“Your throat will be slit.” Glaring at me across the TV monitor, the red-bearded Mullah smirked as he delivered a death threat on India’s most-watched national news network, Zee News.
The remark stunned the host and the panel, who were discussing a “fatwa” against Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the very same Islamic cleric when out of nowhere Maulana Barkati made me the target of his anger.
As a vocal critic of Islamism and the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as its sister organizations cultivating radical Islam across the world, I am quite accustomed to death threats, but never this direct and so public.
The same Islamic cleric had earlier issued a fatwa on my friend Taslima Nasreen, offering 50,000 Indian Rupees to anyone who would behead her. He is also known for organizing a funeral prayer for Osama Bin Laden in Kolkata, West Bengal.
And if you believe such death threats happen only in faraway India or in the Middle East, then you are missing out on the risks ordinary Muslims take in fighting Islamists right in our backyard, across Canada.
Ordinary Muslims the world over take enormous risks fighting Islamists.
Nearly 10 years ago, I and a colleague were the subject of a telephonic death threat. In March 2007, a message was left on the voice mail of the secretary general of the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC) warning that my colleague and I “cease from your campaign of smearing Islam … I will slaughter you.”
An apostasy death fatwa is one of the most effective weapons that Islamists deploy to silence fellow Muslims who stand up against, and expose the Islamofascist and supremacist doctrine of radical Islamists.
This threat becomes all the more alarming when ordinary Muslims fear that Islamists have their tentacles inside the state machinery as well as within security agencies and police forces.
Suffice to say, nothing came of the 2007 death threat and police were more interested in the veracity of the complaint than the threat.
This was not the last. The death threats keep on coming.
In 2011 I woke from a surgery to remove a cancerous tumour on my spine and checked my Twitter feed. I was confronted with another death threat, this time from a teen of Somali Muslim background. She wrote, “This is an open threat to Xaar Boy @Tarek Fatah,” (Xaar boy being a vulgar Somali slur). “I know where you live & and where your office is.” Later she tweeted, “He was also the 1 to propose banning the Niqab in Quebec… (and he) supports homosexuality,” she wrote, reiterating again: “This is an open threat. I know where you live/work @TarekFatah.”
Our apologists see Islamophobia as the real threat, not Islam-inspired terrorism and death threats to writers.
The hospital immediately moved me to another room and contacted the police. Within hours, two police intelligence officers interrogated me for two hours. One of them I recognized by reputation – a Muslim officer who had shut down a previous investigation into a death threat against me in 2008 and another one against broadcaster Tahir Gora.
Again, nothing came about and even though police identified the teenager who had threatened me, they decided she was not serious and didn’t file any charges.
So if the Kolkata Police don’t charge Mullah Barkati, don’t feel it’s Third World lawlessness. We Canadians too have our apologists who see Islamophobia as the real threat, not Islam-inspired terrorism or death threats to writers.
Tarek Fatah, a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and columnist at the Toronto Sun, is a Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
A Sa’ar 4.5-class Corvette of the Israeli Navy fires its canons during a naval exercise off the coast of Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry on Sunday announced a series of deals for the purchase of combat systems from local defense industries in the amount of $420 million by the end of this year. This is part of a project to acquire warships whose mission would to protect natural gas platforms within Israel’s “economic waters” in the Mediterranean against military threats.
An Israeli soldier training in Krav Maga.
Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando on Thursday adopted a resolution titled “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution calls on members to “avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in settlements in occupied territories.” It also establishes a process for the church to review its investments “for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.”
Rabbi Steven Wernick says Netanyahu recruited progressive Jews to find a compromise for the holy site; now that the PM has reneged, world Jewry won’t be silent
The fight for pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall is a battle already won by Jewry’s Conservative movement. For some 20 years, Conservative Jews have inhabited a spiritual home at Jerusalem’s contentious holy site, which they won through a series of Supreme Court cases — in a section allocated to the Davidson Archaeological
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Photo credit: hebron.com)
In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
During last month’s 2017 Chicago Dyke March, the true face of “inclusion” among “progressives” finally surfaced. According to the Chicago based newspaper Windy City Times, the march proceeded calmly with people “of all races, genders and gender identities” attending, until “the Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).”
Something is terribly broken in the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. I say this as an American Jew who has lived in Israel for almost half a century. But if anyone thinks this started with Women of the Wall or PM Netanyahu’s recent – and I believe unfortunate – backtracking on the agreement over egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, he is suffering from selective memory, if not total denial.
gentleman from times gone by. He was soft-spoken, courtly, and wore his pants hoisted high and held up by suspenders; clearly, a European who had personally endured horrors in the last century.
Indeed, he had personally survived the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, I could not immediately understand why he now attends a very left-wing synagogue—but, totally incomprehensible, was his unexpected and rather passionate defense of Poland and of the Poles. He argued on their behalf as if his very life still depended upon it.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords’ signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.
Matthew Healy at the Atlantic, one of the few remaining liberal anti-censorship magazines, offers a disingenuous counterpoint to the debate over political correctness.
The attempts to silence dissenting points of view are counter-speech, according to Healy. And counter-speech is an important form of free expression.