Special Reports

Tarek Fatah's Anti-Hindutva, Anti-Israel past and the fatwa of 1 million on his head

The cat is out of the bag. The All-India Faizan-e-Madina Council has recently announced a “reward” of Rupees 10 lakh to behead Tarek Fatah, an Islamophobic Canadian of Pakistani origin who now frequently appears on Indian News channels as an expert on Islam and terrorism. This is not the sole instance of All-India Faizan-e-Madina Council issuing a controversial “fatwa”. Some years earlier, the same organization had issued a fatwa announcing a reward for beheading Dr. Subramanyam Swamy and Sanjay Raut. In fact, Moeen Siddiqui Noori, the head of All-India Faizan-e-Madina Council, was actually arrested for issuing such an outrageous fatwa (advice).

Extremism has always been the credential of non Barelvis, specifically the Wahhabis; while Barelvis have been largely known for their high level of tolerance, acceptance, and liberalism (as maintained by them). And so has been Tarek Fatah, the hitherto liberal “Islamic” expert. So, why have the otherwise liberal Barelvis lately turned extremists – publicly demanding the death of a known “liberal Islamic expert”? Fatah’s crime – Allegedly professing "un-Islamic" views on television and disrupt harmony between Hindus and Muslims in India. This; however, may not be the only reason why this fatwa has been issued by All-India Faizan-e-Madina Council.

Tarek Fatah himself is no eye candy for the general Indian Muslim populace. It would be right to call him the “blue-eyed boy” of the Hindu Right Wing. He has been seen intensely engaged on Twitter with his stack of scornful Islamophobic content, which is mostly unconfirmed and at times prepossessed and exaggerated. This essentially elucidates why a Canadian of Pakistani origin would be welcomed to a television series in India. Rampant protests and dissonances had erupted against Asian Paints, which was initially sponsoring his controversial television show “Fatah ka Fatwa”. The contention against the television series was that it was “notoriously partisan and biased”, and surreptitiously targeted at inducing and stimulating the popular bias against Muslims and Islam, and polarizing the country – the fervent political blitzkrieg of the Hindu Right Wing. Asian Paints moving out and Patanjali stepping in as the sponsor of the television series further endorses Fatah’s posture of being the Hindu Right Wing’s “blue-eyed boy”. Now, a protest against Patanjali is consummately overruled, as such a protest has all the competency of being positioned against the Hindu interest (call it national interest now!).

There are many other lines of sight to decipher the verity of this anecdote. Moeen Siddiqui Noori, the head of All-India Faizan-e-Madina Council calls Fatah an ‘agent of Israel’and says that Fatah is doing everything to deprecate Islamic traditions. Tarak Fatah has himself not been held in very high esteems by many Islamic organizations, which has made him an obvious target of criticism and denigration by these organizations. However, not many would agree to his stance of being an agent of Israel. On the contrary, a foretaste into Tarek Fatah’s social media interactions point to an altogether different verity – that Fatah abhors and disowns both Israel and Mossad. Primarily because of the role Israel has played first in the Partition of India and then in keeping the flame of international vendetta between India and Pakistan burning radiantly.

Many of his interactions on his Yahoo Group “The Liberal Muslim” – some dating as back as 2001 – point to the fact about how he has been keeping a track of the links between India and Israel and the kind of international blitzkrieg unfolding between the India's Research Analysis Wing (RAW) and Mossad. In one of his e-mails to the Yahoo Group, Fatah reproduces an article by Vijay Prashad that traces India’s strategic relations with Israel’s Mossad way back in 1960s. This saga illustriously points out to the fact of how the affiliation between Hindu Right Wing in India and Israel has been gaining its foothold and strengthening ever since. Vijay Prashad rightly argues that “… the alliance with Israel is not so strange after all, because at the ideological level, Hindutva is much like Zionism, for both extol the importance of the Race-State, and both cast aspersions at the presence of a Muslim minority.”

In another of his e-mails to the Liberal Muslim group, Tarek Fatah recalls about how the shared interests between India and Israel – large Muslim minorities, and suffer from terror imported from neighboring Muslim countries - Israel from the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran, and India from Pakistan – have endorsed and strengthened their relationships. Another thing that Tarek Fatah has been critical of is India’s stance on the Kashmir dispute. Fatah cites an article by Somini Gupta in one of his e-mails to his Yahoo group. Fatah calls this article – which sums up that “The competing claims to Kashmir have been complicated by the domestic politics on both sides of the Line of Control. A radical Islam, with goals of cleansing Muslim lands of infidels, has taken root in Pakistan. Hindu nationalists control the government in New Delhi, straining India's moral argument for Kashmir that Muslims can feel safe and prosper in secular India.” – as “probably the most objective analysis” of the Kashmir dispute.

With evidences in place, it now demands some profound and assiduous retrospection and analysis. There are many facades to this anecdote. First, how Israel and its intelligence agency Mossad have been crusading to take control of the entire world is an open secret now. Islamophobia and synchronization of world terrorism with Islam may well be the ideation of Mossad and Israel, contrary to what many would like to believe. Ever strengthening ties between India and Israel and its larger impact on the ever-increasing domestic hostility between the religious Majority and the largest Minority in India (Muslims) is another contentious issue that many have overlooked in the past. With BJP now gaining more and more strength in India, not just as a political outfit but an ideology in itself, it is evident how the nefarious Israeli designs are being replicated against the minorities in India as well. Mobocracy, lynching, uncluttered persecution of minorities, and brandishing them as terrorists; all that we evidence in modern India of our times resonate well with how Israel, since its inception, has been executing its disruptive oppression and tyranny against the Palestinian Arabs.

Second, the role played by certain sections (or sects?) of Muslim masses in contributing to the strategic ascension of the Hindu Right Wing in India needs to be examined more prudently and vigilantly. The Muslim sects always existed in India; however, the clamor with which this sectarian divide is being promulgated in the recent times rings a vexing and eerie bell. The patriarchal leadership of these sects can only be maintained by demeaning belligerences voicing dissent with other sects and other similar acts like the ones made by All-India Faizan-e-Madina Council. In addition, many so-called leaders from specific sects have recently been seen openly patronizing and reinforcing the Hindu Right Wing. The sectarian belligerence by these organizations has every leeway of being underwritten by the Hindu Right Wing to widen the internal divide among the Muslim sects.

Third, that although Tarek Fatah is considered a liberal “Islamic expert” and the blue-eyed boy, his stance on Kashmir alone is enough to make him an obscure adversary of the Hindu Right Wing. At the same time, his holdup against Mossad susceptibly makes him its unsolicited adversary. Fourth, the role of Israel and Mossad in using internal differences among Muslims as a means to silence their adversaries is distinguishingly illustrious. Could this blitzkrieg have gone unnoticed by the Hindu Right Wing in India?

Finally, the concluding façade of the “shared interest” in the obliteration of Tarek Fatah lies open for both the Mossad and the Hindu Right Wing. While Mossad would be more than happy in his inconspicuous obliteration, blaming a sect of Muslim for‎his annihilation would provide a lot of political mileage to Hindu Right Wing. After all, aren’t the intelligence agencies so fictionally infamous of disowning and terminating even their own cronies after they have been exposed? That also proves the age-old idiom “to kill two birds with one stone” so precisely, doesn’t it?

This farce of fatwa against Tarek Fatah may well be a very small and unobtrusive episode in the entire Right Wing blitzkrieg (you may feel we are probably just exaggerating things and going expressively overboard); however, it is alarming enough to compel us to think and device operative solutions; unless we would like to witness India furtively turning into another Palestine or Myanmar for the Muslim minority.


Sharjeel Ahmad is MBA and an Economics graduate. He is an instructional designer by profession and is presently based in Saudi Arabia. He has keen interest in social, economic, and political issues facing Indian populace, with special emphasis on minority issues.