Tarek Fatah's book reviewed in Toronto Star

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Tarek Fatah's book reviewed in Toronto Star



The Toronto Star review of Tarek Fatah's new book, "Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State," describes it as the [url=http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/Books/article/420875]"Broaching the Mother of all Taboos"[/url]

Cueball Cueball's picture

Tarek Fatah is an embarrasment to the left.


I agree with you on that point Cueball. I recently subscribed to his essays and have read a few of them and I'm not very impressed with how he is coming across. On the one hand he appears to be a defender of Muslims, but with the other hand he gives a lot of fuel to the Muslim hating crowd (which will surely grow as his essays and books are used to further cement the "truth", as racists see it).


Haven't read Fatah's book, but two comments on the review:

1) Fatah is absolutely right that any state based on the current understanding of Islam would be a total failure,

2) and he is incorrect, or rather wishful, to suggest that the idea is against the prophet Mohammad's teachings.

Somewhere along the path of the fight against Islamic extremism, we should start to acknowledge that the root of most problems with Islamic extremism and fundamentalism is precisely in some Islamic teachings (or more accurately, the current understanding of Islam by muslims), not just the "perversion of principles".

Notwithstanding the fuel such acknowledgment might give to the anti-muslim crowd.


It speaks volumes of the Left in Canada when Cueball and Stargazer can dismiss Tarek Fatah's book without having read it and suggest that he is an embarssament to the Left.

I am going through chapter 3 of the 432 page book and I couldn't help notice that Fatah's book gets the endorsement of two of Pakistan's leading figures on the Left; peace activist, Prof. Pervez Hoodbhoy and Socialist Labour Party secretary general, Farooq Tariq. Both of their accolades appear on the back cover of "Chasing a Mirage."

Would it be too much to expect that people read the book, (if not wishing to buy it, borrow it from the library) and only then slam it and the author?

The Huffington Post, Guardian, and the Toronto Star all cannot be wrong in their praise of the uathor and his tome.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I didn't have to read everything written by Ayn Rand, in order to come to a conclusion about her work and her ideas. I have seen enough of Fatah, both personally, politically and in print to know what he is all about. He is a shameless granstander and also more than a little duplicitous as a person, imo. I was quite impressed with him when I first met him, but after watching how he operates, I have nor respect for him whatsoever.

Note: I made no comment about the book. I haven't read it. How could I comment on the content. I made a statement about the man himself. In my view he is a traitor to all causes that he says he represents, I imagine it is the same with Islam, as it was with the NDP and the left in general, therefore he is an embarassment.

As for the review, it is obviously not worth the paper it is printed on since it is evident by the comparison to Irshad Manji, that the reviewer is particularly ignorant of this topic, as if Manji someone who spent 6 month at a religious school qualifies as an expert on a religion. I doubt John Goddard has picked up a copy of the Qu'ran, ever, so one has to ask, why would they pick this writer to review a critique of Islam? The Star has on staff an excelent Muslim editorialist in the form of Haroon Siddiqi. One has to wonder why he was not asked to review this book.

In all likelyhood he refused.

And furthermore, Fatah lied in the review, when he said he resigned from the MCC in order to lower his profile because of death threats. *Scoff* and now you are publishing books and giving interviews in the Star? Why did you not also resign your position on the Board of the
[url=http://www.pmuna.org/archives/2004/10/board_of_direct_1.php#more]Progres... Muslim Union, [/url] if the limelight is too dangerous? One thing is for sure Fatah is not afraid of publicity, and playing up his victimized maverik Muslim status is just another one of his tricks get some more.

Just a cheap con man scumbag.

[ 11 May 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]


Tarek is a deliberately polarizing figure. That's true even if you don't call him or see him as a grandstander.

There are a lot of people, such as the Pakistanis pointed to, who share a lot of Tarek's priorities, so they are going to support him... whether or not they endorse his approach.

Personally: I don't like Tarek's reverse jihadist approach at all. But the 'reasonable approach' has not been a smashing success either. Alarmists have their purposes.

So I don't condemn Tarek Fatah. I stand back and watch. [But yes, I do wonder at times.]

[b]ETA:[/b] Haven't read the book. But I can see how it could easily be very different than Tarek's polarizing public presence.... that a lot or even most of the content is the appeal to reason aimed at giving liberal and progressive Muslims the intellectual tools for distancing themselves from the mainstream orthodoxy that way too many of them acquiesce and deferr to in the final analysis.

[ 12 May 2008: Message edited by: KenS ]