Muslim Woman to Lead a Holocaust Center at a Catholic College

In August Mehnaz M. Afridi will become director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College in the Bronx. The campus organization was previously known as the Holocaust Resource Center.

To some observers, it seems odd to appoint a Muslim woman to lead a Holocaust Center at a Catholic university. But Dr. Afridi’s scholarship centers around Muslim/Jewish relations. She told The Jewish Week that her forthcoming book, The Shoah Through Muslim Eyes, tells of “my frustration with the anti-Semitism within the Muslim community, its lack of education, [its] denial of the Holocaust, or those that say it wasn’t six million but two million. Negating someone’s history or someone’s truth is actually quite a huge sin.”

Dr. Afridi, who is the daughter of a Pakistani banker, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Syracuse University and earned a Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of South Africa. She previously taught at Antioch University, American Intercontinental University, and Loyola Marymount University. In addition to directing the Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center, Dr. Afridi will be an assistant professor of religious studies at Manhattan College.

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