AlMaghrib Institute

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AlMaghrib Institute
Non-profit educational
Industry Education
Founded 2001
Founder Muhammad Alshareef
Headquarters Milton, Ontario, Canada
Area served
United States,
Canada,
United Kingdom,
Malaysia,
Australia,
Sweden,
Denmark,
Singapore,
Ireland
Key people
Muhammad Alshareef, Waleed Basyouni, Yasir Qadhi
Products Seminars
Website www.almaghrib.org

AlMaghrib Institute is an Islamic studies institute founded in Houston, Texas, by Muhammad AlShareef in 2002.[1][2][3] It also has centers in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; and London, England, United Kingdom. AlMaghrib provides courses on Islam in a six-day, two-weekend intensive seminar format.[4]

Instructors[edit]

Most of AlMaghrib instructors are graduates of the Islamic University of Madinah,[5] which is why AlMaghrib is characterized as Salafi in ideological orientation, despite founder Muhammad AlShareef's commitment not to use labels other than "Islam" and "Muslim".[6]

AlMaghrib's notable instructors include the following Islamic scholars, who are listed on AlMaghrib's website.[7]

Academics[edit]

AlMaghrib's founders are working toward establishing an M.A. and Ph.D.-granting Islamic seminary with a permanent campus in the United States, featuring teachers as full-time faculty.[8]

Controversies[edit]

AlMaghrib has received a significant amount of public scrutiny because recordings by Anwar al-Awlaki, the highest English-speaking cleric in Al-Qaeda, continued to be sold at AlMaghrib events, although AlMaghrib banned these in 2009.[9]

In addition, analysts have studied students of the Institute who were later involved in terrorist actions or plots, and speculated about the teachings of the Institute. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who in December 2009 attempted to detonate plastic explosives on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit, was found to have taken a class at the AlMaghrib Institute in Houston.[10] Abdulmutallab claimed that al-Awlaki had also been a student at AlMaghrib.[11]

"It's ironic that he came to us," said instructor Yasir Qadhi of AbdulMutallab.[12] Qadhi, of New Haven, Connecticut, has been involved in de-radicalization efforts in the United States and was a leading participant in the U.S. Counter-Radicalization Strategy conference organized by the National Counterterrorism Center in the summer of 2008. Qadhi, the Dean of Academic Affairs at AlMaghrib Institute told CNN, "At some level, we did not convince him of the validity of our views," and "that is cause for regret".[13]

The following former students at the Institute were later implicated in questionable activities: Daniel Maldonado, a convert to Islam, was convicted in 2007 of training in Somalia with a group linked to Al Qaeeda militia. Tarek Mehanna, a pharmacist, was convicted for conspiracy, in a case widely criticized by journalists and civil libertarians.[14] Two young American men were held in Pakistan in 2009 for seeking to train with militants.[15][16]

On the other hand, some other American Salafi groups have accused AlMaghrib of being "liberal" and "apolitical." As a result of this external and internal scrutiny, AlMaghrib has attempted to change its image and avoided the public use of any classification as "Salafi".[17]

Leaders of ISIS issued calls to assassinate Yasir Qadhi, dean of the Institute, after he condemned the shooting attack of the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris in January 2015.[18]

In 2010 Qadhi was one of eight Muslim imams who traveled with several Jewish leaders from the United States on an official week-long trip to visit Auschwitz and Dachau. Their intention was to study the remnants of the Holocaust firsthand. On their return, the imams released a statement citing the deaths of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, among 12 million Holocaust deaths overall. It added, "We condemn any attempts to deny this historical reality and declare such denials or any justification of this tragedy as against the Islamic code of ethics." In interviews, the imams said the trip affected them deeply. "The experience was overwhelming," Qadhi said. "It was a very moving experience for all of us imams, in particular myself. I had never seen anything like this. I was just overwhelmed throughout the entire trip. I was just overwhelmed at the sheer inhumanity of it. I could not comprehend how such evil could be unleashed."[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Asef Bayat, Linda Herrera, Being Young and Muslim: New Cultural Politics in the Global South and North, p 170. ISBN 0195369211
  2. ^ Gary R. Bunt, iMuslims: Rewiring the House of Islam: Rewiring the House of Islam, p 122. ISBN 0807887714
  3. ^ Zareena Grewal, Islam Is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority, p 330. ISBN 1479800902
  4. ^ Asef Bayat, Linda Herrera, Being Young and Muslim: New Cultural Politics in the Global South and North, p 170. ISBN 0195369211
  5. ^ Zareena Grewal, Islam Is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority, p 331. ISBN 1479800902
  6. ^ Juliane Hammer, Omid Safi, The Cambridge Companion to American Islam, p 261. ISBN 110743386X
  7. ^ http://almaghrib.org/instructors
  8. ^ Juliane Hammer, Omid Safi, The Cambridge Companion to American Islam, p 262. ISBN 110743386X
  9. ^ Zareena Grewal, Islam Is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority, p 331. ISBN 1479800902
  10. ^ "Terror suspect was student in Houston", Detroit Free Press, 31 December 2009
  11. ^ Zareena Grewal, Islam Is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority, p 331. ISBN 1479800902
  12. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/12/30/terror.suspect.seminar/
  13. ^ Terror suspect attended 2008 Islamic 'knowledge fest' in Houston, CNN, December 31, 2009
  14. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/apr/16/tarek-mehanna-punished-speaking-truth
  15. ^ Zareena Grewal, Islam Is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority, p 331. ISBN 1479800902
  16. ^ [1], New York Times Magazine, 20 March 2011; accessed 22 September 2016
  17. ^ Zareena Grewal, Islam Is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority, p 331. ISBN 1479800902
  18. ^ "ISIS is now threatening to murder a college professor in Tennessee", The Daily Caller, 28 February 2015; accessed 22 September 2016
  19. ^ "Muslim leaders visit concentration camps as part of effort to combat Holocaust denial", Washington Post, 21 August 2010; accessed 22 September 2016

External links[edit]