Imam of Peace slams historian S Irfan Habib over his comments on Rajiv Malhotra’s JNU appointment

On Wednesday, the news about the appointment of Hindutva ideologue and author Rajiv Malhotra as a visiting professor at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) surfaced. Naturally the appointment of Malhotra, who is a Right Wing Hindutva ideologue and harsh critic of leftist ideas, did not go down well with many. JNU for long has been perceived as an institution dominated by Left leaning students and professors.

Lashing out at the latest JNU appointment, Left leaning historian S Irfan Habib took to twitter and called this an insult of the institution. “I don’t think JNU deserved this insult. A pretender, a plagiarist and Hindutva proponent Rajiv Malhotra appointed honorary visiting professor at JNU,” he wrote.

However, to this uncalled-for attack on a fellow intellectual just because of ideological differences, Habib received response from a person whom he perhaps had least expected. Instead of some Hindutva supporter from India, an Austrian of Iranian origin came out in support of Rajiv Malhotra.

Imam Tawhidi, popularly known as the Imam of Peace, an Australian citizen of Iranian descent, slammed Irfan Habib for what he called an attitude of “thinking others are inferior.” Tawhidi is an Islamic preacher, who is against radical interpretation of scriptures.

“Funny you say that, because those are the same accusations levelled at our Prophet Mohammad: An insult, a pretender and a plagiarist. But your backward minded community applies wisdom only when it suits you. Here you attack @Rajivmessage only because of difference in opinion,” the Imam said.

“On another note, if these are your ethics @irfhabib, then I testify that in a theological debate, Rajiv will do marathons around you intellectually,” he further added in another tweet.

Because of his unorthodox style of preaching, Tawhidi has been subject of several life threatening attacks, though that didn’t deter him from his mission of preaching peaceful Islam, harmony among various faiths, and universal brotherhood. He shares good relations with another liberal face from the Muslim world, Tarek Fatah.