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Assassination attempt on Pakistani-Canadian journalist thwarted, but it’s not the first time he has suffered death threats

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New Delhi Police have arrested two men from the top ranking members of D-company, a criminal organization in India, for plotting to kill Canadian journalist Tarek Fatah, the host of the popular but controversial Indian talk show Fatah’s Fatwa. This is not the first time his life has been threatened, but according to him this has hit close to home. (click here)

Mr Fatah said,
"I feel like I'm putting on an act saying I'm not scared. It's a very strange feeling," and also cited the likely motive for this death plot saying, "They are upset by what I have said on my television shows." (click here)

Tarek Fatah, journalist and founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress is known for his forthright answers and his poignant questions about increasing Islamism affecting what he considers an unprepared west. He unapologetically speaks against radical islam and his opinions have raised the ire of detractors in the past. Mr Fatah has even given support to US President Donald Trump's policy restriction of immigration from countries that are notably islamic, such as Pakistan and made other comments that do not seem to reflect the popular view of the day. On his talk show he has discussions about the Islamic faith where he dialogues with guests about various themes found in Islamic societies, such as polygamy, child marriage, and legal loopholes that he considers “haram” for a Muslim. These are ideas that are rarely discussed in a public forum and rather than cloistering this conversation within the walls of the home or a mosque he openly questions the status quo for religious norms. He has been given menacing warnings and death threats in the course of taping the show. His comments about life sometimes offend the ultra-religious and are found provocative by those who disagree with him about his views. (click here)

On November 24, 2014 Mr Fatah gave testimony to the Canadian Senate’s Standing Committee on National Security and Defence on and had a noteworthy verbal parry with Liberal Senator Grant Mitchell, who attempted to “put words in [Mr Fatah’s] mouth” and “teach [him his own] religion” by trivializing his own experience as an Muslim. To see the altercation (click here).
 
To watch his entire testimony (click here).


During his testimony to the Senate Mr Fatah mentioned death threats that he had received while in Canada and his belief that his concerns were not seriously addressed by some in the Toronto Police who he said shared his religion. He gives a detailed account of how more than once he had been the target of harassment and death threats for exercising his right to free speech, once while recovering from surgery in his hospital bed, but was not supported by law enforcement. He also reported the experience of other Muslims, including Gora who was told, "Pseudo Muslims like you should be put to death." To read the account (click here).

It remains to be seen as to whether those connected to his would-be Indian assassins will continue to harass Mr Fatah in Canada, but hopefully Canadian police will never again marginalize Mr Fatah should death threats continue to be levelled against him. It seems from past accounts that it has already become increasing difficult for Mr Fatah to work in his profession or to share his opinion without such threats being uttered against him or other Muslims holding more liberal theological viewpoints.


Tarek Fatah is a part of the approximately 25,000 Amahdi Muslims living in Canada, whom he identifies in his Senate testimony by their active community involvement, calling them "singing and dancing" Muslims. In this 2013 article from the Vancouver Sun, Amadiya Muslims are somewhat depicted as imposters posing as Muslim because they are considered a small sect by other branches of Islam. This softly written, seemly informational blog seems to fall on similar lines that the Pakistani government imposes on Amahdi’s in Pakistan where even international organizations such as the UNHCR do not deny they are systematically persecuted for their religious beliefs. (click here)

Earlier this year Mr Fatah championed the plight of religious minorities in Pakistan and wrote a pointed repudiation to the Pakistani High Commissioner’s outrageous error in fact rendered in an open letter to the editors of both the Toronto Star and the Toronto Sun that, “No one is subjected to persecution based on race, religion or sect,“ in his country - Pakistan.

Mr Fatah outlined the conditions of Pakistani Christians in their homeland reported by different sources, in undeniable terms such as: “horrible human rights record”, “annihilation”, “blood shed without impunity”, and “apartheid-like social segregation”. To read more about Tarek Fatah’s response (click here)  
The Pakistani High Commissioner to Canada, is pictured here with Liberal MP Iqra Khalid prior to her tabling his comments in the House of Commons, along with her controversial islamophobia motion M-013. (click here)

Keri-Lynn Gibbs, Canadian lead volunteer for the BPCA, said:

Tarek Fatah is one of those rare journalists who frankly speaks his mind and observes the situation regardless of the popular interpretation. Whether you agree or disagree with his manner or his views, his notable personal courage and concern for minority rights should gain the respect of all Canadians.

"I am certainly glad my compatriot was spared any harm in this escapade and am glad he is returning home. I am heartened by his attempt at humour in the face of these threats and hope the fear he must be feeling will not mark his personality or his bold and continued efforts to keep people in conversation. I hope Canadians will stand with Tarek Fatah.”
(click here)

Keri-Lynn also expressed her bemusement over the Pakistani High Commissioner to Canada’s comments (here)

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakstani Christian Association, who himself has received a barrage of threats and aggressive emails in recent weeks after revealing kaffirophobia in the UK city of Derby (click here), has backed the work of Tarek Fatah. He said:

"People of good conscience who speak out against the intolerance and radicalisation of Muslim communities where hardline threads of Islam are taught with prevalence, are often castigated by misguided liberals and become the targets of the extremists themselves.

"This significant threat to the west which is so often ignored in favour of retaining an appearance of community cohesion is dangerous, it allows a simmering hatred to fester and exacerbate, rather then addressing the root cause of the hatred and delivering an effective response to unwarranted community schism and angst. 

"The cost of speaking out is immense, voices for peace and unity who tackle the extremists in our midst suffer stress and anxiety, they are forced to implement funeral plans and adopt life insurance policies to ensure their loved ones are protected from the loss of a key guardian and inevitably are forced to pay out for expensive security measures.

"It is simply a moral obligation to serve wider humanity that provides them with the energy to continue, a realisation that if not for them hundreds of other victims would be subjected to torturous persecution.  

"Speaking out is not a decision Tarek Fatah can take lightly and I hope that security forces in Canada realise the importance of his work and afford him a high level of protection. Without voices like his this world would be a much darker place."

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