A view of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Wearing a black t-shirt with the words #WeRemember imprinted in white, well-known Australian Imam Mohamad Tawhidi proudly posted about being the first Shia Imam "to pay his respects at Auschwitz."
The photograph, along with several other posts and a video from his time at the death camp museum on Sunday, went viral on social media platforms.
In a video, which he took while standing outside the main entrance to Auschwitz, Tawhiri said that he was visiting the site "to take a stand against antisemitism.
"This is where millions of Jews were killed during the Holocaust," he emphasized. "This is just one of the areas where the horrific crimes took place. It's very important that the mesage goes out that this never happens again - that the atmosphere for this is never created again. That we do not pave the way for these crimes to happen again."
Edoctrinated and raised to hate Jews, Tawhidi said that he "never thought that I would ever come here to pay my respects. I was someone who hated the Jews and the Jewish nation - it's time we woke up and became human beings for real."
During his video address, Tawhidi also criticized the US Congress saying that "it should be focusing on serving the American people, it should not be a platform for Islamist members of the American government to preach their hate against the Jewish people.
He took several jabs at Representatives Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota who he called "absolute frauds and Islamists" adding that they "promote hatred agaist th Jewish people.
"Ilhan does not believe that the Jewish people or the Jewish nation has the right to exist," he said, "Shame on her and shame on those who voted for her ad are staying silent. We must do everything that we can to promote peace, and make sure that the American government does not allow these people a platform."
"Raise your voices against hatred," he added.
Tawhidi posted photographs of the barracks, lavatories and crematorium at the death camp, which today, is only a shadow of the unimaginably cruel conditions Jewish inmates had to contend with during the Holocaust.
He captioned the post: "Hitler was a terrorist. Do not support Hitler’s agenda. Stand against what Hitler stood for. Love and embrace each other. Kick the Islamists out of your communities and governments" and ended each one off with the hashtags "#NeverAgain", "#WeRemember" and "#ImamofPeace."
Hundreds of people commented on the posts thanking him for his stance, his actions and for visiting the site, adding that he is brave and their respect for him "has soared."
"Shalom Imam....powerful picture speaks a million words," wrote Colm Finnegan, while Belteshazzar Azariah said, "You're a good man and a good example for everyone, Sheikh!"
In a post responding, Kashif Zaidi heeded the Imam's call for peace and humanity: "Come all as one..end hatred now..enemies are the ones who divides us..peace to all our jew brothers/sisters..yes we remember the sufferings."
Iranian-born Tawhidi, who is on of the main leading voices in the global movement of Islamic reform, has dedicated his life to ideologically tackling the spread of Islamic extremism. He also describes himself as a peace activist and has faced extreme criticism from fellow muslims for his reformist views.
Prior to his reform, Tawhidi spent over seven years studying in an Islamic Seminary in Iran. He has had numerous death threats made against him since taking on his pro-peace views and speaking up against Islamic extremism, especially after he denounced ISIS several years back and voiced his support for the Burka ban.
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