Imam Tawhidi operated under the username “@Tawhidicom” from July 10, 2013, the date his profile indicates he first joined Twitter, through February of 2016 when he became “@ImamofPeace,” which remains his current active username. In a recent response to Lalo Dagach’s May 28, 2017 tweet (who contacted Zuhdi Jasser on social media regarding Jasser’s Asia Times editorial referencing tweets from the account @BrotherTawhidi), Tawhidi tweeted “people were warned since 2013” that the @BrotherTawhidi account was “fake.” Despite the fact that the “BrotherTawhidi” account is the second result shown by Google when doing a search for Imam Tawhidi, the tweet to Dagach was the only indication from Tawhidi that the alternate account is “fake,” and it has since been deleted by Tawhidi. While an impostor account violates Twitter’s impersonation policy, which allows “parody” accounts but requires them to be clearly identified as such, the “BrotherTawhidi” account has not been removed by Twitter, despite its non-compliance with the policy… but the two “warnings” about the “fake” account have been removed by Tawhidi. Continue reading to see that when Tawhidi denies ownership of the “BrotherTawhidi” tweets, he is given the benefit of the doubt based on the “honor system,” a system that he is incapable of abiding by.
Immediately following this spat between Tawhidi, Jasser, and Dagach over allegations of dishonest social media behavior, Imam Tawhidi proceeded to acquire 20,000 followers on Twitter in a 24 hour time period. A screenshot was captured of Tawhidi’s profile on June 3 at 6:20 pm when Tawhidi had 29.9k followers. A subsequent screenshot of Tawhidi’s profile on June 4 at 10:54 am indicated 44.5k followers. At 8:20 pm, Tawhidi’s follower count reached 49.6k followers, amounting to a gain of 20,000 followers in a mere 24 hours. On June 13, Tawhidi’s follower count surpassed 68k followers, and on June 17 at 12:14 am, Tawhidi hit 75,000 followers, amounting to a gain of 45,000 followers in under two weeks.
On January 27, 2018, the NY Times published an article shedding light on the Twitter black market, or selling of Twitter followers. Twitter responded to the article by purging millions of bot accounts, as purchasing fake followers to gain legitimacy violates Twitter’s usage policy. On the same day the story broke, Imam Tawhidi made a post asking Twitter to explain why he had lost 3,000 followers in seven hours. Twenty minutes later, Imam Tawhidi indicated his followers had miraculously returned, however, according to a Twittercounter.com report on
Houdini Tawhidi, the followers did not return. Regardless, much like the warnings about the “fake” BrotherTawhidi account, both tweets about his disappearing followers have disappeared. #CharacterMatters
Given the history of tweets has been deleted for “BrotherTawhidi,” it is impossible to prove with 100% certainty who operated the account, however, it is not impossible to analyze the remaining information to identify consistent patterns. In order to do so, it was important to construct a timeline for the history of “BrotherTawhidi.” A Twitter search for “BrotherTawhidi” shows the account first began getting mentions in January of 2013.
This information is important to note, as the profile page for the “BrotherTawhidi” account that Imam Tawhidi is referencing when he refers to it as a “parody” account indicates the account was created on July 9, 2013, seven months after the account first became active on Twitter. From January of 2013 through July of 2013 “BrotherTawhidi” is operated by an individual claiming to be Imam Tawhidi until July 9, 2013 when the account is reactivated by a different user, and subsequently alleges to be the archived tweets of Imam Tawhidi. The profile page for “ImamofPeace” indicates he joined Twitter on July 10, 2013, 24 hours after “BrotherTawhidi” is shut down
by Imam Tawhidi, and reactivated by a different user. Technically, Tawhidi is not lying when he says “the account is not mine,” but he has never addressed the issue of whether or not it ever was.
While all activity occurring prior to July 9, 2013 under the @BrotherTawhidi username has been deleted, much like Tawhidi’s warnings about the “parody” account and the tweets about his disappearing followers, users who opted to retweet @BrotherTawhidi by retyping the text (as opposed to using the “retweet” button) confirm that the comments were made by
Imam Tawhidi “BrotherTawhidi” prior to July 9, 2013, but the individual operating the account is yet to be determined.
The “BrotherTawhidi” tweets bear a striking resemblance to a number of tweets made by Imam Tawhidi in that they are inflammatory, derogatory towards Aisha or other revered Sunni figures, AND have also been deleted by Imam Tawhidi.
As shown above, on December 10, 2017 (top left image), Imam Tawhidi posted a vile tweet referencing the alleged sexual promiscuity of Aisha, comparing her “nights with different men” to a USB that is “in an out of every computer.” While Imam Tawhidi deleted the tweet (much like the warnings about the “fake account”) and will likely deny ever making it, the tweet received multiple replies, several of which remain “liked” by Imam Tawhidi. While Tawhidi’s ideology is not the focus of this piece, it would be negligent not to question the motives of an individual who identifies as a moderate reformer, yet exhibits an ideology ingrained with deep-seated anti-Sunni sentiments, and an ire for select Shia Muslims. Click here for more on Tawhidi’s ideology.
Worthy of consideration is the fact that whoever was operating under the username “BrotherTawhidi” from January 2013 to July 9, 2013 did not simply deactivate and abandon the account, rather
Imam Tawhidi someone took the time to delete every individual tweet. This is an inordinate amount of effort to put forth unless it is an attempt to prevent someone from utilizing a user ID number to link the tweets to any future accounts.
Tawhidi claims he began to “rebel” in 2016 after he “woke up,” and started speaking out against extremism. He claims his “rebellion” has made him the target of attacks by radicals who are upset that he is “exposing” them. While fragments of such may be partially true, the reality is that Muslims have been speaking out against Tawhidi since before 2013, not for his alleged reform endeavors, but for the hate-filled sectarian warfare he wages against Sunni and select Shia Muslims. While the initial January 2013 creation of the “BrotherTawhidi” account does not coincide with Tawhidi’s awakened message of “peace,” the deletion of the tweets coincides with Imam Tawhidi’s soon-to-be employment with a Shirazi television station. This wouldn’t make Tawhidi the first individual to modify social media accounts prior to a career move. To no avail, the disappearance of the “BrotherTawhidi” tweets did not ease the opposition to Tawhidi, and in 2014 this petition was filed with Change.org to have Tawhidi removed from the Shirazi station. The petition is marked “victory,” and according to a petition update, Tawhidi’s contract with the television station was terminated. Regardless, the retaliatory logic cannot be used to justify the “parody” account, as Imam Tawhidi himself was radical until his alleged 2016 awakening.
While “BrotherTawhidi” offended many people, there were a handful of loyal users who publicly voiced their support. Among the first users to mention “BrotherTawhidi” in January of 2013 were fellow Shirazi followers “Dia_Haddad” (who has also operated under the username “DiaalKarbalai”) and “KhadimQanbar” (formerly “KhadimAhulbayt”). Prior to July 9, 2013 (the date the account was reactivated by a new user), “Dia_Haddad” was simultaneously communicating with “BrotherTawhidi” on Twitter and Imam Tawhidi on Instagram. While the deletion of all tweets from “BrotherTawhidi” makes it impossible to know for sure, the dialogue appears to be reciprocated by “BrotherTawhidi,” and the user does not seem concerned over the authenticity of the account at the time the dialogue is taking place.
“KhadimQanbar” initiated contact with “BrotherTawhidi” by expressing excitement that Tawhidi was now on Twitter to “expose more of Umar,” and shortly after, reminisced on old memories. At no point has this user alluded to the possibility that “BrotherTawhidi” was not the Imam himself, and much like the dialogue that occurred with “Dia_Haddad,” it has a very personal tone.
Not long after, Imam Tawhidi posted a photograph on Instagram of himself in Karbala with two male companions. A closer look would reveal those males were “Dia_Haddad” and “KhadimQanbar.” RECAP: two of the first users to interact with @BrotherTawhidi appear in a photograph with Imam Tawhidi that he posted on his Instagram profile.
On a different occassion, Imam Tawhidi made a separate Instagram post containing a video of himself at the airport that was filmed by “Dia_Haddad,” further demonstrating the dynamics of their close friendship. In a Facebook thread where multiple users debated whether or not they agreed with BrotherTawhidi’s tweets, “Dia Haddad” stated that Sayed Sadiq [Shirazi] instructed Tawhidi to “stop this online activity,” but insists Tawhidi has since “changed his views.” Perhaps Tawhidi was given these orders at the same time the previously mentioned contract with Shirazi’s television station was terminated due to the opposition incited by Tawhidi’s festering hate. #Hmmm
While it’s possible that “Dia_Haddad” and “KhadimQanbar” were unaware that they were receiving responses from a counterfeit account around the same time they were planning a trip to Karbala with the individual they thought they were communicating with on Twitter, a tweet by a third user (and fellow Shirazi follower) leaves less room for such doubt, irrefutably making contact Imam Tawhidi. “ShabirMukhtar” first reached out to “BrotherTawhidi” on February 7, 2013. He expressed interest in meeting “BrotherTawhidi,” and maintained frequent interaction with “Tawhidicom” and “Imamofpeace.”
On May 3, 2013 (two months before Imam Tawhidi was allegedly on Twitter), “ShabirMukhtar” posted a tweet containing a screenshot of a tweet made by “BrotherTawhidi.” This tweet to “BrotherTawhidi” was “liked” and remains “liked” by “Imamofpeace,” the official, verified account currently operated by Imam Tawhidi. It is certainly understandable why this user was under the impression that he was making contact with Imam Tawhidi when communicating with “BrotherTawhidi.” #oops
On December 25, 2015, Imam Tawhidi released an “open letter to the public” in which he apologizes for the hateful things he has said over the past decade, acknowledging that those statements made by Brother Tawhidi were in fact him. He indicates 2016 will be a big year for him, he will be present in the media, and he will be taking a change of course per the orders of his Marja Taqlid (Sayid Sadiq Shirazi, whose vile ideas Tawhidi adamantly refuses to condemn). Not surprisingly, Imam Tawhidi denies the authenticity of the apology letter he posted on December 25, 2015 to his Facebook page in the exact same manner he denies the authenticity of the BrotherTawhidi tweets. Given the behavior patterns that have been clearly established by Tawhidi, every precaution should’ve been taken to capture irrefutable evidence of where the letter was extracted from, however the remaining evidence that has not been deleted is quite incriminating.
A user ( a fellow Shirazi follower who on multiple occasions claims to be a “close family friend” of Tawhidi’s [see additional links below]) who goes by “AbdullahRafidhi” posted the letter on Twitter in an exchange over whether or not Imam Tawhidi ever operated under the username “BrotherTawhidi.” While this “close family friend” indicates the account is “fake” (by December 25, 2015 the account was under different ownership, and could be considered “fake”), he refuses to answer the question of whether or not Tawhidi ever said such things, opting instead to offer the apology letter, explicitly stating “he just posted this, worth a read.” Much like the previous users mentioned, “AbdullahRafidhi” has a personal relationship with Tawhidi, and openly supports him.
Just prior to the user posting this letter in an exchange, he manually retweeted Imam Tawhidi’s “open letter to the public,” which automatically posted to his Facebook profile at the same time. He retweeted Tawhidi at 7:42 AM, and within the same minute responded to a tweet made by Tawhidi. While the deletion of all of Tawhidi’s tweets makes it impossible to know what “open letter to the public” the user was responding to, Imam Tawhidi “liked” the reply, and it remains “liked” by @ImamofPeace today. Just a few days later, “ShaykDaniel” quoted and retweeted Tawhidi’s apology letter (per the request of Tawhidi in his original post) as an example of the importance of admitting one’s mistakes and apologizing. “ShaykDaniel’s” message once again automatically populated “AbdullahRafidhi’s” Facebook profile when he retweeted it. While the tweet made by Imam Tawhidi from his Tawhidicom account has been deleted, Facebook still shows a preview of what Imam Tawhidi’s tweet said; “I apologize to all those I may have unintentionally hurt in the past years. Please read my pinned tweet and have a Happy New Year…” The content of this tweet from Imam Tawhidi is identical to the text from the letter Tawhidi
dishonestly denies ever releasing.
In an entirely separate Facebook discussion that took place in January of 2016, “AbdullahRafidhi” is once again defending Imam Tawhidi against accusations of hypocrisy. The individual “AbdullahRafidhi” is defending against states “Tawhidi writes in his letter… there shall be a change of course. Does this mean he has started doing Taqiyyah…” AbdullahRafidhi posts a link to the letter, and asks “what line are you talking about.” The link posted by “AbdullahRafidhi” is to Imam Tawhidi’s Facebook profile page, but following the link results in an error message, as Tawhidi’s post has since been deleted (and denied).
When “AbdullahRafidhi” (Tawhidi’s “close personal friend”) was questioned about the origin of the letter, he indicated he received it from the Islamic Association of South Australia (Imam Tawhidi’s organization). When the Islamic Association of South Australia was contacted regarding the letter, they indicated the letter was not issued by Tawhidi, explicitly stating “the Imam has not issued any statements prior to the establishment of this association. And his office only came to exist in 2017.” That is patently false, as Imam Tawhidi has been posting letters for years, including the following letter from October 2015 that is currently still available on his Facebook profile, and the letter he boastfully alleges to have “personally sent” Mayor DeBlasio in 2016. While these are not the letters in question, it is a direct contradiction to the false pretense on which Tawhidi’s organization denied the letter. The Islamic Association of South Australia’s response to a subsequent inquiry was a block, and the opportunity never presented itself to ask the organization why their Twitter profile indicates they joined in October of 2015 if they didn’t exist until 2017. In the
predictable instance that Tawhidi denies denying (LOL) the letter, blaming it instead on a non-existent member of staff, please know that on separate occassions, both Imam Tawhidi and his association stated the letter was fake. [A full size photo of the letter is at the bottom should the thumbnail images not load properly on your device]
As Tawhidi is well aware, impersonation accounts are a regular occurrence on social media, and Imam Tawhidi is quick to react when one arises. On several occasions, Imam Tawhidi has solicited the help from his supporters to take action against impersonators, successfully having them removed from Twitter. In June of 2017, Tawhidi announced he would be contacting the police regarding the online impersonation. Yet despite the confusion and alleged threats that have emerged from the existence of “BrotherTawhidi,” Tawhidi hasn’t had it removed, he hasn’t threatened any defamation suits, and he continues to delete any indication from his account that BrotherTawhidi is “fake.” Perhaps Tawhidi has not contacted Twitter regarding the account because only Twitter knows the truth, and they have the data to prove it. A number of factors in the Imam of peace equation are quite simply not adding up.
After reading the apology letter released by Imam Tawhidi, it is obvious why he denies it. Not only does it implicate Tawhidi as the individual responsible for the Brothertawhidi tweets that he publicly denied, it also contains several problematic statements coming from someone alleging to be a moderate reformer. He does not state that he has abandoned his previous way of thinking, rather he states it was better off concealed. He foreshadows his current attention-seeking behaviors by indicating he will have an increased media presence, and he tells his audience the upcoming change of course is per the request of his Marja Taqlid. Given Tawhidi explicitly stated in a recent tweet that his Marja Taqlid, Sayid Sadiq Shirazi, is NOT a reformer, it would be foolish not to question Tawhidi’s intentions in identifying as one himself. Tawhidi also states that the change of course is necessary “in order for us to better serve Ahlulbayt (a.s) with greater excellence and quality…” Within the Islamic tradition, “Ahlulbayt” is a term that refers to the family of the prophet Muhammad, yet Tawhidi alleges his “awakening,” “rebellion,” and reform efforts are in service to Australia. Perhaps this is one of the beliefs that Tawhidi feels are better off concealed.
Much has been learned about Tawhidi’s eratic behavior when he doesn’t like what’s being said, and his past dictates that he will attribute this analysis to a fear of being “exposed” as a radical… Or perhaps Tawhidi will find a way to blame it on a vehicular attack by an ISIS radical, whose license plate number Tawhidi jotted down on Twitter and Facebook, as he was being forcefully rammed off the side of the road on his way to cash the checks from any one of his recent crowd funding campaigns (cue the eye roll). The only thing that Tawhidi has exposed is an unwillingness to question those who say the “right” things, as he thrives off others’ fear and despair. Any amount of competent research on Tawhidi will reveal that he is a chameleon, constantly changing his colors depending on his audience and goal. His agenda is blatantly obvious upon coming to terms with the fact that he is not going to save us from the perils of Islamism. His agenda is obvious in the words he chooses, but more importantly, in the words he chooses against.
When it was discovered that there was a 24 hour time differential between the change in ownership of “Brothertawhidi” and Imam Tawhidi joining as “Tawhidicom,” digging deeper was the only option. In doing so, a dead end was never reached, and there was no shortage of trails to follow. This is not about a fixation with Tawhidi. This is about the fact that nobody likes a dishonest, self-serving hypocrite who is lying to the public as he takes their money, spreads sectarian hatred, advances his brand of “Islam,” and poses as a bona-fide reformer.