Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Challenging, Debunking Tarek Fatah's Anti-Pakistan, Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

Tarek Fatah, a Karachi-born Canada-based writer,  is loved in India mainly by Hindu Nationalists for his strong anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim views. He is warmly welcomed and given lots of praise and attention during his frequent visits to India where his views resonate with those on the extreme right of the Indian political spectrum.

Among other things, he has emerged as a strong advocate for separation of Balochistan from Pakistan. He dismisses all those who disagree with him, including well-known pro-independence Baloch nationalists like Malik Siraj Akbar, as ISI agents.

In the West, Tarek Fatah has aligned himself with well-known Islamophobes like Frank Gaffney who is a policy advisor to the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Viewpoint From Overseas has now done two shows to challenge Tarek Fatah on his oft-repeated anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim rhetoric. Please watch these two shows shared below:

1. Tarek Fatah Vs Cemendtaur on India, Pakistan, South Asia, Balochistan


2. Tarek Fatah vs Riaz Haq on India, Pakistan and Muslims


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India's Proxy War Against Pakistan

Hinduization of India

Hindu Nationalists Admire Hitler, Nazis

Western Islamophobia Industry

Trump's Muslim Ban

Talk4Pak Think Tank


Syed S. said...

Thanks for taking up with Tarek Fatah on this issue Riaz. He is the scum bag who is biting the hand which fed him. He probably has taken his cue from Salman Rushdie to amass some dough. Let's just hope he rots in hell.

Anonymous said...

Here's Tarek Fatah arguing for break-up of India. Is he right? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4RaqAzcmFs

Haseeb R. said...

Tarek Fatah is sold out RAW employee

Riaz Haq said...

Why The Hindutva Brigade Loves This Man Despite His Call For India's Break-Up

by Shivam Vij:

“If it ever dissolves into voluntary dissolution, it would be the best thing that would happen to India,” says Tarek Fatah in an undated video that has appeared online. Fatah has confirmed the video is not doctored.

Fatah describes himself as “an Indian born in Pakistan”. A Canadian citizen, Fatah’s strident anti-Pakistan rants, and his lazy clubbing of Islamists and leftists, made him a darling of the Hindu right. Fatah is a much-wanted celebrity amongst the Hindu right, especially that section of it which is trying to build a right-wing intellectual “ecosystem”.

The Canadian-Pakistani political commentator is now so influential among the Indian right-wing that he even takes credit for the renaming of roads in Lutyen’s Delhi. In August 2015, Fatah had said in a speech in Delhi that Indians were the only people who could stand up to the Islamic state by renaming Aurangzeb Road as Dara Shikoh Road.

Having given him such prominence and access, the Hindutva brigade is now embarrassed and divided. Some are not convinced, others seeing nuance in the statement, or arguing that Fatah’s views have evolved.


Suhail said...

Hussain Haqqani
Ahmed Rashid
Marvi Sirmed
Pervez Hoodbuoy
Ayesha Siddiqa
Najam Sethi
Hassan Nisar

And there are many more intellectuals that passionately disagree with the common Pakistani (Military backed) discourse of the last 70 years. All have visited India.

Ahmed F. said...

I can't stand him. He was with me at KU, I think in the English Department. Later he worked at the newspaper, The Sun, and later in Saudi with Arab News.

I got reacquainted with him around 2003 through a common friend who is also from KU, Munir Pervaiz. Munir is a great guy.

Initially I thought Tarek and I shared some common views. Then we parted company. He is arrogant without any obvious reason for being so.

He would post bizarre statements on FB and when I began to question him, he asked me to stick to my day job. Maybe I was sarcastic in one of my comments so he yelled back: sarcasm is not your strong suite ; and then he befriended me.

That just goes to show how insecure he is.

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmed F: "I can't stand him. He was with me at KU"

Tarek doesn't like to be confronted with facts. He is most comfortable in the company of his adoring fans. He's a darling of the Hindutva brigade in India.


Riaz Haq said...

Suhail: "And there are many more intellectuals that passionately disagree with the common Pakistani (Military backed) discourse of the last 70 years. All have visited India. "

What did they do there?

Did they promote the break-up of Pakistan?

Did they support those who take up arms to attack the Pakistani state?

Did they pander to the Hindutva brigade?

Did they ask for Indian citizenship?

Did they accuse anyone who disagrees with them of being ISI agents?

Do they use foul language? ( Read pro-Independence Baloch Nationalist Malik Siraj Akbar: http://www.balochhal.com/2016/05/11/dangerous-interlocutors/ )

Tarek Fatah has done all of the above.

Riaz Haq said...

Dangerous Interlocutors

By Malik Siraj Akbar (Pro-Independence Baloch Nationalist) Published on May 11, 2016

The conference discussed various aspects of the conflict in Balochistan but, unfortunately, it turned ugly at the end when panelist Tarek Fatah used extremely filthy language against a Pakistani reporter whom he accused of being “an ISI agent” even before the poor reporter from the ARY News could ask his question. When a Baloch father present at the conference felt uncomfortable with the use of vulgar language in front of two of his daughters and insisted that this was not the Baloch way of conducting dialogue even with one’s worst enemies, an unapologetic Fatah lambasted him too.

While the UNPO had provided the Baloch a unique opportunity to voice their grievances, it is entirely upon the Baloch people to take advantage of these opportunities to put their case forward. Washington is undeniably the most important world capital for the Baloch if they want to get international support for their movement. Emotional and abusive supporters of the Baloch cause, such as Mr. Fatah, certainly look entertaining on an Arnab Goswami talk-show but they will have a damaging effect on the Baloch movement.

In order to successfully lobby in Washington D.C for their rights, Baloch activists and supporters must realize that insulting journalists, labeling them as ‘agents’ and confronting them with abusive language is a brazen assault on the freedom of the press and it will tarnish their image at a time when the Baloch need more friends in Washington and elsewhere in the world. Such aggressive behavior is undemocratic, intolerant and, above all, utterly unacceptable in the United States and western democracies.

The Baloch must understand (and I am sure many do) that difference of opinion is an integral part of human nature and anyone who disagrees with us does not become an “ISI agent”. People don’t have to agree with us all the time nor are they under any obligation to subscribe to our point of view. Even if their point of view is completely different from ours, they deserve the same amount of respect that we seek for ourselves.

Furthermore, in Pakistan it might be deemed embarrassing or offensive to be called a foreign agent but in the United States it is totally fine, legal and considered lucrative to work as a lobbyist or an agent for a foreign government after registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Top American universities like Harvard offer courses on lobbying.

So, Baloch activists must understand the American political culture if they someday encounter a real “Pakistani agent” at a conference. They might ask the Baloch tough and knotty questions. On their part, the Baloch activists must be absolutely prepared to answer these questions if they intend to make Washington their new lobbying ground. Washington is a city of spies, lobbyists and agents. Everybody is out there to quash the other. Only the fittest will survive; the rest will vanish.

Waheed Baloch, a former Speaker of the Balochistan Assembly, rightly reminded Mr. Fatah that the Baloch can defend their position with historical facts and figures and logical arguments without becoming emotional, reactionary or resorting to abusive language.


SWH said...

Tarek Fatah was with us in university and had been anti Islam and Muslims from then.
May Allah SWT give him and all of us Hidayat.

Anonymous said...

In the new video both Faraz and the other gentleman (Misbah) implore Tarek to move to 2016 and not get stuck at 1947 re: Balochistan. Fair enuf. Can India expect the same for Kashmir.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "In the new video both Faraz and the other gentleman (Misbah) implore Tarek to move to 2016 and not get stuck at 1947 re: Balochistan. Fair enuf. Can India expect the same for Kashmir. "

Balochistan and Kashmir situations are completely different for the following reasons:

1. Balochistan is recognized by the international community, including India, as integral parts of Pakistan. On the other hand, Kashmir is not recognized by the international community as part of India.

2. There are UN resolutions giving the right of self-determination to the Kashmiris. There are no such UN resolutions on Balochistan.

BUGTI-FE said...

East Pakistan was also a part of Pakistan but that didn't prevent it from becoming Bangladesh. Baloch people are determined to make Balochistan independent - mark our word.

Riaz Haq said...

BUGTI-FE: "East Pakistan was also a part of Pakistan but that didn't prevent it from becoming Bangladesh. Baloch people are determined to make Balochistan independent - mark our word."

There are several reasons why yours will remain a pipe dream:

1. Baloch separatists lack the legitimacy that Shaikh Mujib and his Awami League enjoyed in East Pakistan in 1971. Mujib and his party won an election in East Pakistan by overwhelming majority to establish their bona fides as undisputed representatives of Bengalis.

2. East Pakistan was almost 100% Bengali-speaking. On the other hand, Balochistan has three major ethnic groups: Baloch, Pashtun and Brahui. Separatists enjoy the support of a minority of Baloch population in a few districts of Balochistan.

3. Baloch people are deeply integrated in the fabric of Pakistani nation. There are as many Baloch living outside Balochistan in other parts of Pakistan as there are in Balochistan. Pakistan has had two Baloch presidents (Leghari and Zardari) and two Baloch prime ministers (Jamali and Khoso). Pakistan's second Army Chief Gen Musa was a Hazara from Balochistan.

4. Bengalis of East Pakistan were not deeply divided along tribal lines. There was no infighting there. They weren't killing each other. Their entire focus was on defeating Pakistan Army.

5. Unlike East Pakistan, Balochistan is not surrounded by India. In fact It has no border with India. It's not 1000 miles away from the rest of Pakistan.

6. A few thousand Baloch insurgents are no more than a manageable nuisance for Pakistani security forces.

7. No country has ever invaded a nuclear-armed country. India is in no position to invade any part of Pakistan today as it invaded East Pakistan in 1971. There would be no Bangladesh today had India not invaded East Pakistan and defeated Pakistan Army there.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Riaz I am from India and would like to remind Indian as well as Pakistani government that there will be no peace in balochistan or Kashmir unless and until there are enough opportunities available to the youth to keep themselves busy and prosperous. I am sure with growing population both countries will have huge social issues. Trying to debate whether balochistan should remain with Pakistan and Kashmir should remain with Pakistan or India or independent is futile.
I hope you write articles about solutions to problems within their own territories.

Riaz Haq said...

Changing of Map of #India : A year by year map history of #India from the 4th century BC to date https://youtu.be/QN41DJLQmPk via @YouTube

Bottom Line: What we call India today was never one united country before the British Raj. The closest it came to it briefly was under Chandragupta Maurya and then Mughals.

Srinivasan said...

Yes right. Christopher Columbus set out to find a good route for Pakistan / South Asia.

Riaz Haq said...

Srinavasan: "Yes right. Christopher Columbus set out to find a good route for Pakistan / South Asia."

What attracted Columbus and other Europeans to India was its reputation as a "golden bird" built under Muslim rule.

Read Paknja Mishra's Op Ed in NY Times:

India, V.S. Naipaul declared in 1976, is “a wounded civilization,” whose obvious political and economic dysfunction conceals a deeper intellectual crisis. As evidence, he pointed out some strange symptoms he noticed among upper-caste middle-class Hindus since his first visit to his ancestral country in 1962. These well-born Indians betrayed a craze for “phoren” consumer goods and approval from the West, as well as a self-important paranoia about the “foreign hand.” “Without the foreign chit,” Mr. Naipaul concluded, “Indians can have no confirmation of their own reality.”

Mr. Naipaul was also appalled by the prickly vanity of many Hindus who asserted that their holy scriptures already contained the discoveries and inventions of Western science, and that an India revitalized by its ancient wisdom would soon vanquish the decadent West. He was particularly wary of the “apocalyptic Hindu terms” of such 19th-century religious revivalists as Swami Vivekananda, whose exhortation to nation-build through the ethic of the kshatriya (the warrior caste) has made him the central icon of India’s new Hindu nationalist rulers.
A Harvard-trained economist called Subramanian Swamy recently demanded a public bonfire of canonical books by Indian historians — liberal and secular intellectuals who belong to what the R.S.S. chief in 2000 identified as that “class of bastards which tries to implant an alien culture in their land.” Denounced by the numerous Hindu supremacists in social media as “sickular libtards” and sepoys (the common name for Indian soldiers in British armies), these intellectuals apparently are Trojan horses of the West. They must be purged to realize Mr. Modi’s vision in which India, once known as the “golden bird,” will “rise again.”

Mr. Modi doesn’t seem to know that India’s reputation as a “golden bird” flourished during the long centuries when it was allegedly enslaved by Muslims. A range of esteemed scholars — from Sheldon Pollock to Jonardon Ganeri — have demonstrated beyond doubt that this period before British rule witnessed some of the greatest achievements in Indian philosophy, literature, music, painting and architecture. The psychic wounds Mr. Naipaul noticed among semi-Westernized upper-caste Hindus actually date to the Indian elite’s humiliating encounter with the geopolitical and cultural dominance first of Europe and then of America.


Riaz Haq said...

#India-Occupied #Kashmir: Troops kill 7 Protesters. More #Indian troops being airlifted to #Srinagar as anger rises

SRINAGAR, India — Indian troops fired on protesters in Kashmir on Saturday, killing at least seven as tens of thousands of people defied a curfew and participated in the funeral of a top rebel commander a day after he was killed by Indian forces in the disputed Himalayan region, officials said.

Burhan Wani, chief of operations of Hizbul Mujahideen, Indian-controlled Kashmir's largest rebel group, was killed in fighting Friday after Indian troops, acting on a tip, cordoned a forested village in southern Kashmir's Kokernag area, said Police Director-General K. Rajendra.

As news of the killing spread on Saturday, widespread clashes erupted in several neighborhoods in southern Kashmir as thousands of residents hurled rocks at Indian troops, who responded by using live ammunition, pellet guns and tear gas, two police officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with department policy. They said at least 60 civilians were wounded in the clashes.

Local police intelligence chief Shiv M. Sahai said that seven men were killed in "retaliatory action" by government troops. Another man drowned as he tried to flee government troops.

Sahai said that protesters attacked several police and paramilitary posts in the region. Some 90 government troops were injured, he said.

Street clashes spread to Indian Kashmir's main city of Srinagar and at least a dozen places in central and northern Kashmir.

Muslim-majority Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed in entirety by both. On India's side, separatist politicians and rebels reject Indian rule over the region and have been fighting for independence or merger with Pakistan since 1989.

After separatist leaders asked people to march to southern Tral town for Wani's funeral on Saturday, police warned that only local residents would be allowed to participate. But tens of thousands of mourners joined the funeral procession in defiance of the restrictions, chanting "Go India! Go back!" and "We want freedom!"

Wani's body was buried in the late afternoon amid mass wailing and angry chants of anti-India slogans. Witnesses said at least two militants fired pistol rounds in the air to salute their fallen commander.

Earlier in the day, thousands of armed police and paramilitary soldiers in riot gear fanned out across most towns and villages in the region and drove through neighborhoods, warning residents to stay indoors.

Two rebel comrades of Wani were also killed in Friday's gunbattle.

Wani, in his early 20s, had become the iconic face of militancy in Kashmir over the last five years. He was a household name and his video clips and pictures were widely circulated among young people in Kashmir.

Unlike the rebel leaders of the early 1990s, Wani did not cover his face in videos widely circulated on cellphones.

Inspector-General Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani described his killing as the "biggest success against militants" in recent years.

Indian officials, fearing that the killing could lead to violent protests in the already troubled region, suspended an annual Hindu pilgrimage to a mountain cave which draws about half a million people each year.

Wani was a small-town boy and the son of a school principal. Handsome and media savvy, he was widely credited for reviving armed militancy in Indian Kashmir in recent years, using social media like Facebook to reach out to young Kashmiri men.


Riaz Haq said...

From #Modi's Guru Golwalkar to #GOP's #Trump: #India's #Hindu Nationalists Cheer & Pray for #Trump. #Islamophobia

INDIA’S Hindu right is desperately seeking a role in the American elections even if it’s a walk-on appearance in a crowd scene. It asks if its right-wing friends from Israel can tip the balance in a keen American contest, why can’t the Hindu right be at least a cheerleader. After being rapped on the knuckles by Barack Obama a few times — following the cordial talks with Prime Minister Modi in Delhi, for example — the Hindu right wants a less censorious incumbent in the White House. Public prayers and weird voodoo rituals have been invoked to boost the chances of Donald Trump.

The two have much in common. Mr Trump claims to speak for core American values, passing off contrived fear for nationalist fervour. In India, the Hindu right has laid claim to defining — rather, it has been allowed by a somnolent opposition to prescribe — what is nationalist and what isn’t. Someone’s stand on the Kashmiri uprising is the signal for praise or rebuke. They both hate Muslims. And, as Mr Trump’s aversion of Latinos expands his arena of nurtured prejudices the Hindu right targets the tribal communities of the northeast.

Hindtuva goons, raised on political patronage, periodically bludgeon Manipuri and other people from the northeast in Delhi and elsewhere. Mr Trump’s veiled fear of African Americans mutates in India into physical assaults on students and visitors of dark complexion. As with Muslims and Dalits, African residents find it difficult to rent a house in Delhi.

Mr Trump and the Hindu right have a common ancestor too: Adolf Hitler. As such, they are joined at the hip in their biases. About Muslims, Trump says: “They’re not coming to this country if I’m president. And if Obama has brought some to this country they are leaving, they’re going, they’re gone.”

Trump and the Hindu right have a common ancestor: Adolf Hitler. As such, they are joined at the hip in their biases.
As his wife plagiarised from Michelle Obama’s speech, Trump borrowed without attribution from Guru Golwakar’s book We or Our Nationhood Defined. The early pioneer of the Hindu right wrote: “The non-Hindu people of Hindustan must either adopt Hindu culture and language, must learn and respect and hold in reverence the Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but of those of glorification of the Hindu race and culture ... In a word, they must cease to be foreigners, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment — not even citizens’ rights.”

There was a notable difference though. Golwalkar’s reference to non-Hindu people included Indian Christians. This should not deter any alliance of two utterly right-wing demagogues. After all, Golwakar’s praise of Germany’s treatment of Jews didn’t deter his followers from bonding with right-wing leaders in Israel.

“To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic Races — the Jews,” Golwalkar wrote with approval. “Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by. Ever since that evil day, when Moslems first landed in Hindustan, right up to the present moment, the Hindu Nation has been gallantly fighting on to take on these despoilers. The Race Spirit has been awakening.”

Riaz Haq said...

Barhumdagh's cousin, Shahzain, grandson of Akbar Bugti, backs #Pakistan, ready to fight #India. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/barhumdagh-bugtis-cousin-backs-pakistan-says-will-fight-india-3049839/ … via @IndianExpress

In a sign of internal rivalry in the Baloch separatist movement, Brahumdagh Bugti’s cousin has said he would fight for Pakistan in the event of a war with India. Shahzain Bugti, a grandson of slain Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, has said that if war breaks out with India he and his tribal warriors would fight against Indian troops along with the Pakistan Army.

Shahzain, a cousin of Geneva-based Brahumdagh who has sought asylum in India, said at the annual convention of the Jamhoori Watan Party which was formed by his grandfather that the Bugti tribe would always stand in defence of Pakistan.
“Brahumdagh can stay in India or Geneva that is his personal decision. But as far as I or the party is concerned we will always follow the dictates of Nawab Akbar Bugti,” Shahzain said.
He said his grandfather had opted for Pakistan at the time of Partition and his party would remain loyal to this ideology.
“Nawab Akbar Bugti was always with Pakistan and in the past also our tribesmen fought for Pakistan. Nothing has changed. Our ideology is the same. Even today if India goes to war with Pakistan we will defend the Pakistani borders,” he said.
Ever since nationalist leader Akbar Bugti was killed in a military operation in August, 2006, there has been a war of succession between three of his grandsons including Shahzain and Brahumdagh who are both claimants to the title of the tribe’s chieftainship, and have refused to recognise Aali Bugti as his successor.
Akbar Bugti had decided to nominate Brahumdagh as his successor during his lifetime but met with resistance from several tribal elders.
He had informally appointed Brahumdagh as his political successor and Mir Aali as his tribal successor. Brahumdagh, who has been living in Switzerland, on Tuesday approached the Indian Embassy in Geneva seeking political asylum in India. His application was received by the Home Ministry in New Delhi which is examining it.
The troubled Balochistan province has been in the eye of a storm since Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the atrocities and human rights violations being committed in the province. India has also raised the Balochistan issue at the UN.
On Saturday, several hundred tribesmen also held a demonstration against India insisting they would fight side by side with the Pakistan military if war breaks out.

Riaz Haq said...

Row breaks out over #TarekFatah's insults at Panjab University in #chandigarh #India | The Indian Express


A HUGE row broke out between Panjab University students and Pakistan-born Canadian writer Tarek Fatah after the latter allegedly called a J&K student terrorist. Tarek had been invited to deliver a Tedx talk on Balochistan. After the fracas, the organisers called off his talk, scheduled for Thursday.
Gagandeep Singh Dhillon, a PhD scholar in geography, said: “I was sitting at the physics canteen when Tarek came and began an informal interaction with students. We were discussing yesterday’s Nagrota terror attack. When he was talking to us, the department librarian came. When the students rose to show respect, Tarek told them, ‘Indians need to stop giving such treatment to their seniors’.”

Dhillon said Tarek mocked at the librarian and asked him to tell the students to sit. Immediately, an altercation ensued. Among those arguing was Mustafa, a PhD scholar from Kargil. “Tarek was saying, ‘He would not stand up for his own father, why are you all standing up for this person’. When I objected, he told me, ‘Hey you gori chamdi, where are you from?’ When Mustafa replied, Tarek allegedly responded with ‘You’re a Pakistani terrorist, you’re an anti-national’.”
Also, Tarek allegedly told Dhillon, “You are a Khalistani.”
Another PhD student Ganeshwari said when she asked Tarek his opinion about her, he said, “You are the real patriot because of your religion.”
Tarek said he called Mustafa a Pakistani “because he was behaving like one”. He said before the altercation, the group was discussing Tuesday’s terror attack. “My view was that India needs to retaliate in the strongest terms. That upset him leading to an argument.”
According to Tarek, suddenly, “a dozen men” arrived. “This was an attack planned by the Congress youth wing and people backing Left ideology.”
A PU spokesman said, “The university neither invited anyone nor cancelled any event.”