Last August, Tarek Fatah, one of Canada’s most prominent Muslim public figures, received a good deal of attention in this country when he co-wrote an article with Raheel Raza in The Ottawa Citizen opposing the Ground Zero Mosque.
Back in the late 1990s, when I was still living in Canada and active with the New Democratic Party (NDP), I was acquainted with Tarek when we served together on the Ontario NDP Resolutions Committee.
Today, it came to my attention that Tarek was diagnosed with spinal cancer last month. I learned this when I read an article written by his daughter Natasha, who is a radio producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. At present, she reports her father remains hospitalized and unable to walk. But she also points out that he is still able to think as clearly as ever and is writing his thoughts on Facebook from his hospital bed. I am sure he has a long road ahead of him but it looks like he’s won half the battle.
So let me take this moment to wish Tarek a full and speedy recovery. Voices of reason in the Muslim world aren’t easy to come by and Tarek’s voice is surely needed now more than ever. I mean it isn’t everyday that a Muslim writes a book titled The Jew Is Not My Enemy.