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Yasir Qadhi has established a strong reputation as an American Muslim scholar with a large online following. He has also been the source of significant controversy based on statements denying the Holocaust, and promoting anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-American rhetoric. In a 2001 lecture on Islam, Qadhi claimed, among other things, that Ashkenazi Jews (Jews of European descent) “are not a Semitic people.” He went on to allege that in America, “95% of the Islamic Studies professors are Jews …Why are Jews studying Islam? There is a reason. Not that they want to help us, they want to destroy us.” Finally, in the same lecture, Qadhi said that, “Hitler never intended to mass-destroy the Jews. There are a number of books out written by Christians on this, you should read them. The Hoax of the Holocaust, I advise you to read this book… All of this is false propaganda.”[1]

He has also used his social media platforms to make statement comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. In August 2014, for example, Qadhi posted that “Israel is following some of the very same tactics that Nazi Germany did, in dehumanizing Palestinians.”[2] In another Facebook post, Qadhi referred to Israel as “the only remaining Apartheid country in the world,” linking America’s support of Israel to their own misfortune.[3]

Qadhi has also suggested that the U.S. and other Western governments are behind the rise of ISIS. In a 2014 Facebook post, Qadhi wrote that, “I am becoming more open to the idea that the people running the show amongst (sic) ISIS are not Muslims at all, but rather those who wish to portray Islam in the worst possible light… Now, after ISIS has beheaded so many Western citizens, public opinion has changed and it appears war is imminent. Coincidence? Or convenience? Allah knows best.”[4]

[1] America First Alliance. (Nov. 19, 2015). Yasir Qadhi Anti-Semitic Rant. Youtube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bSxOmcyI18&feature=youtu.be&t=466

[2] Qadhi, Y. (Aug, 19, 2014). Facebook Post. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/yasir.qadhi/posts/10152423296648300

[3] Qadhi, Y. (Spet. 16, 2016). Facebook Post. Retrieved from  https://www.facebook.com/yasir.qadhi/posts/10154165459548300

[4] Qadhi, Y. (Nov. 17, 2014). Facebook Post. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/yasir.qadhi/posts/10152616793493300

Associated Organizations:

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS); Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); Al-Maghrib Institute (Dean of Academic Affairs); Memphis Islamic Center (Scholar in Residence)

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Departmental Contact

Patrick Gray is the Chair of the Religious Studies Department

Contact email

grayp@rhodes.edu

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