On September 12, 2019, Mohammad Tawhidi posted an article on the Times of Israel website titled “I Was an Extremist and an Antisemite, Do You Know My Story?” In this article, Tawhidi gives the details of his alleged de-radicalization. While Tawhidi’s lack of a public footprint has been troubling from the beginning, the concern has been exacerbated by the discrepancies in the public footprint that is beginning to emerge.
In Tawhidi’s Times of Israel article, he states…
“When ISIS took control of Mosul in June 2014, I was temporarily based in Baghdad and literally less than 1 hour away from ISIS territory….The country was shaken and many ministers fled the country… This event horrified me, but I decided not to leave the country. I immediately returned to the Holy City of Karbala [Iraq], a sacred Shia Muslim stronghold that would be very difficult for ISIS to conquer… Now I was around 2 hours away from ISIS, and it is from here [Karbala] that my stance against Islamic extremism and fundamentalism became public… In December 2015, I felt that it was time for me to end my eight-year journey within the Islamic seminaries of Iran and Iraq by returning to Australia.”
The events that lead a Muslim to begin identifying as a reformer are significant in that they reveal one’s values, motives, and intentions. It seems logical to conclude that if Tawhidi was being honest, making consistent statements would come naturally. But that hasn’t been the case with Tawhidi. Mohammad Tawhidi directly contradicted his story in a December 2018 interview with Dave Rubin.
Rubin asks Tawhidi “do you remember the moment it hit you,” to which Tawhidi again references the June 2014 fall of Mosul to ISIS, but in this interview, Tawhidi states “the Australian passport that I had saved me. I was given priority, and I returned to Australia.”
Despite the claim in Tawhidi’s article that he did not return to Australia until December of 2015, one of the videos he posted in his article was filmed at a Husseiniya in Australia and published on their YouTube channel on July 16, 2014. The anti-Semitic video was filmed in Australia 17 months before he alleges he returned to Australia at a time when he claims he was publicly speaking out against extremism. The video Tawhidi posted in his article was not an isolated video, rather it was one of a series of videos filmed over a longer period of time.
Additionally, the details Tawhidi provides in his Times of Israel article are further contradicted by the story he told in January of 2018 via a Facebook live video. In this video, Tawhidi tells a story he alleges is very “special” and “important,” as he claims this is the moment he stopped hating Jews. The event Tawhidi describes allegedly happened in 2014 in Melbourne, Australia, upon his return from Iraq. He stated he wanted to write an article about it, but he wanted to narrate the story first…and then he finally writes the article and doesn’t utter a word about this very special story?
In his article, Tawhidi states “I decided not to leave the country,” rather he traveled from Baghdad to Karbala (both in Iraq) where he alleges his stance against extremism became public. Tawhidi fabricated the details of his actions in an article that was intended to explain his de-radicalization.
His Times of Israel article goes on to provide elaborate details about the time he allegedly spent in Iraq “tackling the ideology of extremism.” “Later in 2014, I was walking with my mother in the crowded holy city when there was an explosion nearby. I will never forget how the earth moved beneath my feet…” but he wasn’t even living in Iraq.
In his Times of Israel article, Tawhidi explained his deradicalization as a two-step process. The first process allegedly occurred from 2010-2012 when he opted to “distance” himself from the Iranian regime. Tawhidi claims the events in Karbala (that never occurred because he was living in Australia) and the death of his Uncle Faris pushed him into the second stage of his deradicalization. Tawhidi’s inability to consistently recount the details of his Uncle Faris’ death exceed Tawhidi’s inability to remember which continent he resided on when he “woke up.”
In Tawhidi’s 2018 interview with Dave Rubin, Tawhidi tells the story of Mosul falling to ISIS (According to Tawhid’s recent Times of Israel article and independently confirmed, Mosul fell to ISIS in June of 2014). After Tawhidi explains his move back to Australia, Tawhidi states “But BEFORE all of this happened (in June of 2014), my uncle was kidnapped and burned alive.” Tawhidi is saying his uncle was kidnapped and burned alive prior to June 2014, but his Times of Israel article indicates his Uncle Faris was allegedly kidnapped in January 2015, and his family later received a call from Baghdad informing them that ISIS had captured and burnt Faris alive. (see Dave Rubin clip above to hear Tawhidi explain that Uncle Faris was killed prior to June 2014.)
Tawhidi contradicts the timing of his uncle’s alleged death once again in a now-deleted tweet from November 1, 2017 and a May 2017 Facebook post where he claims his uncle was kidnapped and killed in 2016. The deleted tweet states “last year ISIS burnt my uncle alive and it was me who had to receive his body from Baghdad government and bury it alone.” “Last year” would be 2016, but the discrepancies don’t stop there…
Tawhidi’s Times of Israel article references a “proper burial” and a funeral that he claims his entire family attended to mourn the tragic death, but his November 2017 tweet states he had to bury his uncle alone. Tawhidi has claimed his uncle was killed in 2014, 2015, and 2016, and he has claimed he buried his uncle both alone and in the presence of his entire family. Tawhidi doesn’t recall what year his uncle was allegedly killed, nor does he recall if he was alone or with his family at the alleged funeral, but he claims the event was significant enough to contribute to the story of his de-radicalization.
On Rubin, Tawhidi claims it “hit him” upon his return to Australia when he saw that “Muslims were killing Muslims,” but his Times of Israel article makes no mention of Australia playing a role in his de-radicalization. Tawhidi indicates in the Rubin interview that he “went on to form diplomatic relations and public relations to combat extremists,” however, his article that explains his de-radicalization makes no mention of Australia playing a part in his “awakening.” Tawhidi is telling the truth about forming diplomatic relations, but until he condemns his master, Sayid Sadiq Shirazi, it is irrational to believe Tawhidi is being honest about his agenda for the future.
Speaking of agendas, Tawhidi’s article explicitly states “I had a strategic plan to make my message of peace and anti-extremism more effective; which involved the use of social media….” but in the Rubin interview, Tawhidi stated “I didn’t plan to speak out…” Tawhidi claims he was “discovered” by Australian media. So did he have a strategic plan, or did the Australian media “discover” him?
Tawhidi’s article states the first stage of his de-radicalization involved distancing himself from the Iranian regime. He equated this to “switching support for political parties.” The new “political party” Tawhidi aligned with is the Shirazi Jurisdiction, a faction within Shi’ism that condones child marriage, FGM, honor killings, self-flagellation and death for apostates.
Tawhidi’s article about his alleged deradicalization gives zero specifics on the individuals and texts that radicalized him. He states Sayid Sadiq Shirazi ordained him, but Tawhidi does not utter a single critique of the horrific ideas Shirazi endorses. Ask Tawhidi to condemn Sayid Sadiq Shirazi for the vile ideas he condones and watch the dissimulation that ensues. These contradictions and omissions of details are not insignificant, rather they come at a critical moment where every detail provides insight into what might be motivating Tawhidi to speak out. The fact that Tawhidi cannot provide consistent details about the most basic aspects of his past that led him to begin identifying as a reformer presents a deeply troubling reality; Tawhidi cannot tell the story of his de-radicalization because it never happened. Until Tawhidi is willing to publicly distance himself from Sayid Sadiq Shirazi, Tawhidi is an extremist wearing an elaborate costume as he pretends to be a reformer and make a fool out of the westerners who don’t understand Tawhidi’s agenda.
UPDATE: On August 31, 2018, Tawhidi claimed his cousin Faris was burned alive by ISIS, contradicting the previous four versions he’s told about his Uncle Faris.
Please help get answers from Mohammad Tawhidi regarding the lies that he told in his fabricated story about his alleged de-radicalization
Hi @ImamofPeace, Why did you state in your @TimesofIsrael article that you didn’t return to Australia until December of 2015 when that is not true?Tweet
Hi @ImamofPeace. I am morally outraged by Sayid Sadiq Shirazi’s vile teachings including child marriage, FGM, & honor killings. I condemn him for his horrific ideas. Do you condemn him as well?Tweet
Hi @ImamofPeace. It’s troubling that you lied in your @TimesofIsrael article about the details of your alleged de-radicalization process. Are you sure you’re not lying about no longer being a radical?Tweet
Hi @ImamofPeace. In January of 2018, you told a story about how you stopped hating Jews. Why didn’t you mention this in your @TimesofIsrael article about how you were once an antisemite?Tweet
Hi @ImamofPeace. In your @TimesofIsrael article, you stated you had a strategic plan, however, you told @RubinReport you had no plans to speak out, rather you were “discovered.” Which version is true, and why did you lie?Tweet
Hi @ImamofPeace. In your @TimesofIsrael article, you stated you’ll never forget how the earth shook beneath your feet when you were walking with your mother in Iraq. How did this happen if you were living in Australia at the time?Tweet