Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi
|Abu Ammaar Yasir Kazi|
|Born||1975 (age 37–38)
|Education||M.A. Islamic Creed
B.A. Islamic Sciences
Associate's degree Arabic Lang
Islamic University of Madinah
D.Phil Islamic Studies
M.Phil Islamic Studies
B.Sc Chemical Engineering
University of Houston
|Alma mater||Islamic University of Madinah
University of Houston
|Title||Dean of Academic Affairs
Abu Ammaar Yasir Kazi , alias Yasir Qadhi (Arabic: ياسر قاضي), is an American Muslim writer and is Dean of Academic Affairs at the Al-Maghrib Institute, an Islamic educational institution. He has written a number of books and has lectured on Islam and contemporary Muslim issues. A 2011 New York Times Magazine essay described Kazi as "one of the most influential conservative clerics in American Islam."
Kazi was born in Houston, Texas, to parents of Indian and Pakistani origin. When Kazi was five, the family moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he graduated high school two years early as class valedictorian. Kazi returned to Houston to complete a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Houston.
After a short stint at Dow Chemical, Kazi in 1996 enrolled at the Islamic University of Medina in Medina, Saudi Arabia. There he earned a bachelor's degree in Arabic from the university's College of Hadith and Islamic Sciences and a master's degree in Islamic Theology from its College of Dawah. Kazi returned to the United States in 2005 after nine years in Saudi Arabia.
Professional and theological career
Dr. Kazi teaches in the Religious Studies Department of Rhodes College, in Memphis, Tennessee. Additionally, he has completed a doctoral in theology at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
Kazi is also the Dean of Academic Affairs and an instructor for the AlMaghrib Institute, a seminar-based Islamic education institution. The instructors travel to designated locations in the US, UK and Canada (and more recently, Malaysia) to teach Islamic studies in English.
Kazi gives regular sermons and lectures, and also appears on a number of Islamic satellite channels: (Islam Channel in England; Huda TV in Egypt; Al-Fajr Channel in Egypt; and Peace TV in India, the UK, and the U.S), where he teaches theology, Seerah, Tajweed and other topics. A former Salafist, he described himself as a "revivalist" in the Islamic sense, and likens some of the practices he endorses as similar to those practiced by conservative Christian groups and Orthodox Jews in America, particularly with regard to dietary laws, family values, and modest dress for women.
Kazi is also one of the founding members and Islamic specialists at MuslimMatters.org, a blogzine for American Muslims.
Views on jihad
Yasir Kazi has presented papers on jihad movements. In 2006, at a conference at Harvard Law School, Kazi presented a 15-minute analysis of the theological underpinnings of an early militant movement in modern Saudi Arabia headed by Juhayman al-Otaibi. The movement had gained international attention when it held the Grand Mosque of Mecca hostage in 1979. In another paper, presented in September 2009 at an international conference at University of Edinburgh on understanding jihad in the modern world, he discussed how a specific legal ruling (fatwā) of the medieval theologian Ibn Taymiyya was used both by jihadist and pacifist groups to justify their positions. The paper has been critiqued, however, by some Salafi commentators.
Kazi has been involved in de-radicalization efforts in the US, and was a participant in the U.S. Counter-Radicalization Strategy conference organized by the National Counterterrorism Center in the summer of 2008.
Kazi said of Abdulmutallab, who attended some of the classes that he taught, "He was a very quiet individual, tight-lipped and shy, and he did not ask a single question during the discussions. He barely interacted with the other students at the conference.". Kazi recalled speaking to Abdulmutallab, and remembered that he was "very reserved in his responses." Abdulmutallab also attended two seminars organized by the AlMaghrib Institute in London in the months before the event in Houston. After the Houston event, Kazi added, Abdulmutallab did not sign up for further AlMaghrib events, perhaps an indication that extremist ideas were beginning to influence him.
In 2006, Kazi, noting that Muslims are routinely detained and questioned at airports and other ports of entry, said he himself was on a secret watch list and that he had no idea how he got on the list. His name has since been cleared from that list.
Holocaust remarks controversy
In January 2010 The Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper, reported that in 2001 Kazi had described the Holocaust as a hoax and false propaganda, and had claimed that "Hitler never intended to mass-destroy the Jews." Kazi denied stating that the Holocaust was a hoax or that it was false propaganda, but admitted that he had briefly held mistaken beliefs about the Holocaust, and had said "that Hitler never actually intended to massacre the Jews, he actually wanted to expel them to neighboring lands." Kazi added that he firmly believes "that the Holocaust was one of the worst crimes against humanity that the 20th century has witnessed" and that "the systematic dehumanization of the Jews in the public eye of the Germans was a necessary precursor" for that tragedy.
In July 2010, Kazi was selected to participate in an official delegation of US imams and religious leaders to visit the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Dachau. The Imams subsequently released a joint statement condemning anti-Semitism and labeling Holocaust denial as against the ethics of Islam.
- Riyaa: Hidden Shirk, 103 pages, Abu Ammaar Yasir Al-Qathi, Dar-al-Fatah, 1996, ISBN 8172317530
- An introduction to the sciences of the Qura̓an, Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi, Al-Hidaayah Pub., 1999, ISBN 1-898649-32-4
- An Explanation of the Four Principles of Shirk, 60 pages, Muḥammad ibn ʻAbd al-Wahhāb, Yasir Qadhi, Al-Hidaayah, 2000, ISBN 1-898649-52-9
- Du’a : The Weapon of the Believer, Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi, Al Hidaayah Publishing & Distribution, 2001, ISBN 1-898649-51-0
- 15 Ways to Increase Your Earnings from the Quran and Sunnah, Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi, Al Hidaayah Publishing & Distribution, 2002, ISBN 1-898649-56-1
- An explanation of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab's Kashf al-Shubuhat: a critical analysis of shirk, Abū Ammaar Yasir Qadhi, Muḥammad ibn ʻAbd al-Wahhāb, Al-Hidaayah, 2003, ISBN 1-898649-62-6
- Dooley, Tara (October 8, 2005). "A Changing World; American and Muslim; Islamic scholar, a Houston native, brings cultural insight to lectures on his religion". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
- Murphy, Caryle (September 5, 2006). "For Conservative Muslims, Goal of Isolation a Challenge". Washington Post. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
- Why Yasir Qadhi Wants to Talk About Jihad by Andrea Elliot, New York Times, April 17, 2011
- O’Leary, Mary E. (January 4, 2009). "An American Muslim envisions a new kind of learning". New Haven Register. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
- "V International Conference on Islamic Legal Studies; “Lawful and Unlawful Violence in Islamic Law and History”, Islamic Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School, September 8–10, 2006, accessed February 2, 2010
- "Rethinking Jihad: Ideas, Politics and Conflict in the Arab World & Beyond; Programme", University of Edinburgh, September 7, 2009, accessed February 2, 2010
- Did Modern Salafi Scholars Invent the Notion of 'Istihlal'? A Critique of Yasir Qadhi's Paper
- "Terror suspect attended 2008 Islamic 'knowledge fest' in Houston - CNN.com". CNN. December 31, 2009. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
- Staff, Richard Vara, "Muslims vent frustrations at forum / They share tales of being detained at airports, other points of entry", Houston Chronicle, August 8, 2006, accessed February 2, 2010
- Sawer, Patrick, "Detroit bomber's mentor continues to influence British mosques and universities," The Daily Telegraph, January 2, 2010, accessed February 1, 2010
- Yasir Qadhi (2008-11-10). "GPU ‘08 with Yasir Qadhi: When Islamophobia Meets Perceived Anti-Semitism".
- "U.S. Muslim group denounces 'historic injustice of the Holocaust'". CNN.
- MuslimMatters bio (where Qadhi blogs)
- Qadhi Audio and Books
- Qadhi Video and Audio Lectures from Halal Tube
- Qadhi on the Deen Show
- Qadhi on the Doha Debates
- Doha Debates participant
- Video of Qadhi's talk "Perfect Justice: Debunking the Male Bias Myth", April 22, 2006
- Video of Qadhi's talk at Global Peace and Unity Conference, 2006
- Video of Qadhi's talk at Global Peace and Unity Conference, 2008
- Kilday, Anne Marie, "'For the benefit of all mankind'; Local conference highlights Quran's teachings about the importance of honoring animals", Houston Chronicle, December 23, 2006