In a recent segment by Today Tonight Adelaide, two “Imams” were used as representatives of the Muslim community to make shocking allegations against the Muslim community.
One of the “Imams” used in the segment, Mr. Mohammed Tawhidi made the outrageous claim that Muslims in Australia are planning to create an Islamic State within Australia. Despite providing no proof for such a claim, his interview was aired to audiences around the country and went viral over social media.
Little is known about Mr Tawhidi or his followers, his centre named the “Islamic Association of South Australia” was only set up last year and there is little to no information available about the centre and its attendees.
South Australia happens to be home to a very long established Muslim community, with the nation’s oldest Mosque, built in the 1800’s by Afghan cameliers, standing in the heart of Adelaide city.
When One Path Network approached the Australian National Imams Council, ANIC, for comment, they stated that Mr Tawhidi was “not recognised as an Imam, Sheikh or Muslim leader”. ANIC is the official representative body of all Imams across Australia and has over 250 members, all Imams.
The Imams Council of South Australia was also approached for a comment. Their leader, Sheikh Amin Abousamaha, who leads congregations at the largest Mosque in South Australia, confirmed that “he was not recognised” and “not part of the Islamic leadership in South Australia”.
The other so-called Imam interviewed in Today Tonight’s segment is known as Mustafa Rashed, and is a known imposter and fraud. He has previously claimed to be the Mufti of Australia, and was exposed by ANIC in 2014 for his fraudulent remarks. ANIC released a statement at the time refuting his bogus claims. He has no known credentials in Islamic Studies and neither does he have a centre in Australia or a following.
We encourage all Australians to always fact-check their information. Reputable journalists and media organisations should, at the very least, conduct the simple due diligence to verify the identities and credentials of the people they are espousing to be experts or faith leaders.
We at OnePath Network imagine many Australians would have been shocked and angered by the claims made on Today Tonight by these bogus Imams. Our advice to you is simple – get to know the real Muslims in your area. Ask for a tour of your local Mosque, make an appointment to visit and have a cup of tea with the locals. Through conversation, understanding and mutual respect will grow. You will be able to see with your own eyes that there is nothing to fear form your Muslim neighbours.
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