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June 03, 2008


Jameel Bacha

The name Tarek Fatah might soon be included in dictionaries as a synonym for intolerance, many, many who had known and befriended Tarek Fatah would say.

For this media savvy, power hungry opportunist to talk about intolerance in others' is laughable!

This is how Tarek Fatah show ed his 'tolerance' when he disagreed with Irshad Manji's book "The Trouble with Islam":

"This book is written by the Jews for the Jews."

Yes, Mr. Tarek: It must be a Jewish conspiracy behind the book!


Jameel, maybe you have a source or reference for that statement? I did a quick google search and didn't find anything like that. Care to substantiate your allegation?

jameel bacha

Please read Irshad Manji's letter (The Globe & Mail, December 2, 2003).

It was Googleable, Miss Kelly. But that is before Tarek Fatah "apologized" to Irshad Manji about his criticism of her book and then... "This book is written by the Jews for the Jews" magically ceased being Googleable! But I am confident Ms Manji's letter to the Globe & Mail of December 2, 2003 would not be made to magically disappear. Please check it Ms Kelly.

jameel bacha

Ms Kelly,

Please read about Tarek Fatah apologizing to Irshad Manji


Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, at one point said Irshad Manji's book, The Trouble With Islam Today, was not addressed to Muslims but, he wrote, "aimed at making Muslim-haters feel secure in their thinking."

Today, Fatah says he regrets that.

"Looking back to the time I slammed Irshad Manji's book, I now realize I was unfair to her. There were many redeeming points in her memoir, which I overlooked in my rush to judge it.

"For example, she was right in identifying systemic racism in the Muslim world as one of the cancers impeding a Muslim renaissance. I was wrong in overlooking that fact. Having said that, her allegation that I am anti-Jewish was amusing, considering the fact that some Islamist bloggers charge me with being a Zionist."

jameel bacha's comment: Amazing that Tarek Fatah kept silent on that allegation until he apologized to Ms Manji. Why didn't he react or comment or sue the G&M and Irshad Manji on that allegation before his apology ? I think it is very clear, Ms Kelly!

Yes it was the "savior of Muslim women" who -Irshad Manji reported in her letter to the G&M- said "This book is written by the Jews for the Jews."

Once he has shaken his head from Jewish conspiracies theories, Tarek Fatah might aspire at some credibility as human rights and women's rights "advocate".

jameel bacha

Dear Ms Kelly,

In response to your request that I substantiate my "allegation", I am pleased to provide you (below) with the text of Irshad Manji's letter to the Globe and Mail. Ms Manji has not only reported Mr. Fatah as saying "This book is written by the Jews for the Jews", but reported that he said it in front of others besides Ms. Manji.

Thank you

jameel bacha


The trouble with à la carte critics

The Globe & Mail,
Tuesday, December 2, 2003 - Page A23

In these pages last Thursday, Tarek Fatah asked me to remove him from the acknowledgments of my book, The Trouble with Islam. Along the way, he called me a "fast-food historian." When detractors spend the time and effort to write such an article, it's usually because they know there's truth in the claims with which they're taking issue. Thank you, Mr. Fatah, for making that subtle point.Still, I appreciate that Mr. Fatah doesn't want more thanks. And he won't get my gratitude on a related matter: his selectiveness about what I've written -- and corroborated -- about Muslims and Nazis. Mr. Fatah rightly quotes me as saying that the chief Muslim cleric of Jerusalem in the 1930s, Haj Amin al-Husseini, allied himself with the Nazis and "wound up as Hitler's special guest in Berlin, presiding over the unveiling of the Islamic Central Institute in December, 1942." He then accuses me of using that fact to smear the world's 1.2 billion Muslims.He should have read the very next paragraph in my book, which acknowledges that some Muslims refused to hitch themselves to Hitler -- despite Haj Amin's effort to recruit them. I emphasized that "Bosnian Muslims not only resisted his charms, but actively hid Jews in their homes." Yet we hear nothing about this from Mr. Fatah, the à la carte critic of a fast-food historian.What we hear, instead, is huffing and puffing over my phrase, "Muslim complicity." I don't retract it. Many Muslims did participate in the Axis war effort, a reality rarely mentioned when we Muslims righteously remind Jews that the Holocaust happened in Christian Europe. Mr. Fatah asks, "Should we talk of Christian complicity in the Holocaust?" Yes, we should.And there are books that do exactly that. For example: Daniel Goldhagen's A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair. I look forward to Mr. Fatah's book, The Trouble with Moral reckoning.Finally, Mr. Fatah opines that The Trouble with Islam "is not addressed to Muslims; it is aimed at making Muslim-haters feel secure in their thinking."Who precisely does he mean by "Muslim-haters"? Mr. Fatah recently came clean to me in a TV studio. After the cameras stopped rolling, but in front of the host and crew, he bellowed, "This book was written by the Jews for the Jews!" It's painful to hear such words fly from the mouth of a self-declared Muslim reformer -- an individual who has said that too many Muslims wallow in conspiracy theories.Indeed, it's because of such honest comments that I included him and his wife in my acknowledgments. Moreover, I did so with their permission.But in light of Mr. Fatah's finger-pointing at "the Jews" -- a political response to my book rather than an intellectual one -- I do have to reconsider.In the next edition, my thanks to him might be for revealing just how deep the trouble with Islam is today.

Irshad Manji is host of TVOntario's Big Ideas series and author of The Trouble with Islam: A Wake-Up Call for Honesty and Change.


jameel bacha

Ms Kelly,

Here is the letter to the G& Mail. Found in Ms Manji's website:


Mr Tarek Fatah a credible personage?

miss kelly

Thanks, Jameel, for digging up all that info and providing a primary source. The public brou-haha between Irshad Manji and Tarek Fatah is well known, even Wikpedia has an entry about it. Fatah's outburst was disturbing, but sorry, I'm not going to completely discredit Tarek Fatah and his work on account of his saying a stupid thing. (And I'm not a big fan of Irshad Manji.)


I reviewed Tarek Fatah's book, Chasing a Mirage (2008), here. I think you'll find it interesting.


It is valuable for us to look at all sorts of opinions, and it is also vital to know when information if factual or falsehood.

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