A book by Tarek Fatah, the most vocal progressive Canadian Muslim activist, is finally out.
It seems as if his friends and enemies alike were waiting for his book -- Chasing A Mirage: The Tragic Illusion Of An Islamic State (John Wiley & Sons).
Frankly, many people were not expecting his book to be as articulate and well documented as it has turned out to be. Just as in his earlier activism, Tarek Fatah is going face-to-face with Islamists in Canada and around the globe.
His book is a big challenge to the growing numbers of Islamic radicals in Canada who are striving ultimately for an Islamic state like the one the Taliban had in Afghanistan until 2001.
Tarek challenges readers with his history of Islamic states since the beginning of Islam, all filled with corpses and bloodshed throughout the centuries up until the current day.
He poses a hard question in his book: "So why is it that Islamists dream of the so-called Golden Age that never occurred?"
In support of his belief behind that question, he provides a brief summary of the bloody history of Islamic dynasties, accompanied by his uniquely critical questioning of today's Islamists, who are working to bring back those periods.
"In the failure of their ancestors, they (Islamists) reject this world for either a fictitious past or the promissory notes of paradise in the hereafter."
In those few words, Tarek sums up the whole chemistry of Islamic fanatics. He delivers a clear message to proponents of sharia -- Muslim courts -- who look to bring medieval Islamic laws to a democratic society such as Canada. "This is the heaven we were promised," he writes. "Let us not turn it into hell."
He says sharia law is not God's law but rather a man's flaw. He doesn't accept hijab (head coverings) as an Islamic piety; he calls it a form of political Islam.
He is willing to participate in a protest outside the French embassy in Ottawa where Islamists demand the French government grant Muslim girls the right to wear the hijab -- but Tarek also demands Islamists arrange protests outside Iranian and Saudi Arabian embassies to ask those governments to grant women in those countries the right to not wear the hijab if they so wish.
He analyses whether jihad is a permanent war or continuous struggle. He says, "But the actual use of the word is not so innocent."
He exposes Islamists' agenda in the West and explains how Islamists are taking advantage. "Political correctness and liberal guilt over historic colonial abuse in the Muslim world can easily blind western leadership and society to the anti-social agenda of radical Islam."
He concludes his book with a novel thought. He says that in 2076, Islam will celebrate its 1,500th anniversary, while the U.S. will mark its 300th birthday. He wonders whether Muslims (in the U.S. particularly and in the West in general) would by that time "proudly celebrate their state of Islam with Americans celebrating their tricentennial, or whether these children (future Muslim generations) will be sulking in anger at the Americans."
Tahir Aslam Gora is a Pakistani-Canadian writer living in Burlington. firstname.lastname@example.org