by Abdullah Saeed
A self-appointed ‘Muslim scholar’ named Tawhidi has been making the rounds on Australian media with scandalous and controversial remarks with which he lambastes Islam and Muslims. He is so fake even his name is deceptive in order to make people think he is actually a Sunni scholar. He is actually a Fake Shia cleric with a very different name and a very bloody past!
He claims to represent Islam but would not leave any opportunity to spill hatred against Muslims and Islam. He is on the verge of becoming a native name for those predisposed to the Islamophobia Industry. In addition, Australian media seem to have a special interest in involving Tahwidi in every discussion related to Islam.
A quick Google search of the Imam provides a quick answer for why New Atheists and Islamophobes are suddenly promoting ‘Imam’ Tawhidi, otherwise known as the propagator of peace. Imam Tawhidi not only hates Muslims as much as they do, but also disseminates the exact same debunked anti-Muslim conspiracy theories New Atheists share in their books, blogs, and podcasts.
Earlier this year, Tawhidi claimed Muslims in Australia were secretly conspiring to establish an Islamic caliphate on Australian soil,“right here, under our noses”; calls to ban Islamic schools, and supported far-right calls to ban Muslims entering the country, even promoting the Twitter hashtag #PrayForMuslimBan. Ever wonder, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a new member of the New Atheist movement, who once urged a “military war” against Muslims, called for Tawhidi to be “elevated to celebrity status.”
Little is known about Tawhidi and what his background really is. He decorates himself with the title ‘Imam’, but hardly anyone in his locality knows who he is or recognizes his religious standing in the community. In fact, on 2nd March of this year, the Australian National Imams Council or ANIC put out an official statement that Tawhidi has no recognition as a religious leader anywhere in Australia and the organization states unambiguously that “ANIC states clearly that this individual, is not a recognized Imam, Sheikh or Muslim leader.”
With such an obscure background and zero accessible credentials, no thinking person should take Tawhidi seriously, especially when he forwards outrageous claims that are without substantiation. He represents nobody, yet somehow influential in the media and in government meetings in Australia.
So Tommy Robinson finally sat down with a "Muslim scholar" to talk about his issues with Islam. You tell me if @Imamofpeace sounds like "one of the world's leading imams."— tareq (@ibnabitareq) March 2, 2018
Great article by @cjwerleman exposing this fraud: https://t.co/1OFsINoTfy pic.twitter.com/nlkTu78JFo
In his latest interview, Tawhidi, just a few days ago, on national Australian TV, in his unbridled excitement to put all the blame he could glue on Muslims and Islam for the Manchester attack and other similar terrorist acts in recent times, Tawhidi said the following:
“These are not something I’m imagining. These are facts. We have had many wars. How did Islam spread from Saudi Arabia down to Indonesia and Bosnia? All spread by the sword.”
Tawhidi has a history of lies and loves to deceive people with rhetoric fuelling hate and division. Look to the audience’s that welcome him and his false preaches. They are not Muslims, so how is he “spreading peace and harmony”? This is why we must focus on correcting false information about Islam to Muslims themselves in order to help their youth avoid being radicalized by various terrorist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah.
A little knowledge can be dangerous but the above quote from the horse’s mouth reveals a deep-seated incompetence that must be taken as a foolproof certificate of Tawhidi’s unreliability as a source of information for Islam. A small child, having studied world history, would be able to correct Tawhidi’s serious mistakes in claiming that Islam came down all the way from “Saudi Arabia to Indonesia by the sword.”
It is a matter of incontrovertible fact that Islam reached the shores of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia many centuries ago through trade missions by Arab and Indian traders and Muslim missionary work.
No Muslim army from anywhere in the world reached Southeast Asia to colonize or convert anyone to the religion. The serious error that Tawhidi made publicly, which he has yet to retract, is sufficient reason to discredit him as a reliable commentator on Islam. It takes a completely new level of ignorance to revamp Islamic history and fabricate a completely new obscurantist narrative for one’s own agenda.
However, Tawhidi managed to do just that in front of millions and remains completely oblivious to the amount of rancid beans he has actually spilled. He has successfully, out of his own ignorance, and without much assistance from Muslims, discredited himself.
“Islamic scriptures cause terrorism.”
Tawhidi’s main thesis is that Islam is really the cause behind all those atrocious acts of terrorism. He claims that Islam as a religion is the impetus that pushes Muslims towards terrorism:
“For someone to come and say these Islamic scriptures have nothing to do with that [wars and violence], I mean, that’s against the facts. That’s not true. The Islamic scriptures is exactly what is pushing these people to behead the infidels.”
No “Sheikh” or “Imam” talks like this. In fact, no “Sheikh or “Imam” even thinks like this. Even his title of “Imam Sheikh” for getting disguise of higher Islamic authority at the Shia schools in the holy cities of Iraq’s Najaf and Karbala is fishy at its best.
There is no evidence whatsoever that shows Tawhidi to have completed traditional Islamic education anywhere. Despite Tawhidi’s incompetency, it has been rejected by just about the totality of Muslims in Australia, both Sunni and Shi’a, the rejection simply is not loud enough. It is obvious that Tawhidi is alone in his beliefs and ideologies, even mainstream Shi’a Theologians has warned against him.
Twitter activism is the new way exploited by adherents of the Extreme Right and the Extreme Left to propagate their rhetoric and views among the masses. This Tawhidi character is one of them, by infiltrating right-wing, he manages to cement the stereotype of racism the left so desperately tries to build on their opponents.
They can easily mislead the weak minds who are not competent in understanding and pondering upon this ever-connected world where battlefield dimensions have been changed and comprise of almost everything e.g, Economics, Media, etc. In the far Right spectrum, some of the narratives being pushed upon them include; anti-abortion extremism, anti-immigrant extremism, anti-Muslim extremism, and anti-public lands extremism etc.” By collecting all this evidence we hope we can make the political conversations a little more clear to both sides of the aisle.
Article first published in Herald Report.
Abdullah Saeed is an Islamabad based political analyst and an avid historian. He is knowledgeable in Middle Eastern Politics and Islamic history. He is also well-versed in contemporary Islamic movements and denominations, having a diverse set of skills in each domain either it is culture, tradition, or religion.