Pro-Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) Magazine On 'Imam Of Peace' Being Hosted In Mecca By Saudi Muslim World League (MWL): 'Where Are The Swords Of The … Madkhalis?'

January 25, 2023

On January 16, 2023, the Al-Azaim Media Foundation, a media outlet linked to the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) which defines itself as a supporting entity for the Islamic State (ISIS), released the second issue of its Arabic-language magazine Sawt Khorasan [Voice of Khorasan].[1] ISKP operates in Afghanistan and in Pakistan's tribal areas along the Afghan border.

The magazine contains a brief piece reporting on the January 5 visit to Mecca by Mohammad Tawhidi, an Australian Shi'ite imam born in Iran, who refers to himself as the "Imam of Peace" and is known for his moderate views and opposition to Islamic extremism.[2] The stated purpose of the visit was to discuss ways of "solidifying the relationship between the Islamic Seminary of Najaf, Iraq, and the religious authorities within Saudi Arabia; as well as the broader Sunni Muslim world" and "advancing peace in the interests of Islam and Muslims."[3]

Noting that Tawhidi was hosted by the Muslim World League (MWL), which is headed by Sheikh Muhammad Al-Issa and funded by the Saudi government, the pro-ISIS magazine seeks to discredit Saudi Arabia and the Sunni clerics who support it by virtue of their association with the "apostate" Tawhidi, lashing out at supporters of the Saudi government for not using their "swords" against Tawhidi.

The item in Sawt Khorasan reads:[4]

"The apostate Imam Tawhidi, whom the Western media presents as an imam of the Muslims, was hosted by Muhammad Al-Issa in the Honored [city of] Mecca! This apostate, who stands next to Muhammad Al-Issa, insults the mother of the believers, [the Prophet Muhammad's wife] 'A'ishah, and says that the shoe of the queen of Britain is purer than her!  What heresy, unbelief, and apostasy is this, evil scholars of the Council of Senior Devils [i.e. the Council of Senior Scholars, the body which advises the King of Saudi Arabia on religious matters]? Where are the swords of the Surouris and Madkhalis [Salafi sects that believe in supporting Muslim governments]?

"The Intercept newspaper[5] says about the apostate Imam Tawhidi that a Jewish official in New York praised him and called him a hero sent by God, because he says political Islam is a disease and says that Muslims are mistaken by esteeming Jerusalem and that it is the land of the Jews.

"The heretic Tawhidi defiles the Sanctuary [in Mecca], and the filthy Muhammad Al-Issa hosts him with full shame and disgrace. The filthy Tawhidi mocks the Prophet and says that Muslims agreed to lie in order to propagandize that the Prophet married a virgin, calling to throw the Prophet's words out the window and make the Quran into a historical book. Then he is greeted officially by the criminal apostate Saudi state as he defiles the Sanctuary. The Council of Senior Devils is a partner with this vile state in this despicable crime and blatant unbelief."

The article contains three photos of Tawhidi's visit to Mecca, showing him with Al-Issa; Grand Ayatollah Fadhil al-Budairi, the senior jurist of the Islamic Fatwa Council (IFC); and others. Tawhidi is circled in red in the magazine. The photos were originally published on the internet by the IFC and Global Imams Council (GIC), of which Tawhidi is the vice president.[6]

Sawt Khorasan echoes the language of some social media posts published by Sunnis following Tawhidi's visit to Mecca, which also called him an apostate and contained threats against his life. At least one of these posts is nearly identical to the text of the Sawt Khorasan piece.

Zahid Akhtar, the founder of the Documenting Oppression Against Muslims (DOAM) organization, tweeted photos of the visit on January 5, calling Tawhidi a "Fake Shaykh and Abuser of the Sahabah [Companions of the Prophet Muhammad]" and claiming that the cleric once said that the "shoe of Queen Elizabeth is more pure than Prophet Muhammad’s wife Aisha!"[7]

Ini addition, the Islamic Affairs news outlet tweeted in Arabic: "The Iranian whom the Western media presents as an imam of the Muslims was hosted by Muhammad Al-Issa in the Honored [city of] Mecca! […] This person who stands near Muhammad Al-Issa insults the mother of the believers, 'A'ishah, and says that the shoe of the queen of Britain is purer than her!  What a disgrace. Where are the swords of the Madkhalis? Or is this the job of the reformist preachers?"[8]

Another Twitter user, "yusufone313," commented on the photos: "Imam Tawhidi (the apostate) is with his people... "[9]

It should be noted that the GIC issued a statement on January 24 rejecting the accusations of apostasy levelled by Sawt Khorasan against Tawhidi and expressing solidarity with him, while condemning "ISIS and its terrorism that threatens humanity and our international security."[10]



[3], January 5, 2023.

[4] Al-Azaim Pashto | Private, January 16, 2023.

[5], June 25, 2019.

[6], January 5, 2023;, January 5, 2023;, January 9, 203;, January 12, 2023.

[7], January 5, 2023.

[8], January 9, 2023.

[9], January 9, 2023.

[10], January 24, 2023.

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