El-Farouk Khaki was born in Tanzania in 1963 and raised in London, England and Vancouver. He is a graduate of University of British Columbia Law School (1986), a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada (and British Columbia), and has been in private practice since 1993.
El-Farouk has been a long-time champion of equality and human rights. As a lawyer specializing in refugee and immigration law, he has done groundbreaking work in expanding Canada’s refugee protection on grounds of sexual orientation and gender. The majority of his legal practice involves representation of LGBT people, women fleeing gender violence, people living with HIV/AIDS who face persecution in their home countries, and anyone persecuted because of political, racial or religious oppression.
El-Farouk is one of the co-founders, and now Secretary-General, of the Canadian Muslim Union. He is an outspoken critic of the “Anti-Terrorist” legislation, racial profiling of Muslims and others and of the erosion of civil and human rights since 9/11. He founded Salaam, first queer Muslim group in Canada in 1991. El-Farouk continues to challenge existing stereotypes by merging his Muslim faith with his activism, and advocacy of gender, sexual orientation and HIV/AIDS issues. In 2003, as organizer for the Salaam/Al-Fateha International Conference, he organized the first female-led, mixed-gender Muslim prayer in Canada.
Since 1993, El-Farouk has been actively involved in a wide variety of local, national and international HIV/AIDS awareness and service organizations. He has spoken at a wide variety of public forums drawing connections between equality rights, HIV/AIDS issues, and immigration and refugee concerns particularly on issues of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation and HIV/AIDS. His efforts have been publicly recognized by a wide and diverse group of community organizations including among others: Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention Community Support Award, HOLA [Latino Gay Group] Plaque for Outstanding Support, PRIDE TORONTO 2006 Award for Excellence in Spirituality, and the LGCA (Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal) 2007 Steinert and Ferreiro Award.
El-Farouk was recently elected Chair of APAA (Africans In Partnership Against AIDS). He has been a Board member of the 519 Church Street Community Centre, and served on the Toronto Mayor’s Committee on Community and Race Relations. He is the New Democratic Party’s candidate for the House of Commons from a district in Toronto Centre in a by-election held on March 17, 2008.
(This biographical statement taken from the website www.elfaroukkhaki.ca.)