After September 11, Ali became an active member of the Council of Pakistan American Affairs. Ali campaigned in her community to promote engagement of Muslims in mainstream America. After becoming an American naturalized citizen, “a milestone in her life”, Ali noticed that she, along with millions of Muslims, was being stopped at the border and she decided to bring attention to the issue. She documented her findings and experiences in the form of a documentary alongside Zuhair Mahd. The film was produced by Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at the New York University School of Law. The documentary is titled Americans on Hold: Profiling, Prejudice, and National Security reveals the harmful effects of prejudicial and ineffective U.S. counter-terrorism and immigration policies. Due to their efforts, the millions of
Americans of Americans that were on hold were taken off the list.
Ali is an advocate of protecting the rights of minorities around the world, especially an advocate of equality and justice for women in Muslim countries, especially her birth country, Pakistan. She doesn't hesitate to speak her mind, see her op-eds in OC Register and American Thinker. Moreover, she meets with members of the House Foreign Relations Committee, the White House to highlight the plight of minorities around the world. Locally, between 2007 and 2008, Ali helped mobilize the community of Irvine and Orange County and supported diverse political candidates, including Sukhee Kang and Barack Obama. Kang became the first Asian Pacific American mayor of Irvine, and Barack Obama, the first African American President of the United States. Following President Obama's election, Ali was invited to attend the Iftar at The White House, where she presented a copy of her book, Mommy am I a...? to the President. Recently, Ali has supported the friendship between India and Pakistan. In 2009, Ali was the recipient of the 2009 International Leadership Foundation Award, (www.ileader.org) for her community service work and outreach to the mainstream America. She is also the recipient of Congressional awards, The White House award on Volunteerism, and recognition from LAPD Counter Terrorism, FBI, DHS, and the LA Sheriff's Department for her work on building resilient communities and countering violence and Islamic extremism.
Ali was honored to be a panelist at the White House Summit on Violent Extremism in February 2015. She spoke at the White House as an American Muslim teacher and leader, and shared her thoughts on how to counter extremism. Ali also founded the American Muslim Women's Empowerment Council, AMWEC, in partnership with LAPD Counterterrorism. Her organization works with all government agencies helping empower women to engage in public service. Recently, AMWEC board passed a resolution to support all government agencies in countering extremism and engaging and informing Muslim American women. Ali's work and her passion brings frequent travel with law enforcement in supporting their efforts in countering extremism. She can be seen and heard on this video: http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4528891/cve-la-model
She wrote a White Paper, “How to Stop the Radicalization of Muslim
Youth,” and has shared it with The White House and President Obama’s administration in 2009. Frequently, Ali writes and comments on issues that affect Muslims in America and voices her opinions on foreign policy matters. She speaks on Islam, Muslims in America, women's rights, and works with Inter-faith groups.
Ali’s vehement opposition to terrorism and Islamic radicalization and her support for Israel’s right to exist, make her a target of extreme left wing, anti-Israel elements, and of the conservative, far right Muslim groups. Her progressive ideas and her middle of the road stand is what guide her advocacy. Her stand for minority groups Shias and Ahmedis, make her an obvious target of the extreme, Ring Wing of Islam, and groups including Taliban. Her Muslim American Women’s Empowerment Council touts being inclusive; it unites Muslims with LGBTQ, Ahmedis, Shias, Jews, African Americans, and works towards bringing Muslims and Jews closer creating a better understanding of the Israel-Palestine issue, and expunging hate and misunderstandings. Ali works with college campuses and is an advisor on the Olive Tree Initiative OTI, at UC Irvine. Through experiential learning, OTI engages diverse students in understanding conflicts and finding solutions. Ali also works with civil rights and Jewish groups including Rose Project, Hillel, JFFS, and AFL, in fighting hate and bringing people together. Her organization has initiated many dialogues with the Christian churches, Jewish Synagogues, African American Churches and stands up to hate.
Ali is also known for her work in the fields of human rights and gender equality. She has spoken in the about gender issues in Iran, Pakistan, India, and Saudi Arabia and also condemned terrorism attacks. In May 2011, Ali's supported President Obama’s efforts to hunt down Osama Bin Laden. Her support and op-ed was printed in the New York Times, the day after his death. Her bold move as a Pakistani-American, saw her website hacked and received threats from the "Taliban Boys".
Ali, who voted Republican until the Iraq War, was elected as a delegate in 2012, and represented her 45th Congressional District at the Democratic National Convention. It made her the first Pakistani Muslim
woman to be elected from Orange County. She was also featured in the Orange County Register as the Democratic Delegate who was once a Republican.
Ali has run for California's 74th Assembly District and then for Irvine City Council in 2016, as a twenty-year teacher, and community leader of Irvine.