- Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Chicago branch
Born in 1977, Ahmed Rehab serves as Executive Director of the Chicago Office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and also as CAIR’s National Strategic Communications Director.
Rehab was born in Cairo, Egypt and immigrated (with his parents) to the United States in 1992. He attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He went on to receive a graduate degree in software engineering from DePaul University.
After completing his studies, Rehab turned his attention to “organizing and empowering Chicago’s Muslim-American community.” Appalled by what he perceived to be a rise in anti-Muslim prejudice among Americans in the aftermath of 9/11, Rehab took the helm of CAIR’s Chicago office with the aim of fostering “cutting-edge professional activism” that would counterbalance “Jewish dominance” of the media and “bring about more fair and accurate coverage of Islam and Muslims.”
In “‘Double Standardism’: The Case of the Two Books” — an article critical of the Jewish author Salman Rushdie — Rehab writes: “The Muslims protesting [Rushdie’s book] Satanic Verses were given little credibility as they were seen as being biased for their religion. On the other hand, the Jews and the Jewish subjects were not seen as such but rather as credible professionals…” Rehab further condemns the American media for its tendency to dismiss any suggestion that the horrors of the Holocaust have been exaggerated.
In his follow-up article — “‘Double Standardism’: The Case of the Two Films” — Rehab denounces the pro-Jewish slant he believes to be prevalent in Hollywood and the filmmaking industry.
Acknowledging that his worldview has been shaped, in large measure, by the Muslim Brotherhood, Rehab credits especially the group’s founder, Hassan Al Banna, as a “contemporary Muslim individual who influenced” him.
In addition to his roles with CAIR, Rehab is also a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Muslim task force; Board member and Secretary of the Egyptian American Society; and a Board member of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.