(ATLANTA, GA – 2/24/2020) The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today announced that it has appointed attorney Murtaza Khwaja to serve as its Legal and Policy Director effective Feb. 1st.
Khwaja previously served as CAIR Georgia's staff attorney and lobbyist from 2017 to 2020.
In his new role, Khwaja manages, and oversees the expansion of, the civil rights organization's legal and policy departments, which are pursuing creative legal and grassroots advocacy solutions to address discrimination and bigotry in Georgia.
"Murtaza Khwaja is a talented and dedicated lawyer who has successfully represented numerous Georgians impacted by bigotry and discrimination, even as he simultaneously advocates for justice in the halls of our state legislature," said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, the outgoing executive director of CAIR Georgia. “His skills and experiences make him uniquely positioned to strengthen and expand our legal department as we work to serve many more clients around the state.”
Khwaja joined CAIR Georgia as its staff attorney and lobbyist from 2017. In that capacity, he represented numerous victims of anti-Muslim discrimination, helped defeat anti-immigrant bills at the Georgia state legislature, and led efforts to organize the first-ever Muslim Advocacy Day at the Georgia State Capitol.
During law school, Khwaja interned with the International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination, and spent a year working in the Capital Defenders Clinic, where he helped Georgia Capital Defender attorneys argue against the death penalty. As a member of the Muslim Law Students Association at the GSU College of Law, Khwaja co-founded the Glitter of Hope Legal Clinic. The clinic aimed to provide legal assistance and resources to the Clarkston refugee community, including Know Your Rights workshops.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the Georgia Muslim community and in extension the entire Georgia community as CAIR Georgia’s Legal & Policy Director.” Khwaja said. “I look forward to advancing our work with our coalition and community partners to staunchly promote, defend, and advocate for the civil rights of all Georgians whether in the courtroom, in our state legislature, or in our homes. I am proud to continue to stand alongside those Georgians affected by discriminatory acts and policies.”