Tarek Fatah

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Tarek Fatah
TarekFatahstanding.jpg
Tarek Fatah
Born November 20, 1949
Nationality Canadian
Occupation political activist, writer, broadcaster

Tarek Fatah (Punjabi: ਤਾਰਿਕ ਫਤਹ) (born November 20, 1949), is a Pakistani-born Canadian writer, broadcaster and a secular, progressive and liberal activist. He is the author of Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State[1] published by John Wiley & Sons. In the book Fatah challenges the notion that the establishment of an Islamic state is a necessary prerequisite to entering the state of Islam. He suggests that the idea of an Islamic state is merely a mirage that Muslims have been made to chase for over a millennium. Chasing a Mirage was shortlisted for the $35,000 Donner Prize for 2008–09.[2]

Fatah's second book, titled The Jew Is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism,[3] was published by McClelland & Stewart in October 2010. The book won the 2010 Annual Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Book Award in Politics and History.

In May 2009, Fatah joined CFRB 1010. Later that fall, he joined John Moore's morning show as a contributor.[4] Currently, he hosts The Tarek Fatah Show on Sunday afternoons. He also has a weekly column in the Toronto Sun and is a frequent guest on the Sun News Network.

Fatah is the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and served as its communications officer and spokesperson for several years, and was frequently quoted in the press as a result. Fatah advocates gay rights, a separation of religion and state, opposition to sharia law, and advocacy for a "liberal, progressive form" of Islam. Some of his activism and statements have met with considerable criticism from Canadian Muslim groups.

He is a staunch critic of Pakistan in his articles and columns, which have earned him much controversy. In February 2013, the website of the Toronto Sun, where Fatah contributes his articles, was blocked in Pakistan. According to reports, the block was likely due to Fatah's unsparing critiques of Pakistan published in the tabloid.[5] Fatah is also banned from making public speeches or lectures in Pakistan.[6]

Biography[edit]

Tarek Fatah was born to a Bombay-origin father in Karachi, Pakistan, where his family had settled following the Partition of India.[7] Although he graduated with a degree in biochemistry from the University of Karachi, Fatah entered journalism as a reporter for the Karachi Sun in 1970, and was an investigative journalist for Pakistani Television. He left Pakistan and settled in Saudi Arabia, before emigrating to Canada.

Political activity[edit]

He became involved in the Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) and worked on the staff of Premier Bob Rae. Fatah was an NDP candidate in the 1995 provincial election but was unsuccessful. He subsequently worked for Howard Hampton. In July 2006, he left the NDP to support Bob Rae's candidacy for the Liberal Party of Canada's leadership. In an opinion piece published in Toronto's Now Magazine, Fatah wrote that he decided to leave the NDP because of the establishment of a "faith caucus" which he believes will open the way for religious fundamentalists to enter the party.[8] However, after Rae's defeat by Stéphane Dion, Fatah condemned similar racial and religious organizing activity in the Liberal Party, arguing in a Globe and Mail editorial that Tamil, Sikh, Kurdish and Islamist Muslim leaders had engaged in "racial and religious exploitation" to "sell" the votes of their blocs of delegates "to the highest bidder."[9]

At a press conference on October 2, 2008, Fatah sharply criticized the New Democratic Party (NDP). Fatah stated that he was a lifetime social democrat who had supported the NDP for 17 years but that he could no longer be affiliated with that party. He claimed that the NDP began opening its doors to Islamists under Alexa McDonough and that, under Jack Layton, he had seen them "flood" into the party. Fatah stated that Islamists in the NDP have pursued a campaign to instill a sense of victimhood in Muslim youth.[10]

Media activity[edit]

From 1996 until 2006 he hosted Muslim Chronicle, a weekly Toronto-based current affairs discussion show on CTS and VisionTV which focussed on the Muslim community.Fatah interviewed notables such as journalist Husain Haqqani, author Tariq Ali, and Mubin Shaikh.

Fatah has also written opinion pieces for various publications including TIME Magazine, the Toronto Star, the National Post and the Globe and Mail.

He has also been a guest host of TVO's The Agenda filling in for Steve Paikin. In February 2007, Fatah was included by Maclean's magazine on a list of 50 Canadians described as "Canada’s most well known and respected personalities.".[11] In December 2008, Canada's largest circulating newspaper, the Toronto Star, suggested to Prime Minister Stephen Harper that he appoint Fatah to one of the vacant seats in the Canadian Senate.[12] Toronto Star's senior editor Bob Hepburn wrote this about Fatah: "A prominent spokesperson for secular and progressive Muslim issues who would bring a much-needed unique perspective to the Senate."

From May to September 2009, Fatah co-hosted the "Strong Opinions Show" on Toronto's CFRB 1010. After the show's cancellation he joined CFRB's Moore in the Morning program as a commentator.

Starting in September, 2010, Fatah joined Ryan Doyle as a co-host of "Friendly Fire," the evening show on CFRB 1010. He currently hosts a Sunday afternoon show, The Tarek Fatah Show and appears as a commentator on other CFRB shows. He also writes a column for the Toronto Sun and appears on the Sun News Network as a frequent guest host and commentator.

In October 2012, Fatah created a change.org petition for Malala Yusufzai to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013. As of November 15, 2012, the petition has over 140,000 signatures.

Muslim Canadian Congress[edit]

He was one of the founders of the Muslim Canadian Congress in 2001 and served as its communications director and spokesperson until 2006. In this capacity, he has spoken out against the introduction of Sharia law as an option for Muslims in civil law in Ontario, Sharia banking in Canada, which he has described as a 'con-job', promoted social liberalism in the Muslim community and the separation of religion from the state, and endorsed same-sex marriage. He resigned as the communications director of the MCC in August 2006.

The large majority of the founding members left the Muslim Canadian Congress over the years. This culminated in a dramatic split in the summer of 2006 when the remaining founders, including the entire executive and several other Board members left to form the Canadian Muslim Union (CMU). According to the Globe and Mail,[13] the split occurred when some members of the MCC's former board marched in a Toronto anti-war rally where banners and photographs supporting Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were paraded. While the current members of the MCC wanted nothing to do with Hezbollah, it was claimed that other executive members participated or supported the demonstrations, and resigned and formed the new CMU the next day.

Tarek Fatah and other MCC board members at anti-war demonstration in Toronto

This version of events is challenged in the resignation statement published by the exiting board members, which cited their belief that the Muslim Canadian Congress could no longer achieve its goal of influencing the Muslim community.[14] According to some who split with Fatah, he and other Board members had participated in several earlier demonstrations where the same banners were displayed by some members of the crowd, including two just weeks before the split.

Break with Irshad Manji[edit]

In 2003, Fatah engaged in a high-profile break with Irshad Manji in the pages of the Globe and Mail in which he repudiated the thanks she gave him in the acknowledgment section of her book The Trouble with Islam. Fatah wrote of Manji's book that it "is not addressed to Muslims; it is aimed at making Muslim-haters feel secure in their thinking."[15] Manji replied saying that he told her in front of witnesses that "This book was written by the Jews for the Jews!"[16]

However, Fatah recently said that he regrets his remarks and that he was unfair in slamming Manji's book. He now says that she was "right about the systematic racism in the Muslim world" and that "there were many redeeming points in her memoir, which I overlooked in my rush to judge it."[17][dead link]

Tarek Fatah and Imam Sheharyar Shaikh[edit]

In January 2011, Fatah failed to appear for a scheduled face-to-face debate with Imam Sheharyar Shaikh, the President of North American Muslim Foundation (NAMF) and Imam of Masjid Qurtabah. Shaikh, who has openly defended polygamy and opposed secular education for Muslims, is a sharp critic of Fatah's secular views. Fatah stated that he had cancelled his appearance because the moderator was changed shortly before the event was to begin, and because the audience was "hostile". Fatah also claimed that he was warned by police of threats to his safety.[18]

Israel and the Middle East[edit]

Denunciation of Iranian President[edit]

In October 2005, Fatah, in his role as communications director of the Muslim Canadian Congress, denounced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for calling for the destruction of Israel.[19]

Fatah stated that "The mullahs who control Iran with an iron grip merely use the pain of the Palestinian occupation for their own advantage in diverting people's attention from other pressing matters. They talk about wiping out Israel, but in reality the only people they have wiped out are fellow Iranians by the tens of thousands. After a reign of terror that killed thousands and drove many more into exile, they have used torture, arbitrary arrest, vigilante justice and murder to silence fellow Muslims in Iran."[19]

Fatah added that Ahmadinejad "insults Islam by usurping it to serve his own narrow political interests" and that "with friends like the Iranian ruling ayatollahs, the Palestinians do not need enemies."[19]

Opposition to Israeli policies[edit]

In 2010, the Toronto Star reported that Fatah believed in Israel's right to exist, but was calling for an end to "illegal" and "immoral" Israeli occupation on Palestinian territories, and supporting a Two-state solution. Fatah believes Israel's actions are fueling antisemitism, though antisemitism in itself, he believes, "violates Islam's essence".[20]

The Muslim Canadian Congress, which Tarek Fatah founded and led till August 2006, supported the campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel as of May 2006. The Congress also compared Israeli policies to South African apartheid.[21]

Opposition to US war in Iraq[edit]

Fatah also condemned US President George W. Bush "for posturing as a deliverer of freedom while occupying Iraq." Regarding Iraq, Fatah wrote that "both Iran and the U.S. have helped destroy a nation."[19]

Comments on Islam and Muslims[edit]

Islamic radicalism[edit]

In a discussion hosted by the Globe and Mail in 2007, Fatah stated that "most of the Islamic radicalism that you see today stems from the empowering of Saudi based Jihadi groups that were funded and backed by the U.S. and the CIA throughout the Afghan war against the Soviet Union."[17]

Tarek sided with Michele Bachmann when she accused Huma Abedin of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.[22]

Fatah argues that "Most secular and liberal institutions were destroyed piece by piece and what we are left with is the result of huge amounts of cash and weapons in the hands of the Taliban type, or Al-Qaeda groups that get their intellectual sustenance from the political teachings of the Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Banna and the leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Abul ala Maudoodi, both of who preached Jehad as an obligation for all Muslims if they saw another Muslim under attack."[17][dead link]

He has stated that converts adopting the niqab face covering is indicative of joining "a cult", and offensive to Islam.[23]

Support for the Quran and opposition to Shariah[edit]

Fatah stressed that "The poison is not coming from the Quran, but from the man-made shariah laws of the 8th and 9th centuries as well as the works of such 20th century scholars as Syed Qutb, Hassan Banna and Maudoodi" and that "The swamp that needs to be drained is the swamp created by Saudi Arabia and Iran and their call for imposition of Shariah."[17][dead link]

Statement that Islam does not need to be reformed[edit]

Fatah also stated that "it is not Islam that needs to be reformed, it is the need for Muslims to reconcile with modernity and the notion of the secular nation state ... Unfortunately, whereas the religious right in Islam is well funded and well organised, the liberal secular Muslim is too busy leading a 9-to-5 life, paying his mortgage and providing for his family and thus has no time or resources to challenge the Islamist extremists."[17][dead link]

According to the National Post he has also said "Islam is riddled with termites ... and if we don’t cleanse ourselves with truth, the stench of our lies will drive us mad", and that there are "hateful sermons in almost every mosque" in Canada – Fatah himself not attend a mosque and encourages Muslim parents to keep their children out of mosques because they have become, in his view, schools for fanaticism.[24]

Location of Cordoba House Mosque[edit]

Writing with author Raheel Raza, a fellow board member of the Muslim Canadian Congress, about the location of the proposed Cordoba House mosque near Ground Zero, he stated:

We Muslims know the ... mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation, to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith, ... as "Fitna," meaning "mischief-making" that is clearly forbidden in the Koran.... As Muslims we are dismayed that our co-religionists have such little consideration for their fellow citizens, and wish to rub salt in their wounds and pretend they are applying a balm to sooth the pain.[25]

Honour killing[edit]

In November 2011, 60 Muslim groups and two dozen imams endorsed a statement that called for action against domestic violence, condemned honour killing as a notion that had "absolutely nothing to do with Islam". Tarek Fatah refused to endorse the statement, according to the National Post, arguing that the statement didn't address gender inequality and that honour killing has roots in Islam. According to Fatah Islam deems the relationship of an unmarried woman as "adultery" and imams must distance themselves from punishing such actions by death.[26]

Dalai Lama[edit]

Tarek Fatah has said the Dalai Lama is endorsing Sharia law when he came to speak at a religious event in Canada.[27]

Justin Trudeau[edit]

Liberal Party candidate Justin Trudeau was scheduled to speak in front of 30,000 Muslims at the Reviving the Islamic Spirit. Tarek Fatah criticized Trudeau and called the Muslims at the event "Islamists" and "Muslim Brotherhood supporters."[28]

Zakir Naik[edit]

Zakir Naik was banned from entering Canada in 2010 after "he (Fatah) sent a mass email to federal MPs" He also added “We certainly don’t want hate-mongers to come here.”[29]

Praise of Tarek Fatah[edit]

Michael Coren, a notable critic of Islam, has praised Fatah for being "brave" enough to admit the "faults and failings" of Islam.[24]

For writing the book The Jew Is Not My Enemy, which discusses "Muslim animosity towards the Jewish people", Fatah has been awarded the Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Book Award in Politics and History.[24]

Criticism of Tarek Fatah[edit]

Wael Haddara, president of the Muslim Association of Canada, said that he "respect[s]" Fatah for his passion but that it was "hard, if not downright impossible, to find something positive that he has ever said about Muslims." As a result, Haddara argues, Muslims are no longer listening to Fatah.[24]

The National Post has reported Syed Soharwardy, an Imam in Calgary, as saying that while Fatah's views are valuable, he stereotypes Islam by extrapolating the behavior of a few extremists to represent the religion as a whole.[24]

Position on homosexuality[edit]

Fatah stated that "The issue that has resulted in all the threats and allegations against us is our support for same-sex marriage. It's the central point on which the Muslim Canadian Congress and I have faced outright hostility, verging on violence. There is near unanimity in any religious group that this is the ultimate sin and, for them, this amounts to the ultimate betrayal." Regarding Islam and homosexuality, Fatah stated that "Our human rights cannot revolve around religion. It's not about our rights, it's about human rights."[30]

Fatah also criticized the support of some gay and lesbian Muslims for Hezbollah, "There's the sudden romanticization of Hezbollah. But I cannot walk with, cannot even build a coalition with, a group which thinks gays and lesbians should be killed… I haven't ever heard them condemn what's happening in Iran and Saudi Arabia. I would like to see a demonstration outside the Iranian embassy by the gay and lesbian community."[30]

Little Mosque on the Prairie[edit]

Fatah has been a strong critic of the popular sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie, calling it "propaganda" and "paid for by the Muslim Brotherhood". Fatah also said "I found most white people would laugh at it because they were scared if they didn't laugh they'd be called a racist."[31] He has also called the show "Islamist" and labeled the show "Little Masquarade on the Prairie.[32]

Criticism of Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC)[edit]

In April 2008, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) dismissed a complaint about allegedly Islamophobic articles in Maclean's magazine. However, the commission denounced the newsweekly for publishing articles that were "inconsistent with the spirit" of the Ontario Human Rights Code, and doing "serious harm" to Canadian society by "promoting societal intolerance" and disseminating "destructive, xenophobic opinions."[33]

Fatah stated that for the Commission "to refer to Maclean's magazine and journalists as contributing to racism is bullshit, if you can use that word" and that the Commission has unfairly taken sides against freedom of speech in a dispute within the Canadian Muslim community between moderates and fundamentalists. "There are within the staff [of the Ontario Human Rights Commission], and among the commissioners, hardline Islamic supporters of Islamic extremism, and this [handling of the Maclean's case] reflects their presence over there" and that "In the eyes of the Ontario human rights commission, the only good Muslim is an Islamist Muslim. As long as we hate Canada, we will be cared for. As soon as we say Canada is our home and we have to defend her traditions, freedoms and secular democracy, we will be considered as the outside."[33]

In a press conference on October 2, 2008, Fatah stated that the OHRC has been "infiltrated by Islamists" and that some of its commissioners are closely linked to the Canadian Islamic Congress and the Canadian Arab Federation, both of which, according to Fatah, have "contempt for Canadian values."[10]

Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC)[edit]

Mohamed Elmasry[edit]

Regarding a controversy in October 2004 involving CIC President Mohamed Elmasry, in which Elmasry stated that all Israelis over 18 are legitimate targets, Fatah stated that "…to believe all Israelis are targets is the height of hypocrisy" and called on Elmasry to resign from the CIC.[34]

Fatah also stated that: "In refusing to step aside, Elmasry and the CIC have demonstrated the authoritarian and dictatorial nature of their structure.…They purport to speak for Canada's 600,000 Muslims, but are not accountable or answerable to them.…We demand he [Elmasry] not…masquerade as leader of the community."[35]

Fatah wrote that "Elmasry accused his Muslim opponents of being traitors to their faith—an allegation that is read as a charge of apostasy, with all its ugly consequences" and that "It is especially sad that Mohamed Elmasry and his allies have chosen the holy month of Ramadan to launch their broadside on progressive Muslims."[36]

In June 2006, Elmasry named four public figures—Fatah among them—of taking every opportunity to bad-mouth Islam. Specifically, Elmasry stated that Fatah is "well known in Canada for smearing Islam and bashing Muslims." Fatah blasted Elmasry, stating that "[t]his is a classic threat to label anyone as an apostate and then marginalize them," … "and this is what Mr. Elmasry has done by listing me as the top anti-Islam Muslim." Fatah stated that he views the label from Elmasry as tantamount to a death sentence. However, some Islamic scholars disagreed with Fatah's characterization of Elmasry's comments. Leonard Librande, professor of religion at Carleton University, told CTV News "There's nothing particularly Islamic in this… There are differences of opinion frequently in the community. It doesn't mean somebody is going to kill you."[37]

However, Fatah has argued that "in the Muslim world … allegations of apostasy are used to silence critics and human rights workers" and that "Some interpretations of Sharia call for apostates to be killed. Such views have forced many Muslims to flee their countries of birth and take refuge in tolerant Western nations such as Canada. To now find ourselves harassed in Canada by some Muslims here is alarming and ironic."[36]

Fatah supported his concern by noting that a book, distributed for free at a Toronto Conference in September 2005 by the Islamic Council of North America, stated that "Jihad is as much a primary duty as are daily prayers or fasting. One who avoids it is a sinner. His every claim to being a Muslim is doubtful. He is plainly a hypocrite who fails in the test of sincerity and all his acts of worship are a sham, a worthless, hollow show of deception."[36]

Wahida Valiante[edit]

Wahida C. Valiante, President of the Canadian Islamic Congress, told the Globe and Mail that "Tarek Fatah's views are diametrically opposed to most Muslims. There is a tremendous amount of discussion in the community. His point of view contradicts the fundamentals of Islam." [38] Fatah has written to the RCMP to complain about the CIC's article claiming that it "is as close as one can get to issuing a death threat as it places me as an apostate and blasphemer."[39]

Canadian Arab Federation (CAF)[edit]

In February 2009, Fatah sharply criticized the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) in an article published in the National Post. Fatah, who received the CAF's highest award in December 2001, stated that the CAF's current leadership has turned the organization "into a mouthpiece for Hamas and Hezbollah in Canada." Fatah stated that the CAF used to sponsor debates on the pros and cons of the Oslo peace accord but today labels "any backer of the two-state solution [as] a traitor to the Muslim cause."[40]

Fatah opened by sharply criticizing CAF President Khaled Mouammar for calling Immigration Minister Jason Kenney a "professional whore" because Mr. Kenney criticized the display of Hamas and Hezbollah flags at a CAF-backed protest rally. Fatah also claimed that the CAF also referred to Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff by the same label. Fatah also criticized Mouammar for sending out an email during 2006 Liberal party leadership campaign which stated that "[Bob] Rae's wife is a vice-president of the CJC Canadian Jewish Congress, a lobby group which supports Israeli apartheid." Fatah also stated that Mouammar sent Muslim delegates a flyer that stated: "Bob Rae supports Israeli apartheid. Don't elect a leader who supports apartheid."[40]

Fatah stated that CAF's vice-president in Ontario, Ali Mallah, referred to the Muslim Canadian Congress in an online forum as "house negros (sic)." He also claimed that Mallah sent out an e-mail message that was headlined: "Dion, Rae & Cotler: pro-Apartheid & anti-Human Rights." Fatah claimed the message also contained the following remarks:

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion's handpicked human rights critic, Irwin Cotler, advises Israeli military officials on war planning, on how to spin the media following Israeli war crimes and on how to oppose Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; 2 Dion's handpicked critic for foreign affairs and co-writer of the Liberal party platform, the unelected Bob Rae is a committee member of the Racist Jewish National Fund. As Israel's leading newspaper Ha'aretz reports: "it's well known that the 'national institutions'—the Jewish Agency and Jewish National Fund—primarily exist to enable institutional discrimination based on ethnicity.[40]

Fatah also claimed that Mallah attacked him personally, claiming that he has "no shred of decency of integrity left" and claiming that he served "Zionist masters."[40]

Fatah concluded by stating that Canada's Arab community should demand that Khaled Mouammar and Ali Mallah step down and "not bring further shame to their community." He then called for a new leadership modeled on that provided by earlier CAF leaders such as John Asfour, Jim Kafieh, Jehad Aliweiwi and Raja Khouri.[40]

Response[edit]

In response to Fatah's article, CAF Vice-President Ali Mallah emailed a response to a large group of recipients. The National Post later published it in its original form. In the message Mallah wrote that:

Tarek Fatah has earned the the [sic] perfect description by Late Malcom X and prove to be a very loyal "house Negro". In this desperate attempt to malign CAF on the pages of Zionist mouth piece National Post, he is saying one thing correct: Yes, CAF awarded him that award, but that was when Tarek Fatah was cheating his way through and pretending to be pro-palestine, pro-social justice, pro-multiculturalis m and Anti-Liberal Party…etc (I am sure that every one knows this sell out, is fully aware of the shameless transformation of this sorry case of human being). I admit that I was duped by his fake lies and nominated him for that award. Now, since he is totally exposed and has no cloth left, He should return that Award as he does not deserve the honour associated with it.[41]

Threats[edit]

Fatah says he has been attacked for his views, verbally at an Islamic conference in 2003 where dozens of young Muslim men mobbed him while a cleric shouted out that he had insulted the Prophet Muhammad's name and in 2006 when he was accosted on Yonge Street by a man who accused him of being an apostate. His car windows have also been smashed.[39] On August 4, 2006, Fatah announced his resignation as the MCC's communications director because of concerns for his safety and the safety of his family, stating that "it's not just for me. It's for my wife and my daughters."[42][43]

In early 2011, Fatah received a threat via Twitter from a sender signed herself as Mariama AnnaLitical, who included a picture of herself wearing a purple hijab, stating that "This is an open threat to Xaar Boy @Tarek Fatah...I know where you live & and where your office is.” She later sent a second Twitter message, reiterating that "This is an open threat. I know where you live/work @TarekFatah.” Fatah contacted the Toronto Police Department and later met with two uniformed policemen from 51 Division. However, Fatah stated that barely one minute later, that "Two men entered the room and told everybody else to leave. They did not identify themselves, but five minutes into what amounted to a two-hour interrogation, I realized they were police intelligence officers. One of them, I recognized by reputation—a Muslim officer who had shut down a previous investigation into a death threat against me in 2008." After the intelligence officers left, Fatah stated that "the original officers confided to me that it was unusual for “intel” to act before a report had even been filed. I realized this was now about politics, and nothing would be done to help me. Later that night, the same Muslim officer called me to say AnnaLitical posed no danger. “She didn’t mean to say it,” the officer said. I asked if any charges were laid. “No,” he said. “I didn’t think it was necessary.”"[44][45]

Fatah sharply criticized the Toronto Police over this incident, stating that:

"The Toronto police, in their wish to promote an image of diversity and outreach, have dedicated themselves to serving and protecting the the [sic] radical Islamist elements within our city. Meanwhile, Muslims like myself, who do their best to promote the equality and respect that the police claim to cherish, are left without legal protection when radicals explicitly and publicly threaten us with violence. In Toronto, anybody can issue an “open threat” against a man laying helpless in a hospital bed and be assured they will not face charges, so long as the person making the threat is a black Muslim woman wearing a hijab."[44]

On October 9th, 2011 Tarek Fatah reported on his Facebook page that he had received threats from a Kahane Chai member warning him that if he does not within "48 hours" make his Facebook status: "I accept Israel as a Jewish state", or else his party would be over. On his weekly talk show with Newstalk 1010 he brushed off the threat and hosted Zach Paikin who provided in-depth analysis into radical Jewish groups in Canada, such as the Jewish Defence League and Kahane Chai.[46]

Authorship[edit]

Fatah is the author of Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State, published in 2008. In the book Fatah challenges the notion that the establishment of an Islamic state is a necessary prerequisite to entering the state of Islam. He suggests that the idea of an Islamic state is merely a mirage that Muslims have been made to chase for over a millennium.

The Toronto Star introduced the book to its readers as "A cri de coeur… succinctly yet with power." In a review of a chapter in the book titled, "The Prophet is Dead," the Toronto Star said, "Fatah had broached the mother of all taboos."[47]

Emran Qureshi wrote a critique of the book in the Globe and Mail.[48] The book was praised by the Mackenzie Institute, which stated that it is "a direct challenge to the fanatics of the Wahhabi, Deobandi, and Khomeinist traditions. His exposition is solidly rooted in the oldest texts and histories of Islam and argues that the pursuit of an imperial Islamic state has soiled the religion, and violates the intentions of Mohammed himself."[49]

In February, 2011, Fatah was scheduled to have a debate with Imam Sheheryar Shaikh of the North American Muslim Foundation (NAMF). Amidst much controversy, Fatah did not show up for the debate event and left many of his supporters disappointed.

On March 31, 2009, the Donner Foundation announced "Chasing a Mirage" had been shortlisted for their $35,000 prize awarded to non-fiction texts covering public policy.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State,
  2. ^ a b [1]
  3. ^ The Jew Is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism
  4. ^ http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/toronto/archive/2009/09/23/cfrb-retools-and-re-brands-john-tory-in-the-afternoon-john-moore-in-the-morning-newstalk-1010-all-day.aspx
  5. ^ "Toronto Sun website blocked in Pakistan: Report". Express Tribune. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2308324/There-mini-Pakistan-growing-Delhi-Author-Tarek-Fateh-speaks-lecture-Arafat-cancelled.html?ito=feeds-newsxml". Daily Mail. 13 April 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  7. ^ https://twitter.com/TarekFatah/status/459349422086701056
  8. ^ Tarek Fatah, "Faith no more—How the NDP's flirtation with religion pushed me out of the party," Now Magazine, July 20–26, 2006
  9. ^ Tarek Fatah, "Race and religion at the Liberal Party convention," Globe and Mail, December 6, 2006
  10. ^ a b Barbara Kay, The Islamist elephant in the room no politicians will acknowledge by Barbara Kay, National Post, October 2, 2008.
  11. ^ Macleans 50 http://www.macleans.ca/macleans50/index.jsp
  12. ^ Filling the Senate: And the nominees are … http://www.thestar.com/article/557229
  13. ^ Globe and Mail "Fearing for safety, Muslim official quits", Globe and Mail, August 3, 2006
  14. ^ resignation statement
  15. ^ Tarek Fatah, "Thanks, but no thanks: Irshad Manji's book is for Muslim-haters, not Muslims" (Fatah's criticism of Irshad Manji), Globe and Mail, November 23, 2003. Republished at Muslim WakeUp! last viewed December 11, 2006. See also Irshad Manji, "The trouble with à la carte critics" (Manji's response to Fatah), Globe and Mail, December 2, 2003. Republished at muslim-refusenik.com (Irshad Manji's official website), last viewed December 11, 2006.
  16. ^ "The trouble with à la carte critics" by Irshad Manji, Globe and Mail, December 2, 2003
  17. ^ a b c d e "The question of jihad—Tarek Fatah took your questions". Globe and Mail. July 13, 2007. [dead link]
  18. ^ Jessica Hume (7 February 2011). "Cancelled debate highlights tension among Canadian Muslims". National Post. Retrieved January 2012. 
  19. ^ a b c d Tarek Fatah (October 29, 2005). "MCC denounces Iranian President's speech". Muslim Canadian Congress. 
  20. ^ John Goddard (19 November 2010). "The Jew Is Not My Enemy: Tarek Fatah". Toronto Star. 
  21. ^ "MCC thanks CUPE Ontario for resolution on Israel". Muslim Canadian Congress. 2006-05-31. 
  22. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/tarek-fatah/bachman-muslim-brotherhood_b_1707362.html
  23. ^ The Chronicle Herald, "Cheryfa MacAualay Jamal converted 'to a cult'", June 9, 2006
  24. ^ a b c d e Charles Lewis (2011-05-28). "Saturday Interview: Tarek Fatah rails against the corruption and dangers he sees in Islam". The National Post. 
  25. ^ Raza, Raheel; Fatah, Tarek (August 9, 2010). "Mischief in Manhattan". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  26. ^ "No ‘honour’ in domestic violence, not part of Islam, imams to preach Friday". 2011-12-08. 
  27. ^ http://life.nationalpost.com/2011/09/05/dalai-lama-joins-911-forum-in-montreal/
  28. ^ http://www.torontosun.com/2012/12/11/islamic-spirit-event-features-justin-trudeau
  29. ^ http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/06/22/controversial-muslim-televangelist-zakir-naik-banned-from-toronto-conference/
  30. ^ a b Krishna Rau (August 17, 2006). "Gay-friendly Muslim leader steps down". Xtra. 
  31. ^ http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/1531255131001
  32. ^ http://www.muslimcanadiancongress.org/20070212.html
  33. ^ a b Joseph Brean (April 9, 2008). "Rights body dismisses Maclean's case". National Post. 
  34. ^ "Islamic Leader Criticized for Anti-Jewish Comments". CBC. October 23, 2004. [dead link]
  35. ^ Jiménez, Marina (October 28, 2004). "Islamic leader apologizes but won't quit". The Globe and Mail. pp. A1. Archived from the original on Unknown. Retrieved December 28, 2007. 
  36. ^ a b c Tarek Fatah and Munir Pervaiz (October 14, 2005). "A chill on progressive Islam". National Post (retrieved from the MCC website). 
  37. ^ "Threats force Tarek Fatah to resign from MCC". CTV News. August 3, 2006. 
  38. ^ "Globe and Mail, August 3, 2006"
  39. ^ a b Sonya Fatah "Fearing for safety, Muslim official quits", Globe and Mail, August 3, 2006
  40. ^ a b c d e Tarek Fatah: Stop funding fundamentalism by Tarek Fatah, National Post, February 20, 2009.
  41. ^ CAF vice-president attacks Cotler, Rae and the "zionist mouthpiece National Post" by Ali Mallah, Email Release (reprinted by the National Post), February 20, 2009.
  42. ^ Bhattacharya, Sura, "Muslim spokesman quits; Says liberal views drew hate mail, death threats Warnings grew more intense in past three months", Toronto Star, August 4, 2006
  43. ^ Fatah, Sonia, "Fearing for safety, Muslim official quits", Globe and Mail, August 3, 2006
  44. ^ a b Tarek Fatah: Some death threats don’t count by Tarek Fatah, National Post, March 4, 2011.
  45. ^ Tarek Fatah's threatening tweet By Joe Warmington, Toronto Sun, March 8, 2011.
  46. ^ http://www.newstalk1010.com/Shows/TarekFatah.aspx
  47. ^ A Moderate Muslim longs for a more spiritual faith http://www.thestar.com/article/420875
  48. ^ The state of Islam by Emran Qureshi, The Globe and Mail, June 21, 2008.
  49. ^ Alexander Mackenzie's Bookshelf, Newsletter July 2008 #73, The Mackenzie Institute.

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