Imam Breaks Down in Tears, Says Islam Is to Blame for ISIS' Radicalization
An imam in Australia broke down in tears during a national TV interview where he discussed the brainwashing of a doctor who joined the Islamic State terror group and said Islam is to blame for such radicalization.
"I can't blame him, it's my religion. I can't blame it on education, because he's had the best education. So I have to blame it on religion," Mohammed Tawhidi said, while talking about Tareq Kamleh, who fled to Syria in 2015 to join the jihadists.
Yahoo 7 reported Wednesday that Kamleh has appeared in a video celebrating his conversion as a jihadist and declared that IS fighters "love death more than you love life."
Kamleh also claimed that Muslims who refuse to join IS have "no self respect."
Tawhidi admitted that the video will not go unnoticed, and said there are like-minded people in Australia who are also in danger of being radicalized.
There have been numerous reports of police cracking down on terror cells in Australia, and Tawhidi insisted that the nation will fight back against extremist influences.
"This is a battle that we Australians are going to win," the imam declared.
"All that we're dealing with is a bunch of determined amateurs that we can easily take control of."
His calls for peace have made him a target for hardliners, however, and he said in April that a $5,000 bounty had been placed on his head.
A Daily Mail Australia article also reported Wednesday that Tawhidi, who has denounced Sharia law and called for hardline Islamic schools in Australia to be shut down, has asked for $30,000 to pay for security guards to protect him.
"I've been assaulted by Muslim leaders, ambushed and spat on in the streets," Tawhidi said.
He previously sparked controversy for suggesting that he moved to Australia because it was a "non-Muslim country."
"If we knew after 30 years we are going to have burqas running around and mosques being erected on every corner and people proposing Sharia law against democracy in this country ... we wouldn't have come," he said earlier this year.
Explaining the cost for his security, he said: "I need security iron grilles installed on my home windows which will cost around $10,000. ... I am looking to install a heavy duty fence around my property that will prevent any radicals from entering."
Tawhidi has vowed to continue preaching a message of peace and "anti-radicalization" despite the threats on his life.
'"This is a campaign to keep me alive for as long as possible and to prevent any more attacks or threats directed at me," he said.
Some American Christian commentators, such as "Bible Answer Man" Hank Hanegraaff, have also said that religion plays a much bigger role in IS' actions than previously admitted by those in the West who insist that Islam is a religion of peace.
"If you are a Christian you ought to be familiar today more than ever that our brothers and sisters, men, women and children, are being massacred in the Middle East," Hanegraaff said back in May, noting that churches across the Middle East have been emptied out, with Christians crucified and slaughtered for their faith.