Progressive Muslim commentator, renowned columnist and famous television personality Tarek Fatah has been subjected to several attacks by Islamists and pseudo-secularists for his ramrod straight views on radical Islam. These includes attack on his views as well as physical heckling on TV shows and events, but things are getting worse now.
It has been revealed that the four ISIS terrorists arrested by Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad were planning an attack on Tarek Fatah. According to reports, the revelation was made during an interrogation of two ISIS operatives –Faizan and Ahtesham – who are currently on a eight-day police custody.
“We have shared information collected during interrogation with central agencies. The accused have revealed they planned to attack Tarek Fatah,” an ATS officer was quoted as saying.
“During interrogation, Faizan said he was in touch with a youth in Mumbai for the purchase of explosives and weapons after their contact in Bijnor, who was paid advance for the explosives, failed to deliver the consignment… We have sent details of Faizan’s contact to the Mumbai Police,” the ATS officer said.
This is not for the first time that Fateh has come under the radar of radicals. Earlier this year, the Pakistan-born writer was abused and heckled at the Urdu poetry festival Jashn-e-Rekhta, held at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi National Centre of Arts. Fatah, who attended the festival as an audience member, was hit with sticks on his back and feet. Slogans like “Modi ka kutta, Tarek Fatah” and “Death to Tarek Fatah” were raised by the protesters. It appears that the organisers of the festival did little to stop the mob.
— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) February 21, 2017
Tarek Fatah, who proudly asserts his Muslim identity, is a vocal critique of radical Islam. “I don’t critique Islam at all. I critique shariah. I find shariah to be one of the biggest handicaps that is holding back Muslims and is putting Islam in disrepute,” he had said.
Fatah hosts a popular debate show called ‘Fatah ka fatwa’ on Zee News, where he raises pertinent issues related to the Muslim society and Islamic beliefs. For this too, he has faced the ire of the usual suspects. Fatah was threatened and abused on several occasions. Recently, in the Zee News show the Shahi Imam of Kolkata’s Tipu Sultan Masjid said his “throat would be slit”. All India Faizan-e-Madina Council, a Bareilly-based Islamic organisation, has also announced a bounty on the head of Fatah.
It could be recalled that in 2013, Fatah was prevented by Islamic radicals from delivering a lecture at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia. Despite all this, he has found no support among the so-called liberal class, who actually go on to mock and insult him.