Leaders and student organisations affiliated to Congress and Samajwadi Party have opposed the arrival of Pakistan born Canadian author Tarek Fatah in Aligarh and demanded that the event where he is supposed to speak be cancelled.
Tarek Fatah, who is known for his outspoken views on radical Islam and for his views against Pakistan, is slated to attend and address an event at local DS College on 11th of this month. Fateh has been invited as a keynote speaker at the event which is titled “World peace and Islam—a Dialogue”.
The event first attracted opposition from AMU (Aligarh Muslim University) Students Union, which took the matter with district administration and asked them to repeal the permission given to hold the event.
The AMU Students Union President claimed that the event will ‘hurt the sentiments of Muslim community’ in the holy month of Ramzan and it could further vitiate the city’s atmosphere as Aligarh is Muslim dominated.
“A large number of Muslims detest Fateh’s mindset and are opposing his arrival to Aligarh, a sensitive city,” the AMU Students Union President was quoted as saying.
It seems that the local administration did not succumb to these veiled threats by AMU Students Union, so now Congress and Samajwadi Party have joined the bandwagon in opposing Fatah. Leaders and students belonging to outfits affiliated with both the parties are now putting pressure on the college administration to cancel the event.
However, the college administration has clarified that it only rents out the space and it cannot cancel the event of its own. The event is to take place on a Sunday when college is not operational.
This failed to satisfy the Congress and Samajwadi Party supports who reportedly got into altercation with the college officials. They have threatened to carry out further protests if the event is not cancelled.
This is not for the first time when groups claiming to respect Muslim sentiments have opposed Tarek Fatah’s presence at any event or any city. An anti-Pakistan event in Kolkata, West Bengal was cancelled after similar protests and pressure in January this year, while Fatah was physically manhandled at an Urdu poetry event at Delhi in the following month.