One of the excuses deployed by Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, and indeed others out there on the far right, for their attacks on all those Scary Muslims™, is that they have a Real Practising Imam on their side. Not only that, the Imam in question is the Imam Of Peace. What, they ask, is not to like?
Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi. As in Fake Sheikh
Sadly for Lennon and his pals, there is rather a lot not to like about Mohammad Tawhidi, as Imad Rostami has discovered. The so-called Imam Of Peace is most likely not an Imam at all, has persistently lied about his qualifications, has lied about his achievements, and has scaremongered as much as any out on the far right.
As Rostami has told, “First off, he is not a qualified scholar of Islamic theology. His status was never recognized by the Australian National Imams Council or its South Australian equivalent (citation HERE) … An intense investigation by Bronwyn Adcock, a reporter for the Australian public broadcaster ABC, revealed that Tawhidi is beyond fringe, to the point of almost nothingness, with no credentials, no Mosque and essentially 0 followers”.
As for his qualifications, “Tawhidi has a very weird history of lying about his qualifications … His career began when he got a call from a reporter who googled ‘Imam Adelaide’, as he himself puts it here (link) in an interview with Dave Rubin … Tawhidi went on the show, only to spread lies about risings among Muslims to set up a Caliphate in Australia. Reporters pried further and found that he had lied about his degree from Qom, he ended up becoming a laughing stock in Australian media” (link HERE).
But being a laughing stock in Australia did not prevent Tawhidi from being quoted as an authoritative source by Lennon and his pals. That’s despite Tawhidi not being able to lie convincingly about another of his claims: “Tawhidi claimed to have warned former Mayor Bill De Blasio about an incoming terrorist attack in New York … Eric Phillips, De Blasio's press secretary denied ever receiving such a letter”. So Tawhidi published a copy.
The problem was “Tawhidi forgot to change his letterhead when he released his image of his supposed letter. He had changed it one month prior”. Whoops!
Ah well, back to those qualifications: “he claimed to have received a bachelor's degree and master's degree in Islamic theology from the Al-Mustafa University … AMU published a letter saying that Tawhidi was referred some courses to get a bachelor's (BA), was then placed on probation for his insufficient academic record, then dropped out on 3/27/2012 with ‘no educational progress’ achieved. He didn't earn a BA, let alone an MA”.
But Tawhidi’s most glaring deception, and one which non-Muslims might not have picked up on readily, was his claim of the title Imam. As Rostami points out, “Tawhidi is Shia, which makes it all the more awkward when you consider that there is only one Imam at a time in Shia theology, the head of the Entire community, at least in a spiritual context. There can only be 12 imams according to certain sects of Shia Islam, with the final Imam being imam Mahdi”. Tawhidi has been banking on his critics being ignorant of Islam.
Sadly, he is now well and truly bust. Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi is another Fake Sheikh, just like Mazher Mahmood. The only difference is the political stance of his marks.
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