On Oct. 22, 2022, a video of Andrew Tate learning how to pray like a Muslim began to circulate on social media.

In the video, the controversial British kickboxer was being taught how to perform the Islamic prayer (Salah), including the various bows and prostrations, by his fellow former fighter, Tam Khan. 

“My brother – MashAllah (God has willed it),” read the caption accompanying one of the videos posted by Tam Khan. 

Days later, Tate confirmed his conversion to Islam. 

“This is why I’m Muslim,” Tate wrote in a post on Gettr. “Any Christian who believes in good and understands the true battle against evil must convert. So be patient, indeed the promise of Allah is truth Quran 30:60.”

Prior to his apparent conversion to Islam, Tate rose to fame by styling himself as a self-help guru who offered tips and advice for young men looking to attract women and improve their lives. However, he has also been accused of “extreme misogyny” by domestic abuse charities, and is considered dangerous due to his ability to radicalize young men and boys.

An investigation by The Observer showed that some of the widely shared content from Tate include videos of him saying rape victims are to blame for their own assaults and that women are the property of men. He also called an ex-girlfriend who accused him of abuse a “dumb hoe.”

Given Andrew Tate’s history of misogyny and his influence over young, disenfranchised men, his conversion to Islam drew scepticism across Muslim communities. Some claimed that Tate was taking advantage of his growing popularity among young Muslim men in the Western world to rehabilitate and rebrand himself. This became apparent when Tate did not appear repentant about his history of misogyny and abuse but instead seemed emboldened by the misperception of Islam as a religion that promotes violence against women. 

“I am going to find myself a nice Islamic-a** wife, and build up a big pile of rocks in case she gets fresh,” Tate says in one of his videos. 

Apart from converting to Islam, Tate has also relied on the help of MMA fighters to help rebrand his persona. He began appearing alongside Tam Khan, a British-Afghan former MMA fighter-turned-entrepreneur who founded one of Dubai’s leading combat sports facilities, TK MMA. He smoked cigars with Aikido master Steven Seagal, and met with several UFC champions. 

However, less than two months following his conversion to Islam, Tate was arrested on suspicion of organized crime and human trafficking.

The 36-year-old was initially detained along with his brother Tristian and two Romanian women by local authorities in Bucharest in December 2022. Romania’s anti-organized crime agency DIICOT claimed to have identified six victims who were allegedly subjected to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” by Tate and his alleged accomplices.

In its official statement, DIICOT said that the alleged organized crime group recruited victims by “misrepresenting their intention to enter into a marriage/cohabitation relationship and the existence of genuine feelings of love”. They later forced the victims to perform pornographic acts. 

None of the four suspects have been indicted and were released from prison and placed under house arrest following a successful appeal in March 2023. 

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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