On Monday, misogynist influencer Andrew Tate retweeted something that may be surprising to those who only follow his more controversial content: two Islamic prayers about the forgiveness of sins. This Ramadan marks the one-year anniversary of the police raiding Tate’s home under over human trafficking allegations — and Friday marks his first Eid as a Muslim.
The influencer converted to Islam last October, two months after he was deplatformed from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Since then, Tate has gained a large, passionate following of Muslim men, even though the former kickboxer owns business ventures, like his adult webcam businesses and casinos, that are at odds with Muslim codes of behavior. With an estimated 2 billion Muslims worldwide, Tate’s conversion has opened up an enormous potential audience for him — but is this religious awakening part of a genuine spiritual journey for Tate, or simply a pivot that offers him an enormous audience to make more money off of?
Many Muslim women are frustrated at Tate’s growing influence on young men in their community.
“I don’t see anything in Islamic scripture that is compatible with anything that Andrew Tate says,” writer Mariya Rehan told BuzzFeed News.
TikToker Sundus Hussein, who posted about how Tate praying on camera was performative — and has since deleted it after being doxxed — said she is skeptical about men from the “red pill” community who convert to Islam.
“I’m not saying they’re not genuinely interested in Islam, because I can’t really gauge that,” she said. “But then at the same time, all the values that they’re trying to derive from Islam are things that are extremely misogynistic, and that aren’t really Islamic, it’s like stereotypes.”
It is currently the final days of Ramadan, a month when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and deepen their spiritual connection. “I spent the start of my first Ramadan in a Romanian prison cell,” Tate said in a now-deleted tweet.
Tate, along with his brother Tristan and two Romanian women, was arrested in December in connection to an ongoing investigation into human trafficking, rape, and organized crime. They were granted house arrest on April 3 and Tate marked his prison release with a video of him smoking post-iftar, the meal eaten at sunset.
Tate has also been regularly posting about his fasting experience. “I only eat iftar. One meal per day,” he tweeted on Wednesday. A now-deleted photo of his first iftar after his release showed him having steak with an assortment of vegetables.
In Islam, when you convert to the religion, you are absolved of your sins and are considered to have a blank slate. This would mean in the eyes of his Muslim following, Tate is forgiven for everything he did prior to his conversion.
A timely religious conversion could be an effective rebrand for Tate. It’s worked for others before him. For instance, former fitness influencer Brittany Dawn pivoted to being a Christian influencer after being accused of fraud. She’s now facing trial in Texas for deceptive business practices.
If Tate’s interest in Islam is genuine, then some Muslim women believe he would benefit from speaking candidly about his past behavior, including his support for far-right UK activist Tommy Robinson, who has expressed anti-Islam views, and Tate’s businesses involving sex and gambling.
Writer Aisha Ali-Khan discussed the possible benefits of Tate denouncing his rhetoric in an October 2022 article for the New Statesman. “Tate’s views are still being used to justify, spread and reinforce toxic masculinity and misogyny,” Khan wrote. “For this, as a good Muslim brother, he needs to step up and speak out.”
Speaking to BuzzFeed News last week during her Umrah trip — an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca — in Saudi Arabia, Khan said that Tate is still manipulating impressionable young men with the way he continues to market himself. Khan said that Tate has managed to get support from men who are otherwise “sensible, educated, God-fearing” purely because he is Muslim.
Tate’s path to conversion seemed to happen slowly, then all at once. For years he used words like “haram,” had spoken about converting to Islam, and made jokes about having a Muslim name. His interest in Islam was seemingly first discussed on the CEOCAST podcast, whose host Raheem Khalid ended up giving Tate an English translation of the Qur’an in June 2022.
In October last year, a boxer friend of Tate’s posted a video of them praying in a mosque in Dubai. For a while, it was rumored that Tate had plans to relocate there. Since then, Tate’s Muslim followers expressed their glee online about his conversion.
Photos of Tate walking into every court hearing over the last few months holding a Qur’an would go viral on Muslim Twitter every time. During detention, he shared multiple Quranic verses about patience. In one tweet from January, he wrote, “If Allah should aid you, no one can overcome you.”
At the start of Ramadan, he shared that in jail he had a plastic bag he would use to protect the food he got from bugs until it was time to break his fast. “When the sun goes down, I eat the stone cold food in my cell by myself,” read a tweet from his account.
Since his release, Tate has been posting more about his spiritual journey and sharing ayat, Arabic for verses. He claimed he performed 7,417 push-ups in jail and some Muslims think that number may have been a reference to a specific Islamic scripture.
Some of his Muslim followers deeply believe in his innocence and Tate created a conspiracy theory that he is being pursued by “the West.” Tate also claims he is fighting “shaytan” (Arabic for Satan), and he even began selling a $131 T-shirt, whose online description reads: “The battle against Shaytan begins.”
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Most of the early Muslim support after his conversion came from what is referred to as the “Mincel,” or Muslim incel. Incels, or "involuntary celibates," are an extremist misogynistic community of men fueled by resentment of women, whom they blame for their “lack of romantic success.” Once his conversion went public, Tate was interviewed by a popular Muslim incel, which led to more support from that community.
“There are a lot of men that subscribe to red pill ideology and, like Andrew Tate, they try to mask it as trolling,” Hussein said. “They’ll say things that are extremely out of pocket, extremely misogynistic, and pretend that they’re joking. Once is a joke, but twice? It might be real life.”
Hussein noted that there are other influencers considered icons by some men who look up to Tate and are converting to Islam too. She believes that some of their motivation to convert is rooted in orientalism and fetishization, and, like others in the red pill community, they praise Islam for women remaining virgins for longer and believe that men may receive 72 virgins in heaven.“He’s a celebrity,” Khan said. “He’s basically from a very Westernized angle. The most Western capitalist angle, the private jets, the desire to buy the mansions and fast cars.”
She said that it has been six months since Tatte converted and he has yet to denounce his previous lifestyle, including his toxic influence on how men interact with women.
Recently, Tate does seem to be drifting away from that image on social media and although he does share the odd throwback picture of him gazing into skyscrapers, they rarely seem to be of sports cars or a designer watch. He has even tweeted about how he wants to stop swearing, and there have been numerous tweets about love.
Through his retweets, he claims he has been donating money to charities, which is one major element of Ramadan and Islam overall. He has also been giving copies of the Qur’an to members of his inner circle. One of the professors of the Real World, Tate’s rebranded Hustler’s University suite of courses, spoke on a podcast recently about how Tate not only gave him the Qur’an but he also told him about other ways he could supplement his knowledge about Islam.
But there is more to being a Muslim than showboating prayers and fasting — and many in the community, especially women, remain skeptical about Tate’s intentions.
Rehan said she thinks Tate's conversion is part of a "redemption arc" that he needs for a rebrand that could allow him to gain even more influence.
“I wouldn't be surprised if he took a different turn because I imagine he's taking his audience with him and it grows his audience and I imagine that's more profitable for him,” Rehan said.
For Tate, who did not respond to a request for comment, his focus publicly remains on Eid celebrations — even though he spent part of Friday in court having his house arrest extended. “I am not a perfect Muslim,” he tweeted on Wednesday, before deleting it. “Yet.”