An Indian born in Pakistan: Meet and chat with Tarek Fatah at Firstpost Salon this Thursday

Tarek Fatah will be the featured guest for the fourth Firstpost Salon, a series of conversations with the sharpest minds and biggest names.

From a leftist student twice imprisoned by military dictators in Pakistan to a popular journalist in Canada, Tarek Fatah has not lost his feistiness. After the 11 September, 2001, attacks shocked the world, Tarek founded the Muslim Canadian Congress, a platform for Muslims who denounce armed jihad to express their views. He has always spoken out in favour of a more liberal form of Islam by supporting gay rights, denouncing Sharia laws and supporting the ban on the burqa and the niqab. He has also spoken out against the US occupation of Iraq.

File image of Tarek Fatah. IBN-Live

File image of Tarek Fatah. IBN-Live

An author, columnist and broadcaster, Fatah was born in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1949. He later moved to Saudi Arabia and then emigrated to Canada in 1987. He has hosted several television shows including Muslim Chronicle, The Agenda, Strong Opinions Show, Friendly Fire and The Tarek Fatah Show. He writes a column for The Toronto Sun.

Tarek describes himself on his website tarekfatah.com as being “an Indian born in Pakistan, a Punjabi born in Islam; an immigrant in Canada with a Muslim consciousness, grounded in a Marxist youth…I write as a Muslim whose ancestors were Hindu. My religion, Islam, is rooted in Judaism, while my Punjabi culture is tied to that of the Sikhs. Yet I am told by Islamists that without shedding this multifaceted heritage, if not outrightly rejecting it, I cannot be considered a true Muslim.”

In 2008, he released his first book, Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State, in which he states his belief that the Islamic state (not to be confused with the terrorist organisation Islamic State) is an unattainable goal that Muslims have been chasing for a millennium. The book was a finalist for the 2008 Donner Prize. Two years later, his second book The Jew is Not My Enemy won the Helen and Stan Vine Award.

Raghu Raman, former CEO of Natgrid and an expert on security and defence matters and himself a TEDx India regular, will engage Tarek Fatah in conversation on Thursday, 26 November. We will be live-streaming from 6 pm. Do tune in and don't forget to send us your questions for Tarek on Twitter (@firstpost) or on Facebook so we can include them in the conversation.

Seven years after Tarek's first book and two weeks after the deadly Paris attacks that announced the arrival of the IS beyond Syria, Iraq and the Middle East, it is time to reflect if the ‘illusion’ of an Islamic State is getting dangerously closer to reality? Has radicalisation of Muslim youth taken firm roots? Why? How will the world, Muslim and the rest, deal with this clear and present danger? Is the combined military might of the global powers enough to stamp out the IS? Or does the solution lie elsewhere?

Is there a solution at all?

These are some of the questions that will be asked of Tarek, one of the most outspoken critics of the very idea of an Islamic State.

The good news this time is that the Fourth FP Salon is being thrown open to a limited number of Firstpost readers.

All you have to do to get that Special Invitation is to answer this simple question:

Why did Tarek Fateh do a mixture of the lungi dance and bhangra on 28 August?

Rush your answer with your contact number to sheon.dias@web18.in. The first 20 persons to provide the right answer will be invited as Special Guests.

Mumbai-based winners can attend the event in person. Those living outside Mumbai will have their questions answered by Tarek.


Updated Date: Nov 23, 2015 12:20 PM