A. Rashied Omar earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Cape Town and an M.A. in peace studies from the Kroc Institute. He also completed study programs in Islamic religious education in South Africa, Sudan, Pakistan, and Malaysia.
Omar’s research and teaching focus on the roots of religious violence and the potential of religion for constructive social engagement and interreligious peacebuilding.
He is co-author with David Chidester et al. of Religion in Public Education: Options for a New South Africa (UCT Press, 1994), a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World (Macmillan Reference USA, 2003), and author of Tolerance, Civil Society and Renaissance in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Claremont Main Road Mosque: Cape Town, 2000).
In addition to being a university-based researcher and teacher, Omar serves as imam at the Claremont Main Road Mosque in Cape Town, South Africa, trustee of the Healing of Memories Institute in South Africa and a member of the Interfaith Council for Ethics Education, Arigatou International in Japan.
Omar teaches a course on Islamic Ethics of War and Peace as well as Peace Studies annually during the spring semester. For the remainder of the year, he serves as field research advisor to Kroc master's students in Cape Town. He also is a regular contributor to the Contending Modernities blog.