On Monday, an Islamic organization in the Indian city of Bareilly announced a bounty of 10,786 Indian Rupees (Cdn$212) on the head of Tarek Fatah, a Toronto-based Muslim Canadian writer, broadcaster, secularist and liberal activist, reportedThe Times of India.
The fatwa (Islamic decree), which comes a day after Fatah was attacked and abused by an Islamist mob at a festival, alleges that his appearance on a TV program he anchors was anti-Muslim and hurt Muslim sentiments.
The head of the organization which put the bounty on Fatah’s head claimed that Fatah is an “agent of Israel” who did everything to belittle Muslims, and that during the show Fatah provoked Islam, “which is illegal”.
Fatah, an outspoken critic of Sharia law and radical Islam and author of a highly acclaimed book “The Jew is Not My Enemy” is also the founder of Muslim Canadian Congress which supports gay rights, separation of religion and state and advocates for a liberal, progressive form of Islam.
Fatah is no stranger to death threats. In 2016 he received a threatening phone call from a man with a Somali accent who told him to “stop speaking about Islam on Facebook” or else “you will see what we will do to you. You will see,” the man repeated before hanging up.
“I am posting this here on my timeline for the attention of Toronto Police and [Toronto] Mayor John Tory to alert them about the presence in our city of Islamists who threaten people’s lives and get away with it while they hold candle vigil”, Fatah posted on his Facebook page after receiving the threatening call. “Hopefully this too will pass and life will go on, but if something happens to me, be witness that I had approached the police and the mayor”, he added.
Fatah also opposes the niqab, a full-body veil, which he calls an “Islamo-fascist symbol”. At an interview with CTV in 2015, Fatah said: “Whenever anyone dares to criticize the Saudi version of Islam, that person is immediately labelled as Islamophobic”.
“As I contemplate several death threats and the bounty placed on my head, I can’t help but wonder about Motion 103, now before our House of Commons, wherein Mississauga Liberal MP Iqra Khalid would have us believe, the real threat to our communities is “Islamophobia” — not Islamic radicals hell bent on killing in the name of Islam”, Fatah, who is stranded in Delhi where is he is a virtual prisoner, wrote in the Toronto Sun on Wednesday.
Ilana Shneider is the co-editor of CIJnews and the founding executive director of Canada-Israel Friendship Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the mutually beneficial, long-standing diplomatic, economic and cultural ties between Canada and Israel. She can be reached at [email protected]