to Saudi Arabia in 2016.
His other work includes the landmark Floyd v. City of New York monitorship overseeing the NYPD’s court-ordered reforms to its racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk practices; Detention Watch Network v. ICE, a Freedom of Information Act case exposing abuses by federal immigration authorities against detained immigrants and Belton v. Gautreaux, an emergency habeas corpus case that challenged the conditions of confinement in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison in light of life-threatening risk of COVID-19.
Farah regularly speaks about law and policy at the intersection of national security and the criminalization of Black, Brown and immigrant communities in the U.S. His work has been covered by major news outlets, including The New York Times, MSNBC, Democracy Now!, and Al Jazeera. Farah’s opinion pieces have appeared in Rolling Stone, The Huffington Post and The Global Journal, among other news outlets. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Georgetown University Law School.