Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Challenging Tariq Fatah’s “Mirage”: Refuting his illusions about Pakistan!


Tarek Fatah has written another nonsensical article in the Murdockized Globe and Mail (From Wednesday's Globe and Mail Published on Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009 6:22PM EST Last updated on Wednesday, Dec. 09, 2009 1:49AM EST)

First a bit about Mr. Tarek Fateh, then about his latest diatribe against the land of his birth. Mr. Fatah is one of of those Western Oriental Gentlemen (WOGs) which was the dream of the British Raj---native locals who could think and talk like their masters in London. Today we can expand that to include Washington, and Ottawa. Edward Said described this entire phenomenon as “Orientalism”---paint “them” in a false paradigm, demonize them—so it is easier to kill, murder, maim, and rape them—both physically and intellectually. In a crass way people like Tarek Fateh are described as “potatoes”—brown on the outside, but white on the inside. Americans and Canadians would know them as the Uncle Toms (House Niggers”) who do the bidding of those who pay them to malign the most vulnerable part of today’s society—Muslims and Pakistan These people are so far removed from the reality of Pakistan, and so estranged tot he culture and traditions of the land of the Indus, that are but aliens to the land. They speak English, so they write. It is profitable to be Anti-Pakistan and commercially advantageous to be Islamphobic. Canada is a great repository for Indus-trash.

Mr. Fateh is the host of a TV show in Toronto and belongs to the Manji school of thought---“the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim”. Actually, both Manji and Tatah go a step further---digging up DMM (dead Muslim Males) and than raking them over the coals for real or perceived sins. Like Manji Mr. Fatah “acts like a Muslim” and writes this “to my co-religionists, my Muslim sisters and brothers,” to remove their blindfolds and the “shackles of conformity that have stunted their development for so long.” [p. xii]  Of course Mr. Fatah has all the answers to the 1.5 Billion Muslims who are “lost in the sands of Sinai with no Moses to lead us out, held hostage by hateful pretenders of piety,” a condition “further compounded by a collective denial that the pain we suffer is caused mostly by self-inflicted wounds.”  Like Manji Mr. Fatah wants to be that Moses.

Chasing a Mirage is an unapologetic and unremitting polemic for a secular[ism] that gives no quarter to those who support any other view of the role of religion in politics and society. --the lumping together of all […]—those who advocate an explicit role for Islam in politics—from the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 AD to the present, inadvertently deflects attention away from how individuals, like groups, learn to compromise and modify their objectives over time.

Mr Fateh is exactly what is wrong with Pakistan. He was a wannabe elite who fell into drugs and alcohol at a young age—ending up in the rank and file of the worst terrorists in Balochistan. He was arrested by the government of Pakistan and is on the Islamabad list of persona non grata. A convicted criminal who associated with the most violent thugs of Balochistan, Mr. Fatah has made it to Canada—where he pontificates not only against the Pakistan—what is intellectually dangerous for Canada is that he evangelizes for  the Neocons. The Neocons are smart—they pick local individuals to do their bidding, the Manjis, the Taheris, the Hoodbhoys are part of the cabal of Goebels misinformation directorate.Mr. Fatah is their darling. (The Jewish Defence League of Canada and the Canadian Hindu Advocacy)

Mr. Fateh’s current article has major flaws in it. He uses some half-truths, some outright lies, and some conspiracy theories to put forward the point that “Pakistan is the epitome of evil”—thus demonized it is OK to wage a war against them—bombs away!

When the Pakistan government talks about “Indian interference” in Balochistan, they also mean the funding of the 5th column led in Canada by the likes of Mr. Tarek Fatah. This article is but one link in a series of nonsensical rhetoric that comes from the keyboard of Mr. Fateh. It is amazing that he lies in a free country ready to say what he wants—whereas while managing a small group of non-discript malcontents all MPM, he would not allow any opposing opinions and banned members who did not disagree with him.

While defending the likes of Mr. Zardari (aka 10%), he fails to mention the simple fact that Mr. Zardari,a high-school dropout (who has no university education) who used to steak hubcaps in the heart of Karachi (St Patricks) is now worth $1.5 Billion (Source Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau). Mr. Zardari is the most reviled leader in Pakistan with popularity ratings in the low teens. Mr. Fateh also fails to mention that Mr. Zardari after being coroneted as President maintains all the powers that the former dictator Mr. Musharraf had allocated for himself (in violation of the 1973 consensus constitution). Despite calls from all sections of the parliament and his own party, Mr. Zardari has not given up his powers. This is direct contradiction of his own promise to the nation where he said , that he would give up these powers on the first day of office. Mr. Fatah now refers to this as “a coup”.

Mr Zardari’s hijacking of the Pakistan Peoples Party and then the government was the worst case of political swindle since Lenin sidelined Trotsky and then imposed a dictatorship of the Bolsheviks over the Mensheviks and others. The October revolution was thus taken towards Stalinism with disastrous consequences for the country and the world. While democratically elected, many criticize him for taking over the PPPP (from which he had been banished by his spouse). Mr. Zardari was sent to New York, ostensibly for heart treatment. He was not given a Party Ticket and not even allowed to interact with the party in Dubai or in Pakistani. The inexplicable antics of Reham Malik standing right next to the podium in Liaqat Bagh shed light on why many believe that Mr. Zardari’s clan is responsible for the murder of Ms. Bhutto.

For a man who was described as very sick, and unable to carry on a full load of work—we saw a miraculous recovery. On the eve of Bhutto’s death the grieving widower produced a so called will that bequeathed the Pakistan People’s Party (as if it was a piece of furniture) to Mr. Zardari (who was as active a Michael Jordan, before, during and after the funeral)> Mr. Zardari refused to show the so called will which was challenged by many PPPP leaders like Makhdoom Amin Fahim and old stalwart Ghulam Musrafa Khar. Even other founding members of the PPP like Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi and Mumtaz Bhutto challenged the will and the contents of the will. Zardari’s niece Fatima Bhutto who blames Mr. Zardari for the murder of Benazir Bhutto and the assassination of her own father Murtaza Bhutto on Mr. Zardari. He accusation is buttressed by the fact that Murtaza and Zardari had an out and out shouting matching right before Murtaza was gunned down in front of his house.

Within the party itself, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, who saved the party during the time when Zardari was having a good time in New York, (living with a woman who was not his wife), openly fought with Zardari for the PMs spot. Zardari and his henchman sidelined Fahim and Ahtizaz Ahsan, one of the few brains left in the PPPP.

Mr. Fateh has chosen to defend the man who was convicted in Swiss Courts and finally owned up to owning a luxurious abode in England called the Surray Palace.

The US has been constantly watching the rapid decline of the opinion rankings of Mr. 10 Percent. Finally they decided to work with people in the Pakistani government that had credibility. It is important to note that Ms. Clinton met with Mr. Zardari for 30 minutes and with General Kiyani for three hours, during her last trip to Islamabad.

Mr. Fateh buys the Indian propaganda—hook line and sinker, and repeats it as if this had a semblance of truth in it.

A year after rogue elements of Pakistan's intelligence services disrupted Indian-Pakistani peace talks by staging the Mumbai massacre, the democratically elected government of President Asif Zardari is facing a putsch from within its ranks, engineered by the men who run Pakistan's infamous military-industrial complex

The above statement is so outrageous that it doesn’t really call for a response. the premise that the Pakistani military is supporting the daily bombings in Pakistan is so stupid that the worst conspiracy theorist in the world would have a hard time swallowing it. Then there is the inconvenient truth that 5000 Pakistani soldiers have died in the past few months attacking the very people that Mr. Fateh says the military is supporting. The fact is that Mr. Fateh will say anything—the sad truth is that a free country like Canada will publish his balderdash. A Pakistani sounding name, an accent, pronto this goon must be an expert on Pakistan. never mind that he is a criminal in the land of his birth—wanted for violent attacks on the Pakistan Army and civilian population. It is like a member of the IRA had a forum in Canada and he could continue to pollute the media with his claptrap.

Read on—Mr. fateh gets funnier.

The men who wish to replace Mr. Zardari represent the religious right-wing backers of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, adding a new obstacle in Barack Obama's war effort in Afghanistan. A change of guard in Pakistan will also place Canadian troops at a higher risk of attack from a Taliban that will get unimpeded access to safe havens across the international border.

Reading the above sentence is like reading Goebbels, keep repeating falsehood, until it sticks. The statement is so egregious and so far from the truth, that even Mr. Fateh could not say with with a straight face. Let us look at the facts. Mr. Zardari is supposed to be titular head of state—like the Queen is in Canada. According to the 1973 constitution President Zardari should be in fit shape to attend State dinners, and ribbon cutting ceremonies—and that's about it. His signature is required on bills, but if he doesn't sign the bill becomes law anyway. So knowing the facts about the Pakistani constitution throws  Mr. Fateh’s entire premise out the window. The National Assembly of Pakistan wants to restore the Pakistani constitution and restore the balance by eliminating the unconstitutional 17th amendment (that had given dictatorial powers to the president). Mr fateh is angry that Mr. Zardari won’t have the powers of a dictator? Amazing?

By the way, the 1973 constitution was approved by consensus by the wide spectrum of political forces in Pakistan—from the Maoist communists, to the Moscow communists to the mainstream socialists, to the Islamic party. That is the Pakistani social contract established in the 1956, 63 and 73 constitutions.

Now let us look at Mr. Fateh’s other wild assed accusation. He claims that “the man to replace Mr. Zardari is a religious right-wing backer of the Taliaban and Al-Qaeda”. Wow! Too many shots of single malt will do this to someone’s brains. The National Assembly and the Senate and the four provincial assemblies elect the president. It will probably a non-political figure as it should be. Mr. Zardari could not really hold the office of the president, because he held the Chairmanship of the PPPP. The President is supposed to a neutral figure—perhaps a retired diplomat or a poet maybe. Mr Fateh in a fast slight of hand doesn’t really say “man” who would replace him. He says “men”. Mr. Nawaz Sharif is the leader of the opposition and the most popular politician in Pakistan. He is widely expected to win the elections in Pakistan. Calling Mr. Sharif’s part “supporter of Al-Qaeda” is as silly as calling President Obama the head of the Black Panthers. General Kiyani has no political ambitions, and even Mr. Fateh admits that the army will not take over the government. So Mr. Fateh’s unknown “supporters of Al Qaeda” who will run the next government is just total absolute unadulterated nonsense.

Mr. Fateh should be a comedian. His narrative is very non-serious and just a propaganda sheet. The next sentence is perhaps the most hilarious line in his narrative.

In the West's war against terrorism, Mr. Zardari is probably the only politician in Pakistan who has the guts to identify the cancer of jihadi extremism and order the Pakistani army to root it out.

The Pakistan Army just cleared Swat, and is in the process of cleaning South Waziristan of Indian sponsored thugs, drug peddlers, Uzbek scoundrels, victims of drone attacks who hate everyone, and foreign funded malcontents. To suggest that the successor of Mr. Zardari will not take root out the terrorists who cause havoc on Pakistani civilians is a silly suggestion.

Mr. Zardari refers to the military barracks as posh surroundings. Perhaps he should visit the rugged mountains of Swat and South Waziristan where the “generals” and their boys are camped out in tattered tents fighting the Indian thugs. Not once does Mr. Fateh mention the fact that the net worth of Mr. Zardari is $1.5 billion and that he spends most of his time visiting Dubai and London on unexplained private trips.

Its not the military that is tired of him. Its the entire planet. According to news reports published in politico, the Washington Post and the New York Times, the US administration fully recognizes the fact that Mr. Zardari has no credibility within Pakistan—as such they are working with a wide variety of Pakistani politicians—including Mr. Nawaz Sharif (who Mr. Fateh describes as a supporter of Al-Qaeda).

His bibliography juxtaposes standard secondary sources, popular polemic, and newspaper and magazine articles, including extracts from his own contributions to acrimonious contemporary debates among Muslims in Canada. The “Selected Bibliography” is vast but uneven, much like the book itself, with sources cited in the notes occasionally missing. (The book could have been improved by more careful copy editing.)

Fatah intends to provoke. His acrid tone is sometimes reminiscent of a literate Rush Limbaugh.  But perhaps this is what is needed to provoke the Islamic “mainstream” in Canada to look critically at Islamic history and institutions, which are often uncritically invoked in contemporary debates over the role of religion in society. A different approach to other explicitly Muslim perspectives might indicate major shifts in how to think about tradition. Turkish political parties once described as Islamist-inspired have, since the 1990’s, ceased threats against the state and learned to participate fully in Turkey’s strictly secular political process. Islamic movements in Indonesia have also contributed to long-term stability and a working, if fragile, democracy after the long eras of Sukarno and Suharto. Likewise, most participants in India’s Islamist political party, Jamaat-e-Islami -- once a proponent of the kingdom of God on earth and an opponent of the secular state -- now sees itself working within India’s secular democracy.


After challenging the existence of Pakistan in his book (Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State), and targeting the Pakistani army, Mr. Fateh next attacks the more than 80 TV channels in Pakistan. Mr. Fateh for some reason accuses the entire galazy of the Pakistani media as Pro-Taliban. More than 70 Pakistanis were killed in suicide bombs in the past seventy two hours. That blood is not forgotten by the people and the media of Pakistan. They hate the TTP which has claimed responsibility for some, but not all of the bomb attacks.

Even independent analysts have called his book a polemic on Islam and Pakistan.

Stung by this loss of power, the generals have asked the pro-Taliban media to whip up an anti-U.S. and anti-India frenzy in the country, claiming that Mr. Zardari has sold out to the Americans and the Indians.

The bomb attacks that were not claimed by the TTP were directed at Pakistani civilians and mosque worshippers. Many in Pakistan blame these attacks on RAW and Balckwater/Xe who see an opportunity to change Pakistani minds about the Afghan Taliban.

Mr. Fatah uses Neocon terminology to describe Muslims and Islam. He uses Quranic terms to describe bad and evil people. For example “Islamist” is bad, “Jihadi” is a terrorist, and Muslims are supposed to be a Fascist. Toronto allows  Mr. Fatah to “speak out against the hijacking of my faith and the spectre of a new Islamo-fascism.” [pp. xi-xii]. This line is also very similar to the lines used by Irshad Manji

Fatah like Manji blames the so called “Islamists” for hijacking his “faith”. The distinction between Muslims and Islamist is lost in the very first pageswhen he begins blaming all Muslims for everything. He attacks the first caliphs and then on down to the current rulers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan. He opposes the “Islamic State” which according to him requires a theocracy. Of course, neither Saudi Arabia, nor Pakistan are theocracies, but defein themselves as Muslim states. According to Fatah he desires a a “merely desire a ‘state of Islam.’” [p. xii]. Therefore according to Fatah the best solution is for Muslims to live in India in a “state of Islam.” [p. xv]

Of course Mr. Fatah says much to provoke and get a reaction. It seems he is aming for a death sentence so that he can live a life of luxury and really become a famous author instead of a wannabe transcriber for Islamphobes like Daniel Pipes.

The entire Crusades were based on similar thinking “the hordes are coming and we need to destroy them“.  Richard Fletcher in his book “The Cross and the Crescent” lists Islamphobic narrations by authors that go back centuries. Ammianus Marcelellinus, the last of the Latin historians of antiquity, writing towards the end of the fourth century, is representative. He considers “the Arabs a destructive people, who would swoop down like birds of prey to seize whatever they could find”.

American drone attacks on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan are causing a massive humanitarian emergency, Pakistani officials claimed after a new attack yesterday killed 13 people. The dead and injured included foreign militants, but women and children were also killed when two missiles hit a house in the village of Data Khel, near the Afghan border, according to local officials.

“As many as 1m people have fled their homes in the Tribal Areas to escape attacks by the unmanned spy planes as well as bombings by the Pakistani army….

“So far 546,000 have registered as internally displaced people (IDPs) according to figures provided by Rabia Ali, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Maqbool Shah Roghani, administrator for IDPs at the Commission for Afghan Refugees. The commissioner’s office says there are thousands more unregistered people who have taken refuge with relatives and friends or who are in rented accommodation. Talking Peace in Prague, Dropping Bombs in Pakistan, Hard Rain Keeps Falling By CHRIS FLOYD

These pseudo liberals are quiet about the suffering of more than half a million people who are suffering. They are always concerned about the Mukhtara Mai and Chand Bibi. They seem unconcerned about the 250,000 women who have suffering because of the US drone bombing.

Words are important. The good words spoken by Martin Luther about Islam are not mentioned by the Islamphobes. The West should change the approach towards Muslims. Pakistan is pivotal. Karen Armstrong. Islam’s  positive influences on Europe ( are ignored and when mentioned are listed as Arab or Turkish.


All his antics irritate Muslims and Pakistanis to no end. Here is one typical reaction.

So, I am sick of Tarek Fatah’s tirades, the Communications Director of the fringe organization Muslim Canadian Congress. The fact is that most of his positions are outright Un-Islamic and unrepresentative of the vast majority of Muslims. For instance, his organization endorsed same-sex marriage, campaigned against Islamic family courts, and pretty much came out on the wrong side of every mainstream Muslim opinion. So, WHY, does any of the media give ANY credibility to this tiny group of fringe nut-cases?

While I am at it, let me also tell you who else does NOT represent the vast majority of Muslims. I should add that there is no doubt that the fringe has a following in the fringe, and that there are followers of all sorts of nut-cases (examples: Church of Scientology, Submitters, etc.). Let me also state that the web, esp. the blogosphere probably has a disproportionate burden of extreme “Muslim” leftists, progressives, and nut-cases. A very important disclaimer: all the people in this list are not equal in their separation from mainstream Islam. Some in the list are not even Muslim, while others are Muslim and have a small following (still not close to being widespread though): Muslim matters

Mr. Fatheh entire life revolves on attacking the Pakistan Army, the Pakistani intelligence agencies and the Pakistani state. I have directly interacted with him on the internet. He hates everything Pakistani. To most analysts Mr. Fateh has sold his soul to the highest Pakistaniphobe out there—usually that either an Indian or a Neocon. Perhaps both.

Mirage offers gripping descriptions of political excess but won’t win any prizes for journalistic accuracy.  It opens with a dramatic account of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s execution in Rawalpindi—not Rawaloindi [p. 5]—and quickly moves on to cite a 2001 claim by Egyptian economist Samir Amin that Mahmoud Taha’s 1985 execution in the Sudan went unreported in the “Western Media.” [p. 6] A moment’s research on Google or the New York Times website would suffice to correct this inaccuracy, invoked to support the claim that the “West” is complacent in the face of Islamism in the all-encompassing and ahistorical way that Fatah defines it.

The strength of Mirage is that it brings a strong South Asian perspective to a topic all too often dominated by a focus on texts and contexts emanating from the Arab world. Unfortunately, Fatah sometimes too hastily assumes a consistent polarization of perspectives rather than acknowledging that extremist Islamist political movements, like their counterparts in other religions, often shift over time or contain embedded contradictions that can lead to open debate among believers. Thus, Fatah cites Article 2 of the Iranian constitution to claim that it acknowledges the absolute sovereignty of God, although principle 3.8 of that same constitution acknowledges popular sovereignty in conceding the people’s right to determine their own “destiny.” [p. 16]  The Pakistani constitution of 1990 similarly sets up contrasting notions of sovereignty, reaffirming that “sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone,” while also invoking the intention of Muhammad Ali Jinnah (d. 1948), Pakistan’s founder, that Pakistan should be a “democratic state based on Islamic principles of justice,” ruled by elected representatives. Fatah’s account of the turbulent birth of Pakistan as an explicitly Islamic state in 1947 is one of the best sections of Mirage.  In it, he reminds the reader of the 1953 Munir Commission report, which followed anti-Ahmadiyya riots in Punjab; the Pakistani jurists and Islamic scholars who made up the Commission could not agree on definitions of who is a Muslim or what is an Islamic state. Other chapters in the first section of the book quickly survey the Islamic claims of Saudi Arabia, Palestine, and Iran.

Writing against Islam and against Pakistan is a profitable business. Many rake in the Dollars.

The extremist agenda of the fundamentalist pseudo liberals (WOGs): Forcing Atheistic Secular Humanism on the rest of us. They are are quiet about the human tragedy that has fallen on the Pakhtuns, but they are worried about the “human rights” of a section of the population.

While the usual gaggle of sycophants and media hive-minders — along with some ordinarily perspicacious analysts — tell us that Barack Obama literally changed the course of human history by disgorging a great load of thrice-chewed cud about nuclear disarmament in Prague this week, the high-tech drone war the great hero of peace is waging inside the sovereign territory of America’s ally, Pakistan, is helping drive tens of thousands of people from their homes and killing civilians almost daily. Talking Peace in Prague, Dropping Bombs in Pakistan, Hard Rain Keeps Falling By CHRIS FLOYD

The only way is “darmiyanah ravish“–the middle way.

Under the facade of schooling the locals, the British created the “Convents” to manufacture “Western Orientalized Gentlemen” (WOGs)–a cadre of aborigines who would speak and think like the English but would be local in color and ethnicity. The “wannabee goras” see no impact of the historical agression on Pakistani and Muslim societies. The WOGS, speaking their masters language squarely lay the blame of all ills on the local societies which are depicted as “tribal”. According to these “Blame Pakistan First”WOGs, it is the poor and aggressive cave dwellers who are bent upon world domination based on an intense hatred of the West. Some of this paid character assassins try to propagate the false cliche “They hate us because of our freedoms”.

There are the books written by Muslims awakening from the yolk of colonialism and rhetorical books written by Muslim authors full of hatred and feelings of deprivation. These books explain away all Muslim faults by blaming all problems on others. Then there are books written by Muslims, the Westernized Muslim apologist intellectuals who blame everything on Muslims themselves. Thes “Blame Muslims First” books on Muslims and Islam are written by the “Orientalists” amongst us.

Western authors who have for decades defined the “Orient”, it’s geography, it’s nomenclature (Occident and Orient, Middle East, Far East, and South Asia etc.).Once in a while there comes an author, who can go to the root causes of issues and really describe the issues and come up with solutions. Orientalism takes a deadly turn again!

Out of the various strategies employed by the Modern Orientalists is to exaggerate the problem, scare the people, list unrelated points, and join the dots in a manner that it serves their purpose of creates a rationale for their thesis or action items. Dr. Edward Said on Orientalism.

Orientalist Neocon thinking: Justifying war & murder. Dr. Edward Said was one such author. Much maligned in the press, he has been called many names, however his name stands out as one of the foremost writers who has changed many lives and he has surely transfigured the landscape of American literature and Columbia, where he was a profession. One thing that his “Orientalist” detractors could not do was to ignore him or his thinking. This is what Dr. Edward Said says about he Orientalism:

It is not Islam’s so-called resistance to modernity or science or for that matter hostility to the West that can be attributed to the decline of Islamicate societies. Rather, it is the economic, political, social and technological factors that caused the peripheral countries to fall behind.

Tariq Fatah has sold his soul to make a buck. He has to live with his choices. His words cause the murder of thousands of Muslims. He has to live with the blood of Muslims on his hands.

I think that Pakistan as a Muslim state is beyond dispute. The bulk of its population are Muslim. But the fact is that the dominant image of Pakistan in the West is that of jihadi terrorists threatening to take over the nuclear facilities is just wrong. The bulk of the country is not in favor of jihadi terrorism. It’s been made clear in election after election.

The religion of people in the countryside in the Punjab, in Sindh is essentially still, to a large extent, a reflection of Sufi existentialism, of each one finding the Creator as an individual, general hostility to organized religion as such, which is still strong in the countryside. It’s your middle and upper-middle classes, like those in India and, not to mention, the United States, who become very religious, attracted to religiosity, joining the Tablighi Jamaat organizations.

But the common people don’t show any signs of that. A tiny minority is attracted to jihadi terrorism, but given the size of the country, this is infinitesimal. So the real problem that confronts Pakistan is not a big rise of religion, but the total and complete failure of a corrupt and callous Pakistani elite to do anything for its people. Goatmilk. Tariq Ali.

Tariq Ali has hit the nail on its head. Just like the Indian elite that does not care a darn about the bulk of the population, it is the elite, it is this Pakistani elite tht is pouring acid into the very foundations of Pakistan in the West. the likes of Tariq Fateh in Canada and others like him in the States are working full time to pursue their filthy agenda.

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