Mahershala Ali on the red carpet - REUTERS/Mike Blake Mahershala Ali on the red carpet - REUTERS/Mike Blake

Mahershala Ali first Muslim to win Academy Award

Mon, Feb. 27, 2017
CAIRO – 27 February 2017: American actor Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim to win an Academy Award last night, winning best supporting actor for his role in the coming-of-age drama

Moonlight

.

Ali, 43, gave an emotional

acceptance speech

in which he praised the movie and paid tribute to his teachers and Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, and also gave a shout-out to his wife, who gave birth to their daughter four days earlier.

Moonlight won the Oscar for best picture, taking the title from La La Land after the later was mistakenly announced as the winner.

Last month, Ali was also awarded a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award for his role in Moonlight.

While receiving his

SAG award

, He opened up about his conversion to Islam while being raised in a devout Christian household.

"My mother is an ordained minister,” Ali said. “I am a Muslim. She didn't do backflips when I called her to tell her I converted 17 years ago. But I tell you now, you put things to the side. And I'm able to see her, and she's able to see me. We love each other, the love has grown. And that stuff is minutiae, it's not that important," Ali said.
 
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