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Watch This Face - Cyrus McGoldrick

Watch This Face - Cyrus McGoldrick

Issue 81 June 2011

New York is home to many superheroes: Spiderman, Iron Man and Captain America, to name but a few. Cyrus McGoldrick is the latest addition to the gang. By day, he is the Civil Rights Manager for the Council of American-Islamic Relations in New York (CAIR-NY). By night, he transforms into a hip-hop musician, rapping under the name ‘Raskol Khan’.

“Raskol is a character in Dostoevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’. He’s an interesting person, in that he’s trying to do the right thing but gets lost in his own world, and finds himself caught up between the law and morality.”

“I chose to rap under a different name, as I wanted my music to stand out from my daily activities,” says Cyrus. “I don’t see it as an act or a show, but more as a way to channel my ability to perform. I believe that we as humans are at our best when we combine entertainment with education and activism.”

Cyrus is the only full-time member of staff at CAIR-NY, and is primarily involved in advocating for victims of religious discrimination. “We’ve resolved cases with schools, employers, the police force and the government. Unfortunately, our nature forces us to be reactive, but we find opportunities to be pro-active and ensure that Islam is being represented at all levels of society and across the spectrum.”

So, what lies ahead for Cyrus? “I’d like to attend law school and take this fight for civil liberties seriously—we have to exercise our rights to empower our community.”

Ali Khimji

Ariane Moshayedi

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