Muslim Ministry

Imam Yilmaz Basak is our Muslim chaplain. He grew up in Istanbul, Turkey andstudied at Imam Hatip High School in Istanbul. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Islamic Law from Al Ezhar University in Cairo, Egypt. Then he worked at Kazak-Turkish High School in Kazakhstan from 1996-1998 as a teacher of Religious History and a Dormitory Director. From 1998–2001 he worked in Afghanistan at Afghan -Turk Cag Educational NGO as an Arabic teacher and General Advisor. He came to the United States in 2010 living in New Jersey and Massachusetts before moving to California in 2015. He graduated from Hartford Seminary with a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies in 2015. He is presently studying in the Islamic Chaplaincy Program at Hartford Seminary. He can speak Arabic, Turkish, and English.

He and his wife Zeynep currently live in Belmont, CA. They married in 1999 and she works as a teacher. Yilmaz’s hobbies are reading, volunteering, and traveling.


We are serving hundreds of male and female Muslim inmates and other inmates who wants to learn about Islam. We serve at the Santa Clara County jails: Elmwood Men and Women jails, Main jail, and Juvenile Hall. We minster to the Muslim inmates so that each individual can perform his or her daily prayers and connect with God.


CIC Muslim Volunteer Chaplains and Imam provides these services at the Santa Clara County jails to all Muslim inmates:

  • Weekly, 50-80 face to face meetings with inmates to respond to the spiritual needs of each individual. Provide inmates with Qur’ans and various study materials.
  • We provide prayer rugs to inmates.
  • We provide hijabs to female inmates.
  • We review halal diet requests coming from Muslim inmates and authorize diets for them.
  • We make all necessary arrangements before Ramadan starts so that any Muslim inmate who wants to fast during Ramadan can do so.
  • We hold weekly Friday Prayers at the Chapel.
  • We hold weekly Islam Classes led by volunteer chaplains in various dorms.


  • We need more volunteer chaplains so that we can provide Islam Classes at many dorms in Elmwood and Main jail.
  • We are in need of Qur’ans and other Islamic books in English, Spanish and other languages.

Please consider joining us, or making a financial donation by clicking button below, to allow this ministry to continue. Thank you!