Social media exploded last week with news of Andrew Tate’s conversion to Islam.
Guess I have to issue a disclaimer at this point. I am a Muslim and a feminist. My first reaction to seeing Tate pray alongside his longtime friend Tam Khan was to write a blog post explaining why I was concerned about Tate’s conversion. I asked Tate to repudiate his widely held views on women taking responsibility for being raped, women shouldn’t drive, and preferring to date teenagers aged 18-19. years so that he could “make an imprint” on them. He also talked about hitting, choking, destroying women’s personal property and generally defacing them using language like “hoe”. And yet, all of this was ignored by his new Muslim brothers, who kept begging us to welcome him into our religion.
The hypocrisy of the Tate fanboys has been staggering. For four days now, most of my Twitter timeline has been cluttered with their comments, oscillating between calling me a “Kafir” (non-Muslim), questioning my sect (“are you Ahmaddiya?”) and simply calling me of “a (triggered) liberal feminist”. They demanded that I wear the hijab – rich given that Tate’s current profile picture shows him in a pair of skimpy shorts – and so on.
It’s hard as a Muslim woman to see someone as controversial as Tate suddenly become the darling of my Muslim brothers and sisters. Where is the responsibility? Safeguarding not only our impressionable young boys and men, but also our women? Why are these social media warriors defending someone with a history of misogyny? His conversion to Islam does not give him a clean slate.
Tate is not the cause of toxic masculinity or misogyny. Double standards for men and women have been around for centuries, long before Tate set up his webcam business in Romania or his $49-a-month Hustler University to give young men advice on how to get rich. According to Observerit was these same followers who were able to push Tate’s views to a wider audience on TikTok in a “blatant attempt to manipulate the algorithm” and artificially promote his content.
This idolization of someone like Tate shows all the work we have to do as Ummah, our community of Muslims. Are we so desperate for followers that we cannot hold our brothers to account?
Content from our partners
Tate needs to speak out, more for the sake of these impressionable young boys and men than anyone else. If they believe that a woman has no one to blame for being raped but herself, that her place is in the kitchen and the house to serve her man, then we are all doomed.
As for me, I am not at all bothered by someone who calls me Kafir. I will pray more for them and ask Allah to guide us all. But Tate’s opinions are still used to justify, propagate and reinforce toxic masculinity and misogyny. For this, as a good Muslim brother, he must intervene and express himself.
[See also: How a new headscarf row has reignited French divisions over Islam and secularism]