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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Tarek Fatah’s journalistic courage reminds us how seldom we celebrate the trade’s true heroes


In case you haven’t yet had a chance to catch up on today’s Indian news, a second arrest has been made in an alleged conspiracy to assassinate Canadian writer Tarek Fatah. According to India Today, the suspect is a career criminal described as “Naseem” (aka “Rizwan”) who is “an exceptionally good shooter,” and allegedly a henchman for a lieutenant of Indian mob boss Dawood Ibrahim. “Fatah’s outspoken [criticism of militant] Islam and Sharia have apparently offended Dawood Ibrahim’s close aide, Chhota Shakeel,” India Today reports. “Shakeel thus wanted to kill Tarek Fatah and has hired men to do the job for him.” (For reasons unknown to me, these reports go back and forth between spelling Tarek’s name as “Fatah” and “Fateh.”)

The fact that people might be trying to kill Fatah is not surprising to me. The Pakistani-born Toronto Sun writer has been getting threats for decades. A few weeks ago, when he tagged me on one of his Facebook posts about NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, I casually scrolled through the comments and was shocked by the insane levels of hate — stuff that would make any white Canadian journalist burn their computer, quit their job, and head to grad school. But for Fatah, “die heretic scum” is just another day at the office...

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