Ali is the first Muslim actor to take home the golden statue.

Ali did not mention his Muslim faith during his Oscars acceptance speech for his role in “Moonlight,” in which he plays a kind-hearted Miami drug dealer who becomes a father figure to a boy who is struggling with his sexuality.

While accepting a Screen Actors Guild Award last month, Ali talked about his conversion to Islam and what it has taught him.

Ali was born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore and raised as a Christian in Oakland, California.

After he met members of the Ahmadiyya community, Ali said that sect of Islam made the most sense to him.

Julie Lenarz, director of the Human Security Centre in London, said Ali’s Oscar triumph marks a victory for a sect that is often harassed.

“Congratulations to Mahershala Ali, first Ahmadiyya Muslim to win an Oscar – a denomination brutally persecuted for being not ‘true Muslims,’ she tweeted.”

Mahershala Ali