Mr. Tarek Fatah
I HOPE you are in good spirits. As you are well aware, your views on Islam and Muslims are highly controversial and challenging.
There are some who consider you a bold crusader engaged in a cosmic battle against Islamic extremism, whereas others regard you as a self-proclaimed Islamic expert thriving on paranoia-generation.
Nevertheless, you must be aware of your massive unpopularity among the vast majority of Toronto Muslims. In all likelihood, this is because your position on almost every Islam-related issue in the media is diametrically opposed to that of the larger community (issues such as the Islamic idea of niqab, religious allowance for a homosexual marriage, right to shariah arbitration, Quranic legitimacy of Israel, an Islamic state, etc).
As an Imam, what recently caught my attention was your spirited statement in Steve Paikin's The Agenda. You claimed:
"I am a Muslim the way the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad wanted me to be.... Someone should come and challenge me on that.
That is why they (Islamists) have never agreed to have a debate with me in any mosque, anywhere in this country. Their audience, their time, Lets talk about Islam." and "Despite the fact that Islamists know that I am right, they wont debate me on this issue".
In response to your challenge, I invite you to come and debate me in a public forum provided by the NAMF Islamic Center, justifying your understanding of Islam before an audience of Muslims and Non-Muslims. You know very well that I had previously met you on August 27, 2010, 7:30 pm, for exactly this purpose, but you failed to get back as you said you would.
Let me be clear: the purpose of this debate is not to discredit you, but to bring to the public front an understanding of Islam that is more in line with the spirit of the Qur’an and Sunnah. If you prove your version of Islamic understanding with sound evidence, I will be the first to accept it. If you don’t, you will discredit none but yourself.
I hope to hear from you soon, so we can work on the event logistics.
President - North American Muslim Foundation
Imam – Masjid Qurtabah
The following are the responses received from Tarek Fatah accepting the challenge of Sheharyar Shaikh. Also included is the response of Sheharyar to Tarek Fatah’s emails. Inshallah the debate will take place on Saturday, January 29, 2011 at NAMF Islamic Center at 6:00 pm with more information to follow:
Farooq M. Khan
North American Muslim Foundation
Mr Tarek Fatah wrote on December 2, 2010 at 1:25 PM
Sure. Notwithstanding your inflated sense of self-righteousness and your audacity to judge me as the bane of Canada's Muslims,
I have no problem accepting your invitation to a debate. Let me know when and where. Just make sure you have a moderator for this debate who is acceptable to both of us. I would suggest Imam Shabbir Ally or better still Nazim Baksh of the CBC to play that role.
The debate and discussion should be restricted to the English language with no reference to Arabic, Urdu or Punjabi or any other language.
Let me know
Mr. Tarek Fatah further wrote at 8:17 PM
I understand that you sent this letter to a very wide audience, but failed to circulate my response. Is this ethical according to your understanding of Islam?
Sheharyar Shaikh wrote back at 11:50 PM
Mr Tarek Fatah,
Your prompt agreement for the debate was reassuring.
I’ll have you know that NAMF is a public organization. It doesn’t hide things. All of our correspondence will be available for everyone on our list as it occurs. Secondly, NAMF will arrange for a moderator who is fair and impartial. You have my guarantee. (If you go on our website, you will see that we have held several debates on the premises with no complaints so far). I can not accept your idea of restricting the debate strictly to English. At times I will give Quranic and Hadith references in Arabic (with their translations) in order to prove my point. You are of course free to do the same.
The date is set for Saturday, January 29, 2011, 6 pm
NAMF Islamic Center
4140 Finch Avenue East,
I wish you luck.
On a side note, self-righteous people show no will to accept the truth if it is against their views; they do however resort to name calling.
President - North American Muslim Foundation
Imam – Masjid Qurtabah
Mr. Tarek Fatah wrote on December 3, 2010 at 2:55 PM
I received this notice from someone in Montreal and was surprised that you have announced the date and time of the debate without informing me, let alone consulting me about my availability on that date.
Who decided on this date and time? This may be a foreign concept for you as an Imam who is used to his authoritarian access to the pulpit, but to have a debate between two people, you need both people to agree to the time and date before you send out notifications in a mass e-mail to large group of people, except to the person you have invited.
You are aware, I had requested that before you fix a date or time, the two of us must agree to have a moderator acceptable to both of us, who would preside over the discussion and that we agree to the subject and the format. I had suggested the names of two people--Imam Shabbir Ally or Nazim Baksh of the CBC.
However, without even acknowldeging my e-mail, you have sent out a mass e-mail announcing the date and the venue. This may be acceptable ethics for Islamists, but as a liberal and secular Muslim, such a practice is both unethical and unprofessional.
I am quite familiar with the tactics employed by Islamists around the world to ambush their adversaries, so I request you to please save these methods for other people, not me.
Before a date and time is agreed upon, I'd like to know the name of the moderator. If Imam Shabbir Ally or Nazim Baksh are not to your liking, then perhaps we can ask Imam Yahya Fadllalah or CBC journalist Naheed Mustafa to be the referee. All of the names I have suggested are people who are not in agreement with my perspective on Islam, but I respect them as serious professionals who are honourable and know not to play politics when chairing a debate. If none of these men and women are acceptable to you, then please suggest some other names that are acceptable to you and let me have a pick. In proposing a moderator, I suggest you refrain from naming any of your friends or family or employees of NAMF. That would be unethical, even by your standards, I guess.
I would hope that you will circulate this message of mine to the same list that has received the incorrect notice that the date and time of the debate had been agreed upon, and to let them know the date was announced without my consent or agreement.
Peace, and hoping you share my message without editing of taking out any part of the message, from the salutation to the signature.
That will be the ethical thing to do.
Sheharyar Shaikh wrote back at 6:26 PM on December 3, 2010
Mr. Tarek Fatah,
It was pleasing to see that you addressed me with “dear” and the Islamic salutation this time (a marked contrast from your last two emails).
First, our mass correspondence went to, and will continue to go to, two of your email addresses (rogers, me account). We have also added the third one (gmail) as well, so your position of not “informing me” is simply untenable.
Secondly, more than half of your email was about your grievance of not notifying you of the date of the event, which is a convenient-2-month away, and of interpreting it as one of the age-old “tactics employed by Islamists around the world to ambush their adversaries”.
Remember it was you, not I, who first threw the unconditional challenge on The Agenda. Your words were:
(The Islamists) have never agreed to have a debate with me in any mosque, anywhere in this country. Their audience, their time, lets talk about Islam.
Again, you conveyed your readiness on Dec 2, 2010, when you addressed me via email:
I have no problem accepting your invitation to a debate. Let me know when and where.
As to who is being “self-righteous”, “unprofessional” or “playing politics”, I will let the readers decide that.
Thirdly, I don’t want to make the moderator-choice a sticking point. Moderators have never influenced the debates at our events.
So how about you request Steve Paikin to be kind enough to moderate this event. If this is not possible, then we are equally flexible on the person chosen.
Finally, we are an open, transparent and public organization. All your fears of misrepresentation or censure are unfounded.
I will contact you soon with regards to the format and the topic of the event.
President - North American Muslim Foundation
Imam – Masjid Qurtabah
The following are the community responses we received regarding the challenge of Sheharyar Shaikh to Tarek Fatah.
Please note that we have not deleted or edited any of the following emails.
Farooq M. Khan
North American Muslim Foundation
Great. It was the great need of the hour.
Wow. This is excellent!
Please keep us posted on his response (or a lack thereof).
Haha nice and may Allah guide him through u amen
Very well said Shaikh. keep me posted on this event. I would like to be among the attendees.
I totally support u on this
Go and get him
A. ALAIKUM Brother Farooq,
I agree with br. Shahrayar as I know the mentilety of Tarek Fatah since six years ago. As
well many of his Islamic organizations left him alone becase they nt agree with his speeches and attitudes !!
Most of his motions is against the real Islam.
Please pass my warm regards to Habib Ali and Shahrayar
All th best
Ibrahim Shalaby MCSD Ph.D.
Mashallah. The need of the time
Imam Omar Subedar
The Mathabah Foundation
Jazakallah for all that you do at NAMF Farooq. Only Allah (SWT) can reward you for
your efforts. I have no doubt that I will envy you on the Day of Judgement. May Allah
(SWT) give you strength to continue your much needed work.
Can you please pass the following to Steve Paikin of The Agenda.
Time and again the media gives Tarek Fatah coverage as a representative of the muslim community.
The fact is, his opinions are not considered valid by any of the masjids in the GTA. Just of little investigative journalism will prove this.
Tarek Fatah has boldly stated that Muslims should challenge him on his opinions. However, he seems to be hiding from the very debate he called for.
Steve Paikin of The Agenda, should probably give this some coverage now.
Dear Mr. Shaikh,
Let's all challenge this self-appointed Islamic spokesperson (tarek & nargis) who has created so much harm to the Muslim community
The guy is self-centred & thinks he's God gift to mankind.
I've met this Tarek on a number of occasions. To say he's arrogant would be an understatement.
You shall be doing a great service to put this guy on the line.
Keep up the good work
Munir Talib, B.Com (Hons.), A.C.M.A (UK)
Please also forward this letter to Steve Paikin of “The Agenda”
Good for you!
I wish there would be scores of such challnges!!
I am convinced Tarek Fatah, otherwise a total failure, is an opportunist who is doing what he is doing to promote himself. No different from Joyce Myer and Zakir Naik for instance. While I say what I have about Mr. Fatah, I am also convinced that a lot of Muslim leaders all over the world have taken the beautiful Deen of Islam and made it a not so good looking Mazhab. I will debate that with you anytime I would like to attend your debate with Tarek Fatah nevertheless.
Please pass on my regards to your Habeeb Ali
Thanks for the email about an open letter to Tarek Fateh to a debate. I and I am sure many others in the Muslim community welcome this move. I would appreciate if we are kept informed about this as and when it is arranged.
Dear Imam Salaams
Thank you for taking the time to speak with Tariq Fatah.
You have to be cool he is very smart guy seeking publicity to get his name out and about.
The Quran mentioned about persons like Tariq Fatah ,we have to be careful of them .
Janet Hanif Ferouz
haven't heard or read what Mr Tarek Fatah says, but ehat does it matter????? people should be free to think what they think and free to tell others. Anyway, what does it matter what the majority thinks?
It has been proven for a very long time that the masses don't think. Brainwashing thousands, millions even, is less difficult that convincing one intelligent, educated and thinking person.
Thanks. It is a very good idea to ask Mr. Tariq Fateh to explain his view point. If his views are according to Quran this may be accepted otherwise please Tablique him to come to the right path.
Syed Sadruddin Hussain
Please let me know how can I help.
While I do not doubt your sincerity, I believe that Tarek Fatah is slowly becoming irrelevant. Most media have realized that he is not capable of having a dialogue. The best strategy would be to ignore him until he finds himself yelling out from a sound-proof chamber. By challenging him to a dialogue you may provide him exposure. I hope he will not accept your invitation.
Please put me on your mailing as I am always interested in these types of information.
By the way Brother Sheharyar Shaikh, thank you for inviting Tarek Fatah to a debate at NAMF. After what Mr. Fatah said on The Agenda, I would like to be present if and when this debate is taking place.
Jazack Allah Khiran
God bless Imam Shaikh
Details: Please convey my gratitude to Imam Sheharyar Shaikh for offering to debate T-Fat. Unfortunately, there seems to be an endless crop of \"Islamo-opportunists\" in this country. I look forward to the Imam,
at the very least, establishing the need for the media to consult with those who have actually completed Islamic Studies from accredited institutions and have a mandate from the Muslim community.
It's about time someone took a stand for we (MUSLIMS) truly believe in and what ISLAM is all about.
This man (Tariq) has been getting away with his misconceptions of islam far too long.
The public needs to know what a fair and just religion ISLAM is from a knowledgeable person.
Looking forward to more info on this. May Allah guide us all.
Thanks for this debate, please keep us informed.
Tarek Fatah is only interested in fame through notoriety. If every Muslim were to publicly accept his views, He would promptly change it to a different one. You do not debate with a man like this, you ignore him. There is nothing to be gained nor achieved from it. There has always been a "Tarek Fatah" throughout Islamic history. May Allah grant us all patience.
As salam alaikum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh
Masha Allah. Very good. We need more people like you.
Wa alaikum as Salam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh
Assalamo Alaikum WRB,
This is great. Allah give you wisdom and strength.
Dr. Naiyer Habib
MD; FCCP; FACP; FRCPC; FACC.
al-ssalamu alayaka Imam,
Jazaka Allaahu khair'an for this information.
Jazak-Allah for taking the stand with this person. On the other hand, he makes statements like that
to get the attention and to be in the media. Should we give him the attention he is looking for or ignore him?
Very hard to decide. Please keep us posted.
As salam - u - alikum.
Please let me know he is coming to the Masjid for de bat with the Imam.
I like to be there in person. If you have his e-mail id please send it me.
Bravo, Brother Sheharyar Shaikh,
We would like to attend such a meeting. Though I doubt Tarek Fatah will come, but if he does, then please announce in the mosque and/or by email so that we could all attend.
Salam Ele Kum,
I would like to suggest that you must contact the Producer of the said TV channel & director Programmes & ask them to Call Mr. tariq & you among the same audiances & Participants to discuss the issues according to his understanding of Islam. Simultaneously, it will be more appropriate to call a meeting of all sects of Muslims around North America & offer him a disacussion with the group, also publish that offer in all leading news papers across North America.
Syed Mustafa Zaidi
Asalam Alaikum Mohtram.
We Muslims engaged in Christian Muslim Forum Of Canada appreciate your challenge and unconditionally support you.
If Mr. Tariq Fateh decides to accept the challenge, it should be an open house for the servants of Islam. Please do inform us if the Challange is accepted, about the place, day and time.
Tariq Khan/ Toronto
All the best and I am sure mr. Shaikh will have the capabilities to lead that guy the correct path bi iznilah.
May Allah guide every human being to the sirat el moustakeem.
Thank you for updating all of us on this correspondence. InshAllah I will be there.
As salaam alekum
Thank you brother! MashaAllah......I felt an overwhelming desire for someone to challenge this man when
I heard the words coming out of this guy's mouth on THE AGENDA.
May Allah be with you and may this prove to be a healthy and lively debate but I am afraid it will only give publicity to someone that thrives on it.
Assalamu alaikum. I hope this would be an inspiring and a thought-provoking intellectual discourse. What is the possibility of having it live for those who may not be able of making it physically to the event or having a video recording on the NAMF website?
Assalamu'Alaikum Mr. Khan,
This is great, in sha Allah I look forward to it and I will definitely try to attend. I hope that NAMF will record the debate and distribute it in any case!
Inshallah we shall attend the debate. Our duas for guidance and barakah in your efforts.
I understand that you want balance debates BUT to give this man a platform is utter nonsense. He cannot be reformed, he believes that Allah (God) could be a woman (he said that to me) Why waste time with him and hiskind except to seek publicity.
He has already started his ignorance in his emails to you.
Are going to have the media there, I hope you will since he is the muslim (small m) poster boy for the media.
I want them to report how he made himself a fool when you debate him.
Interestingly he does not want another language which is a cover for Quranic quotations because he does not know it or the Tafsir. BUT he is an Islamic expert and speak for the Muslims and promote by the media.
You need to also take on the media. Wonder if they will give you some exposure pre or post debate?
Assalam Alaykom brothers,
I suggest that you leave that guy alone. When you do challenges or debates with people like him, you make a value for him and some people are going to listen to him and some might fall for what he says if their eiman is weak.
Back home we say, when dogs bark for a long time and they don’t find someone to answer them, they just shut up.
Tareq is a bad person giving Islam and Muslims a bad name. I think ignoring him is the best thing you can do.
We should not advertise for people like him. Those people made a deal with the Devil and they will continue doing that to do Fitnah for the highest number possible.
May Allah guide us to what likes and wants and preserve us from Fitnah.
Jazakum Allah Khairan
Info Slice of New York
May Allah bless Imam Sheharyar Sheikh and give him the ability to strengthen the cause of this deen. I would suggest to make arrangements to have a very professional video produced of this event. I am willing to contribute towards this cause.
As salaam alaykum,
After Tarek Fatah (Canada's second most well-known `progressive Muslim', after Irshad Manji) shot his mouth off on interview after interview declaring that no Toronto imam or mosque has ever stepped up to the challenge of debating him or allowing him to speak in a mosque
Mr. Farooq Khan, executive director of the North American Muslim Foundation (NAMF), and Brother Sheharyar Shaikh
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhSVaimQhTA), the President and Imam of NAMF,
both circulated emails to a wide audience exposing this ploy of Fatah's as a fraud, since they had challenged him to debate Sheharyar at the NAMF mosque in Scarborough. The mosque, as some of you are aware, have hosted several interfaith debates in the past. I myself sent a letter (unpublished) to the Toronto Star exposing the fact that
Tarek Fatah was simply lying in order to raise his standing and value in the sight of the mainstream media and audience.
Alhamdu-lillah, Fatah has buckled under the pressure and accepted NAMF's invitation for a debate at the NAMF mosque on Saturday, January 29, 2011, insha-Allah. The debate topic(s) is yet to be set.
Below is the correspondence between the two men, in chronological order, which they have both agreed to circulate to the public.
Assalam-u-Alaikum wr wb,
masha Allah this would be nice debate.
Would this be telecasted live? for the ones that are not able to make it in to center.
Jazak Allahu khairan,
Assalamoalikum Warahmatulahi Wabarakatuhu
My name is Mahmood Qasim the Ameer of AlKauthar Institute in Toronto.
I just wanted to email you in support of your stance against Tarek Fateh. I will be there to attend the debate and make duaa that the truth prevail
Keep up the great work .
Jazak-Allah khair for this.....its about time this is happening.....When it does, could this debate be put on
U-tube or something, so that I can share it openly with my profs here at McMaster please?
Please keep us updated in this regard.....
With duas/ Wassalam,
Br. Farooq Khan, ASA.
Thank you for this information. Request please keep informed, especially when all is set.
Good morning Farook,
I have been following the discussion regarding Tarek Fateh with great interest.
I would like to reserve two tickets for the event in January, and will speak to Alladin on Monday.
Have a restful weekend.
Valerie Elliott Hyman
Hyman Associates Consulting
Farooq sahib, I have been asked to forward this to Br. Shariyar regarding the debate.
Abdul Hai Patel
Salaams Imam Patel,
I feel very apprehensive about this challenge by Imam Shaikh of NAMF, and have discussed it with Timothy Gianotti who feels likewise. The way it is framed, it does two things:
1. It shifts the discourse away from the main bone of contention with Fatah and his MCC, which is their constant and slanderous accusation of all mosque-going Muslims as being "Islamist" and "Jihadiist", subversives bent on a takeover of the West through "creeping sharia" and terrorist activity. The vast majority of Muslims are thereby portrayed as monolithic, zombie-like "others", bigoted and bloodthirsty aliens in our midst.
This challenge picks up the wrong gauntlet - it seeks to debate Fatah on Quranic interpretation, which is not the real issue involved. (The correct challenge to Fatah and MCC is to demand proof for their serious allegations of insidious treasonous activity, as Michael Enright did recently on the Sunday Edition).
2. Imam Shaikh purports to speak for "the vast majority of Toronto Muslims "and his views which will be expounded in the proposed debate will be taken to be the views of this supposed constituency on "issues such as the Islamic idea of niqab, religious allowance for a homosexual marriage, right to shariah arbitration,Quranic legitimacy of Israel, an Islamic state, etc", among others. This is a weighty responsibility for Imam Shaikh to assume, and I am not sure that it serves the Muslim community to have one person's views on Islam, however respected and erudite he might be, ascribed to us collectively. After all, one of the biggest myths that we are obliged to counter is that we are a monolithic community - a fearsome image when associated with our numbers and spread across the globe. The reality of course is that we are extremely diverse, a mosaic ourselves within the mosaic of "nations and tribes", and that one of our biggest challenges in the umma is to be respectful of our internal diversity. I don't know what Imam Shaikh's views are on the niqab, homosexual marriage, etc, but I don't think it's right for him to proffer them on behalf of "the vast majority of Toronto Muslims".
On whose authority and on what criteria?
I'm sharing this concern with you in the hope that if you agree with it, you will be in a position to counsel NAMF and Imam Shaikh to find a graceful way to alter or withdraw the challenge as currently conceived and articulated.
So, just to understand that this debate will have Quranic and Hadiath references or not and secondly the moderator from NAMF has been accepted by Mr. Tarek?
Just to have a clear picture of what is finalized.
Thanks in advance,
I suggest Nazim Baksh of the CBC to be the moderator.
Keep me posted on the event.
Tarik needs to understand he's neither a scholar or an educationist just a person with an inflated ego out to sell his book and profit from fear mongering and may be suffering from 2 of the main 3 types of paranoia: paranoid personality disorder & delusional (paranoid) disorder
He does not speak for me or my beliefs as a Muslim and I want no representation from him. He must not usurp my right because I do not support Muslims who wants to harm anyone (especially terrorist) they should be exposed.
All Imaams need to get the message out. Terrorism is not Jihad and not a methodology of Islam. Having said that,
Tarek is in no position to be the champion nor is he the champion of such a cause.
I would like at this time, also, to urge you brother to refrain from such words as "I'll have you know" it may be condescending and argumentative and can be construed as hate or spiteful speech even though this is not your intention.
Let's leave the irrational speech to Tarek Fattah so he can be exposed for what he is.
May Allah grant you success in the debate and all other such activites fee sa be lillah that you undertake.
Bro Hablur Rahman
Assalamualikum Br. Sheharyar,
Hope and pray all is well with you. Firstly, my gratitude to you on requesting this challenge to Mr. Tarek Fatah.
I sincerely hope and pray that Mr. Fatah has the courage and truthfulness to accept your request.
I say this because I feel Mr. Fatah has a notorious way of ignoring requests and emails when he gets challenged with true facts. Please see my correspondence (in emails to follow), with Mr. Fatah on his request to the Canadian Government to ban the niqab. I am still awaiting clarification from Mr. Fatah on why he thinks as a "Canadian citizen" and a
"Muslim the way the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad wanted..."(Steve Paikin's The Agenda), he thinks he has the right to go to the highest level of government to trample upon the rights and civil liberties of the common woman.
As you can see, all he could do is send me his article from the National Post. When I requested further clarification, he just ignored my email and got quite.
If Mr. Fatah's intention (by sending me his article from the National Post) was to say that Muslim women should not be compelled to wear the niqab by Imams, is he not doing the exact same thing, by compelling and forcing Muslim women not to wear the niqab, by getting a law passed by the government? In fact, I would say that at least these imams are not going to the government for their beliefs and views to be imposed by law!!! So they are not compelling any woman to follow their view. On the contrary, Mr. Fatah, is doing exactly that - compelling us women by getting a law passed. How "democratic" and "Muslim the way the Quran and the Prophet wanted...
"(Steve Paikin's The Agenda), is that????
As salam alaikum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh
I make dua for your success. Will it be broadcast online or will it be recorded? I will be in the U.S. at that time.
Wa alaikum as Salam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh
Dear br Farooq
How can we watch that in the US. ?
Assalaamu Alaikum. I am pleased to receive the info on the challenge. I would like more clarification on his matter.
Great work mashaAllah. Please tell Sheryar to keep his intention pure, and allow Allah to expose the falsehoods.
AA Farooq / Sheharyar
Good job. Keep going.
I am hoping that the tone of the debate will not be as adversarial as the present discussion about the planning of the debate is.
I believe that an utmost self control and a disregard of any provocations by both parties will go a long way towards letting the audience focus on the contents of the debate itself.
I also hope that the NAMF will plan raising of pertinent, relevant and thought provoking questions from our audience well before the date of the event.
With best wishes,
pls reminder to everyone atleast one week before.
As salam u Alikum
Dear Mr. Sheharyar Shaikh. Dear sir could you ask him wellhe be ok with Dr. ABDALLA IDRIS or
Shaikh AKA AAL SYAEED.or Shaikh AHMED KUTTY.as Moderator. jazak allah. Moheebulla Waht would be the topic for this debate let us know if there is one topic they both should stick on that only
Subject: Tarik Fatah
Details: It is simply a waste of time to debate with Tarik Fateh - There are many like him around with twisted mind & satanic motives - these people are only used by the media to bring sensations and controversies within Muslim groups and to endorse the sentiments of enemies of Islam - The more Muslim will pay attention and interact with these people the more they will be encouraged and promoted - so just dump them and march forward to bring up and practice the true Islam as guided by the final most Nabi & Rasool Muhammed ( sav ).
Please forward my comment to Imam Shahr Yaar Sheikh of Masjid e Qurtubah with a copy to me at his email.
=====================================================================Assalaamu alaikum Brothers
I fear you are making a grave mistake here. By engaging in a debate with this man you are simply granting him credibility, not to mention tacitly accepting his label of being an "Islamist". Tarek Fatah represents the lunatic fringe of Islam.
Engaging with him would bring no benefit whatsoever, either to NAMF or Muslims in general. You will not change his views and this is the only possible beneficial outcome from this exercise. Instead you will now become a feather in his cap, whether he prevails in the debate or not. May I ask how you plan to respond to or refute any statements he may make after the fact about you or the debate? He has ready access to the media and many sympathetic ears there, you do not.
The fact that Mr Fatah and his ilk constantly feature in the media is the problem that NAMF should channel their energies to help address. Muslims in Canada need to make a concerted effort to pressure the media by bringing the facts as they relate to Mr Fatah and Irshad Manji in particular, to their attention. These people do not represent anyone but themselves and a handful of lackeys yet they are allowed to speak on behalf of a supposed "moderate/progressive/liberal" Islam. NAMF would do well to spearhead such an initiative since no one else seems willing or able.
Please fogive me if any of my comments may cause offence. They are only meant as constructive criticism.
Jazakh Allahu Khairan
Dear Mr. Shaheryar/Farooq Khan,
This is re Tariq Fatah. Years ago i met somebody who knew Tarek Fatah from Karachi who mentioned: Exact words.
"Yeh to shrou say thora hilla hua hay" Naturally everything to him is "thori hilly hoi". Please don't waist your precious time on creatures like him and give him importance. The saying that "Badnam Jo hoon gayn to kya nam no ho ga" is for these people. ( just my opinion, i could be wrong) Thanks.
Dear Farooq sahib ASMK
For your information, please.
Mississauga, Greater Toronto
It looks Tarek Fatah is not coming to listen others but to give his views that will create a bad scene and people may get angry as usual. The audience should ask question but should not be angry. If possible Dr. Muneer El Kasim from London, Ontario and Dr. Abdullah Idris from ISNA may be invited to control this show and to response to misunderstanding of Islam by Tarek Fatah in addition to moderator from TVO.
Mohammed Ahmad, P. Eng
From Daanish Memon:
I love Tarek Fatah's courage to stand up in the face of malpractices and mispractices carried out in the name of Islam as there are very many due to a lack of understanding about Islam caused by poor teaching, learning and life management skills.
What I don't like about Tarek Fatah's style of debating is the anger. Rather than breaking down his points into arguments and seeking mutual understanding and agreement he gets angry and assumes like many of the 'islamists' whom he debates that the louder and more persistent voice, the metaphorical big gun, will win.
Tarek Bhai, I respect you for standing up to the poor results produced in the name of Islam. However, your approach (not you) is just as repugnant to me as the approach of imams who think that they know it all and don't have the logic skills to break down their points and get them across. You cut off moderators and get angered by opinions that you don't like.
Please consider getting your points across respectfully in the manner of Shabir Ally whom you respect so that we may see a real exchange of points of view and not just displays of anger and frustration.
Please let him have a say in this issue so he won't used it as a reason not to show up.
Is this Imam the same guy who was informant of RCMP in Toronto 17 case??? Sheheryar
...that name rings a bell.
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rehmatualhi Wa Barakatahu, Bhai Sheharyar Shaikh,
Allau Akbar! Somebody stood up to him! I read your letter below. Masha'Allah, excellent reply to the already started debate or fired the salvo with the date issue, firing at everybody, Subhan'Allah!
May Allah (swt) help you in convincing him & others like him, bringing all towards understanding Allah (swt's) true Islam, which is practical & benefits us human kind, Here & Hereafter, Ameen.
Shukran Jazeelan, Jazakumullahu Khaiyran, Wassalam,
We all know that Mr. Fatah will look for every excuse not to show up...just wait and you will see.
As -Salam-u ‘Alaikum,
Thank you being in touch.............Let us know the date and time.......
Great reply. It was done without anger even though Tarik was trying to frame/blame u for not being professional and giving sly comments here and there. I really hope he inshallah gets guided and his misconceptions about Islam would be eliminated. The least he can do is stop attacking Muslims/imams trying to live there lives the proper way and stop interfering.
May Allah reward u ÇÎí
Just wanted to send you the email below. It may be of interest to you, especially paragraph 6 in which you are mentioned.
Hope all else is well. Take care, Sobiya
Sobiya Syed, OT Reg. (Ont.)
Nahed Nanshi, the new Mayor of Calgary, an Ismaili Muslim has better views on multiculturalism than Mr. Tarik Fatah. “Islamophobia” is the full time career and business of Tarek Fateh. Watch the Video.