Sabiha Khan

Sabiha Khan


* Communications Director for the Southern California branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations
* Leader of the Hate Hurts America Interfaith and Community Coalition

Sabiha Khan is currently the Communications Director for the Southern California branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). She also headed the Hate Hurts America Interfaith and Community Coalition (HHA). Previously, she served as a spokesperson for CAIR-Los Angeles and as Executive Director for CAIR-Orlando.

In addition to her work with CAIR and HHA, Khan has been a consultant to a number of television and movie projects, including NYPD Blue, and has supervised and led various projects which, according to the Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, were “designed to bridge the gap of understanding between Muslims and their neighbors.”

Khan attended the University of California, Irvine, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Behavior and was a member of the Muslim Student Union.

During her tenure as CAIR-LA spokeswoman (from 2001-2006), Khan worked closely with Hussam Ayloush, the chapter’s Executive Director, to defend the radical cleric Wagdy Ghoneim. Ghoneim, who is affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, is known for his repeated calls for violent jihad against Jews. When Ghoneim was denied bond after his 2004 arrest in the U.S. for immigration violations, CAIR-LA called it an example of “Islamophobia,” and Khan organized an “emergency town hall” meeting to address the matter. She told told the Orange County Register, “Yes, people are worried that we are being persecuted because we are Muslim.”

During a 2004 controversy that centered around an all-Muslim football tournament whose participants had adopted team nicknames such as “Mujihideen” and “Soldiers of Allah,” Khan defended the nicknames, saying, “We do still live in America. We still have freedom of speech.”

In May 2005, Khan penned a guest editorial for The Geeze news website, where she conflated American society’s concern about “[t]he actions of extremist Jews, Muslims, Christians or others,” disingenuously implying that Americans as a whole felt equally threatened by extremism from each of those quarters. Her piece, however, said nothing about Islamic extremism specifically. Instead, it focused almost entirely on America’s alleged transgressions against Muslims vis a vis the war on terror:

“Irresponsible and immoral actions and reactions only fuel the vicious cycle that has the capability to destroy our entire world. At what point will the tolerant and rational people of all faiths join in putting an end to this vicious cycle of revenge and hatred? It is a cycle fueled by our [Americans’] actions at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, the torture tactics, the long, indefinite detentions of prisoners without charges, the use of heavy bombs on largely civilian areas, and the constant disregard of the Geneva Conventions and our own American values…. It is still not too late to demand accountability from our government and all those who act in our name against international and American human rights. If we fail to do so, then we cannot blame the rest of the world when it accuses us of blurring the line between the terrorists’ actions and our own.”

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