Best Holy Person Orange County 2012 - Muzammil Siddiqi
1 Al-Rahman Plaza
Garden Grove, CA 92844
Even all these years later after 9/11—after being accused by lunatics of wanting to impose an Islamic theocracy on America, after being accused of being a terrorist himself, after having to deal with the uncomfortable fact that his mosque spawned the American-born Taliban communications chief Adam Gadahn—even after all this, Muzammil Siddiqi (nicknamed Dr. Sid by his younger, hipper followers) remains the face of American Islam. And what a face: a kind, gray, bearded Indian immigrant who has headed Orange County's oldest mosque for more than 30 years and still delivers sermons nearly every Friday afternoon, who was a pioneer in interfaith dialogue, and who has helped the Islamic community of Orange County grow exponentially while appearing almost weekly on some news outlet to reassure Americans that Muslims are not going to behead them. Even after all this, the Imam at the Islamic Society of Orange County has the patience and virtue of . . . well, if not Jesus and not Muhammad (peace be unto him), then of some really patient, virtuous mensch.