CAIR New Jersey 15th Annual Banquet a Success, with Lt. Sheila Oliver, and Others 


(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 10/27/2021) –The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today said almost 350 people turned out last Saturday for its 15th Annual Banquet in Newark, with the theme “Inspired by Faith. Leading by Service.”

Banquet speakers included Sheila Oliver, Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey; CAIR National Board Chair Roula Allouch; Shaykh Yasir Fahmy, research adviser at Yaqeen Institute; Abrar Omeish, at-large member of the Fairfax County (Va.) School Board; and Amer Zahr, Palestinian Arab American comedian, lawyer, and professor at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Banquet honorees included Laila Khan, who successfully petitioned for the Eid holiday to be recognized in Montclair; Palestinian American Community Center (PACC); Zellie Imani of BLM Paterson; and Ahmed Shehab, CAIR national board treasurer, and CAIR-NJ board member.


In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said:

“It was an inspirational night! We thank all those who helped make our 15th annual banquet another successful event. Some 350 community members turned out for the banquet, which raised nearly $180,000 to support our ongoing civil rights and advocacy efforts.

“For the past 15 years, our staff, board members, and volunteers have dedicated themselves to fighting racism and bigotry by offering free legal services to victims of harassment and discrimination. CAIR-NJ has advocated for inclusive policies at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure marginalized peoples are respected and welcomed in New Jersey.

“Our banquet is also a celebration of the New Jersey Muslim community, its leadership in civic engagement, social justice work, and many achievements and contributions.

“This year we were honored to have Lt. Sheila Oliver address our audience about her engagement with the Muslim community and the importance of valuing the diversity of our state.”


Maksut noted that the CAIR-NJ office has doubled the size of its staff since its last banquet in February of 2020 and is on track to continue growing.
He also noted that New Jersey is home to three times as many Muslim adults per capita as the national average and that New Jersey also has more Muslim elected officials than any other state in the nation. 


CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.


La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.