The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today offered sincere condolences on the passing Friday of Dr. Agha Saeed, founder of American Muslim Alliance (AMA) and chair of the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), after a long-term illness.
Dr. Saeed was one of five American Muslim leaders spied on for his political activism by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the FBI.
CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
“American Muslims just lost a legendary leader. Dr. Agha Saeed passed away after a long life of guiding and giving to our communities in America and beyond. He will be missed. Our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones. To God we belong and to him we return.”
In a statement, CAIR California CEO Hussam Ayloush said in part:
“AMA and Dr. Agha Saeed were among CAIR’s strongest and closest partners and friends. Prof. Agha Saeed was one of my earliest mentors and advisors when I started my career with CAIR, 25 years ago. I had the pleasure and the honor to learn from him and participate in dozens of meetings with him where I got the chance to be inspired by his passion, charisma, and commitment to justice. Prof. Saeed was a visionary political scientist and strategist, an optimist, a compassionate leader who firmly believed in uniting our Muslim community’s political efforts, and a principled advocate for freedom and justice in Palestine and Kashmir. . .
“May Allah reward Dr. Saeed for his sacrifices and contributions to our American Muslim community and its political growth. May Allah grant him mercy, forgiveness, and Jannah, and grant his family and all those who loved him patience and comfort.”
Dr. Saeed studied Political Science at the University of Punjab. He was the Founder and Chairman of American Muslim Alliance (AMA). He earned his MA and PhD in Rhetoric from University of California at Berkeley. He was also a lecturer in the Program in Asian Studies at California State University, East Bay.
During his long and distinguished career, Dr. Saeed was also an exchange scholar at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 2000, principled remarks by him in support of the Palestinian people led Hillary Clinton to refund $50,000 in campaign donations from American Muslim Alliance members.
He was coordinator of the American Muslim Task Force on Civil Rights and Elections for many years, as well as Founder and President of the Pakistan American Democratic Forum from 1982 to 2003 and Founder and Chair of the American Muslim Political Coordination Council from 1998–2001.