Muslim Advocates on Tuesday announced civil rights lawyer Omar Farah, who has sued the Justice Department over its oversight of the Black Lives Matter movement, as the group’s new executive director.
Farah, who takes the role on September 26, was previously a senior attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. He has focused on litigation and defense of illegal police practices and counter-terrorism practices.
Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy group working on issues such as religious discrimination, hate crimes and law enforcement bias against Muslim communities and other marginalized groups.
Farah told Bloomberg Law he plans to take a methodical and responsible approach to his new role. He will work to build an ongoing dialogue with partners who work on a much broader view of the challenges faced by Muslims and other marginalized communities.
“It’s pretty clear, for example, that some core issues that I believe are unfortunate legacies of post-9/11 and the human rights crisis, will continue to be core issues for defenders of Muslims, including surveillance, policing and prisons, but as far as is an approach, the work is really about values-based engagement with frontline communities, organizers and community partners to dictate where we go and the type of interventions we do,” Farah said.
“One of the really deep responsibilities that comes with being a national organization with the reach of Muslim advocates is that we have some capacity and some expertise to bring to these kinds of issues,” he said. declared. “So if we don’t do it in a way that is closely tailored to what our communities are asking of us, not only are we not helping, but we could actually be doing harm.”
Farah was part of a CCR legal team that sued the DOJ in 2016, seeking to force the department to release information about the alleged surveillance of Black Lives Matter protesters. A court first ruled against the group and the case was later settled, according to the CCR.
Muslim Advocates was founded in 2005 after the passage of the Patriot Act to ensure “American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation,” according to the group.
“Omar Farah fought against injustice when he and Muslim Advocates helped end an unconstitutional NYPD surveillance program that targeted American Muslims, including those who have long lived in my district,” the report said. representing Jamaal Bowman (DN.Y.). “As the new leader of Muslim Advocates, I know he will fight with the same passion and achieve the same kinds of results on behalf of targeted communities across the country.”