On April 24, 2023, the media industry lost one of its prominent figures, Tarek Fatah, a Pakistani-born Canadian columnist, journalist, and television personality. He passed away at the age of 73 after a long battle with cancer. Fatah’s outspoken views on a range of issues, including politics, religion, and social justice, often courted controversy, but he remained a steadfast advocate for liberal values throughout his career.
Early Life and Career
Born in 1949, Fatah spent his early years in Karachi, Pakistan. He witnessed firsthand the turmoil that engulfed the country in the aftermath of the Partition of India in 1947. In 1987, Fatah moved to Canada, where he became a political activist and worked as a journalist and television host.
He was the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, which was set up in 2001 to promote liberal and secular values within the Muslim community in Canada. He was a regular columnist for one of the country’s largest newspapers, the Toronto Sun, and a frequent guest on television and radio programs.
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Controversial Views and Advocacy
Fatah was known for his controversial views on a range of issues related to politics, religion, and social justice. He was a staunch critic of virtually everything related to Pakistan and Islamic fundamentalism. He spoke out against the treatment of religious minorities, women’s rights, and the persecution of political dissidents in Pakistan.
He was also a vocal advocate for the rights of the downtrodden, underdogs, and the oppressed. He championed causes such as the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, the fight against racism and bigotry, and the need for greater social and economic justice.
Legacy and Tributes
On Twitter, Tarek Fatah’s daughter, Natasha Fatah, honoured her father’s memory by referring to him as the “Lion of Punjab” and the “Son of Hindustan.” She expressed her belief that his revolution would endure with those who knew and cherished him, and invited others to help carry on his legacy.
Lion of Punjab.
Son of Hindustan.
Lover of Canada.
Speaker of truth.
Fighter for justice.
Voice of the down-trodden, underdogs, and the oppressed.@TarekFatah has passed the baton on… his revolution will continue with all who knew and loved him.
Will you join us?
— Natasha Fatah (@NatashaFatah) April 24, 2023
Tarek Fatah’s unwavering commitment to liberal and secular values is a legacy that will continue to inspire future generations. He was a tireless advocate for human rights, social justice, and political freedom, and his voice resonated with many who shared his vision for a more equitable world. Despite the controversy surrounding some of his views, Fatah remained steadfast in his convictions and used his platform to raise awareness about issues that were often overlooked or ignored.
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Tarek Fatah spent his life advocating for the rights of the marginalised and oppressed, and his legacy will undoubtedly serve as a source of inspiration for generations to come. In today’s polarised world, where political and ideological divisions seem to grow wider by the day, Fatah’s call for tolerance, understanding, and compassion is more relevant than ever. His unwavering commitment to social justice and equality is a testament to his character and will continue to influence those who strive to make a positive impact in their communities.His absence is deeply felt, but his message lives on in the hearts and minds of those who continue to fight for a better world.