Muslims Against Islamists: Tarek Fatah
Thu, June 21, 2012
Tarek Fatah is the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress. He took part in the March 1 pro-NYPD rally with about 20 other Muslim-American leaders and organizations. Born in Pakistan, Fatah is a Sunni Muslim that promotes a “liberal, progressive” form of his religion. He supports secular democracy and Western values.
He is the author of the 2008 book, Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State and the 2011 book, The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths That Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism.
The following is RadicalIslam.org National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro’s interview with Tarek Fatah:
Ryan Mauro: What happened to make you decide to become an anti-Islamist activist?
Tarek Fatah: My disdain for the Islamic clerics who invoked Islam as a political tool began quite early in my life. I believe I was 13 when I first realized how easy it was for mullahs to whip up the Muslim community into a frenzy of hatred. The first incident was a sectarian clash between Shia and Sunni Muslims that I witnessed at close hand. Later, for the first time, I experienced how Islamists considered joy itself as sinful when celebrations during the Muslim festival of Eid were disrupted by bearded thugs.
But it wasn't until I entered the life of student politics in college that I saw the real fascist face of the jihadi goons who would disrupt any gathering of liberal or secular left-wing Muslim groups.
It was in 1966 that I joined the left-wing National Students Federation to combat these Islamo-fascists, got elected as the Students’ Union Secretary General and later, while in university, was twice sent to prison by successive military dictators.
Since that time, I have recognized the cancer that is the political ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and its sister organizations who were, throughout the Cold War, the darlings of the West, but since the 1990s have turned on their former masters.
Mauro: Why do you call an Islamic state a “tragic illusion?”
Fatah: First of all, there is no such thing as an "Islamic State.” So to speak of it is to dwell in illusions, but it’s tragic because for the better part of the last 100 years as the world has made gigantic progress from the motor car to the pacemaker, from the newspaper to the internet, the world's Muslims have been slaughtering each other to accomplish and actualize the so-called “Islamic State.” This is why I call the exercise “tragic.”
In all of Islamic history, there has never been an Islamic state or an Islamic caliphate. Soon after the death of Prophet Muhammad, his legacy was trashed by his very enemies who took over power in the name of Islam while abandoning Mecca and Medina and embarking on the Byzantine luxuries of Damascus. The very foundations of Islamdom were laid on the dead bodies of the family of The Prophet who had to run for their lives and take refuge in places as far as India of the 8th century under Hindu kings.
The challenge to Muslims is to embrace a state of Islam, not yearn for an Islamic State.
Mauro: As a Muslim, how do you theologically argue in favor of secular democracy and Western values? How do you justify your stance on same-sex marriage?
Fatah: The nation state is a very new concept in human history. Not until the American and the French Revolutions did we embrace the idea of citizenship based on human-created laws. Until then, kingdoms were based on dynasties and subjects were divided in hierarchy based on race, religion and the slave underclass.
With the unfolding of these two 18th century events and the English Industrial Revolution, the slow march towards equality, liberty and freedom of all began--it was slow, but we have come a long way today.
Left behind in this march towards universal human rights was the Muslim world, shackled beneath the tyranny of the Ottoman colonial rule and slowly collapsing in face of the British, French, Portuguese, Spanish and the Dutch expansion and colonization.
Today, it is only under secular democracy that Muslims can join the rest of the world as it reaches new heights in science, sociology, anthropology, medicine, astrophysics, genetics and numerous fields of knowledge for the service of humanity, not the divine.
This journey cannot begin without a commitment to reason and accepting the supremacy of rationalism. Thus, hatred of gays and denying their equality and civil rights, including their right to marry, is a pre-requisite for the Muslim world. The world will not accept partners in progress who still practice slavery as reflected in the concept of “ownership” of women and no one will accept those who seek the death penalty for gays as their partners.
Mauro: How has the Muslim community in the West reacted to your activism?
Fatah: The reaction has been a mixed bag of adoration and hatred, though I must admit the latter has been a more common gift to me by my community.
The sense of "Muslim patriotism" is widespread among Muslims, and they see my reproach of Islamism as a public washing of dirty laundry even when they admit that what I say is true.
The fact that not one Islamic cleric has critiqued my two books, especially Chasing a Mirage, speaks volumes to the intellectual bankruptcy of the Muslim Brotherhood and their shills who pass off as “moderate Muslims” to guilt-ridden white liberals enamored by multiculturalism under which jihadis and Islamofascists hide.
Mauro: Dr. Daniel Pipes has written about the relatively moderate beliefs of Canadian-Muslims. What should the U.S. and Europe learn from this?
Fatah: I have a lot of respect for Prof. Pipes, and he is correct in pointing out the difference between Canada on one hand and US/UK on the other. However, at the risk of being immodest, may I say this is because in Canada, a brave group of Muslims took on the Islamists and have fought them relentlessly without fear for their personal safety. Because of this, the general Canadian population does not feel all Muslims are guilty of being touts of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Contrast this with UK and US where those who have opposed the Islamists have done so by rejecting Islam as their faith and joining Islam-haters. Then there are those that have turned against Islamism but dare not reject Sharia law as a man-made doctrine that has no place in public law.
Of course, there are exceptions like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser in Arizona and Nasser Khedar in Europe, both of who have made tremendous contribution in exposing the real face of Islamofascism and the danger this force poses to all of us in the West.
Ryan Mauro is RadicalIslam.org's National Security Analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.
Is Mr. Fatah representative of the majority of Muslims?