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, focusing on the Islamic ethics of war and peace and interreligious dialogue.
He is co-author with David Chidester et al. of Religion in Public Education: Options for a New South Africa (UCT Press, 1994) and a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World (Macmillan Reference USA, 2003). With two other scholars (Martin Forward-Aurora University, and Scott Alexander - Catholic Theological Union, Chicago) he is co-editing A Dictionary of Christian-Muslim Relations (forthcoming from Cambridge University Press, 2012).
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, and international advisor to the Dutch-based Knowledge Forum on Religion and Development and trustee of the Healing of Memories Institute in South Africa.
Omar teaches a course on Islamic Ethics of War and Peace 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.