Middle East studies in the News
Yasir Qadhi, Controversial Muslim Cleric, Criticises Former Teacher Tony Blair For Iraq War 'Apology'
by George Bowden
One of the most influential conservative clerics in American Islam has predicted a "disturbing" future for Tony Blair following the former prime minister's apology for mistakes made during the Iraq war.
Shaykh Yasir Qadhi wrote "may Allah give him what he deserves!" in an assessment of the former Labour leader, informed by his time spent studying under a "callous" and "arrogant" Blair at Yale University.
Shaykh Qadhi is a cleric of American Pakistani descent and a published scholar on the Islamic faith who now teaches thousands of students about learnings of the religion.
Yasir Qadhi has grown his following of young conservative Muslims through teaching Islam in English
Qadhi wrote on Facebook about his experience as a student in 2008 whilst also suggesting that Blair should be treated as an exception to Islam's teachings around those considered evil.
Alongside a picture of him in discussion with Blair, Qadhi writes about his impressions of him as a teacher.
"I saw first hand how arrogant and callous he was. Truly a 'diplomat' and 'career politician' in every negative sense of the word, he could mesmerize an entire audience with his false eloquence and superficial charms even as he justified the most maniacal idea. I sensed in him an ego of megalomaniac proportions," he wrote.
Qadhi has grown a large following of young conservative Muslims through his work asDean of Academic affairs at an Islamic education institute which provides hundreds of seminars throughout the year.
But the institute has found itself under scrutiny after a handful of the thousands of students who attend seminars went on to attempt acts of terrorism.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had attended one of Qadhi's seminars a little over a yearbefore he attempted to blow up a passenger jet on Christmas Day 2009. Other students of the institute have been charged with attempts to commit acts of terrorism.
Qadhi later said this proved he and his organisation were on the "front line" in teaching tolerance amongst young Muslims.
Earlier this year, Qadhi alleged he had been targeted by the so-called Islamic Stateafter condemning the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris.
Blair taught a course exploring faith and globalisation at Yale for 12 months in 2008, after leaving office as prime minister a year previously.
His latest interview stands in contrast to his defiance of Iraq in 2004, when the then-PM told MPS he would "not apologise for the conflict." He repeated this stance in 2007.
On Saturday, a spokeswoman for Blair tried to diminish the sea change, suggesting this had "all been said before." Blair had "always apologised for the intelligence being wrong and for mistakes in planning," they said.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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