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Meet CAIR-Missouri's New Executive Director, Mojda Sidiqi

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File Photo | Emily Woodbury | St. Louis Public Radio
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New CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Mojda Sidiqi joined Thursday's talk show. Her predecessor, Faizan Syed, joined the conversation by phone.

Since 2012, Faizan Syed has been a key figure in Missouri’s Muslim community, serving as the executive director of the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. When he first started, CAIR-MO was a small organization with just one board member and a budget of a little more than $10,000. But the group has since become a leading voice in the community. 

Syed recently left the organization to become the new executive director of CAIR-Dallas-Fort Worth. Taking over as director this month is Mojda Sidiqi, who was previously CAIR-MO’s communications coordinator. There will be a farewell banquet and fundraiser for Syed at the organization’s 7th Anniversary Gala on Friday, Nov. 8. 

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, both Sidiqi and Syed joined host Sarah Fenske to discuss the organization’s past and its future. 

Sidiqi joined the organization in 2018 and now leads its efforts to enhance understanding of the Muslim faith, protect civil liberties and empower American Muslims. In addition to her advocacy work, Sidiqi plans to incorporate her passion for fitness and wellness into her work at CAIR-MO. 

“She’s extremely loving and passionate when it comes to not only civil rights for American Muslims, but really justice for all people. And she’s tough, too,” Syed said, describing Sidiqi’s ability to navigate conversations with intolerant people. 

“I always do my best to make sure that I answer in a way not to give a politically correct answer, but really connect with the people that are there, because at the end of the day, the whole point of being an activist, the whole point of worshipping any god, is that so I could relay the message of compassion and unity and family,” Sidiqi said. 

Listen to the full conversation: 

Related event

What: Tatreez and Tea. Wear your art on your sleeve.
When: 2:30-5:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019
Where: Lodge Des Peres (1050 Des Peres Rd, Des Peres, MO 63131)
Tickets: $20

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Tonina Saputo. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.