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Daily Mail Online: Adelaide Shia Imam Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi slams phrase 'Islamophobia'

Adelaide Shia imam Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi slams phrase 'Islamophobia'

  • He says it's wrong to equate criticism of Islam and Sharia law with mental illness

  • The religious leader says 'Islamophobia' campaigns compromised free speech

A Muslim imam who campaigns against Sharia law says there is no such thing as 'Islamophobia', arguing it's a term often used to silence critics of Islam.

Adelaide Shia imam Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi laments how the term 'Islamophobia' is used to marginalise people with legitimate concerns about Muslim migrants. 'A phobia is an irrational fear which constitutes mental illness,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

Adelaide Shia imam Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi says there's no such thing as 'Islamophobia'

The imam declared his dispute with the term 'Islamophobia' in an article where he also denounced American pro-Palestine Islamist Linda Sarsour 'Accusing people of Islamophobia is accusing them of having a mental illness because they fear the beheadings and violence of Sharia law.' The 34-year-old head of the Islamic Association of South Australia says campaigners against 'Islamophobia' are building barriers to free expression. 'We need to encourage dialogue, opinions and freedom of speech,' he said. 'Considering criticism towards Muslims as a crime or mental illness is an insult to our intellect.' Sheikh Tawhidi, who was born in Iran and migrated to Australia from Iraq aged 12, has posted a series of tweets making a link between the global refugee crisis and people fleeing oppressive Islamist governments, from places like Iran. 'Maybe we Muslims are the real 'Islamophobes' for fleeing Islamic governments and coming to live in the West under a 'Kafir' democracy,' he said, using the phrase Muslims use to describe non-believers.

Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi says the global refugee crisis is a product of Islamist regimes

Sheikh Tawhidi told his Twitter followers 'Islamophobes' were Muslims fleeing Islamic rule

Sheikh Tawhidi speaks out against Sharia law, arguing it is the cause of the refugee crisis

The Adelaide Shia imam says he rejects any kind of worship that allows medival beheadings

'The global refugee crisis we witness today is a result of Islamic governments and the dominance of clerics over helpless nations.' He also tweeted his view 'there is no such thing as Islamophobia' and criticised Muslims who failed to integrate into Australian society. 'Muslims living in the West without assimilating do not consider the West to be their home. They're treating it as they would a hotel room,' he said. 'Muslims migrate to the West to live under the law of freedom and free speech. But when they're criticised they get offended and start rioting.'

Sheikh Tawhidi says Muslims living in the West are treating their society more like a hotel

Mariam Veiszadeh quit as the president of the Islamophobia Register Australia lobby group The term 'Islamophobia' came into popular use in Western societies in the late 1990s. The U.K.'s former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Trevor Phillips, who commissioned a report into Islamophobia, last year admitted the findings into his 1990s report were wrong and says many Muslims are creating 'nations within nations' in the West.

Muslim lawyer Mariam Veiszadeh this week quit as the president of Islamophobia Register Australia, handing her role over to Brice Hamack, who was previously an activist with the Council on American Islamic Relations in California.

She told her Facebook followers Islamophobia was a misunderstood term and accused bigots of being 'willfully ignorant' of attacks and hatred directed towards Muslims.

Sheikh Tawhidi does not condone violence against Muslims and has previously condemned those who harassed Muslim women wearing hijabs.

This article was originally published by The Mail Online and the original can be viewed on their site by clicking here.

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