Pushing Back on Tarek Fatah is a chapter from the book American Muslim Agenda available at Amazon and Kindle
It is one of the many events or incidents of pushing back on the people who misrepresent religion—politics of culture. Over the years, we have responded to many of them, including Robert Spencer, Wafa Sultan, Noni Darwish, Walid Shoebat, and Ibn Sina. Many have taken a hike when logic, reason, and common sense become the denominator.
Wednesday, May 9, 2018, Washington DC, the Middle East Forum (MEF) headed by Dr. Daniel Pipes held a “Countering Muslim Advocacy Day” in response to US Council of Muslim Organization’s (USCOMO) “Muslim Advocacy Day.” It was held at conference room 200 on the house side of Capitol Hill.
I make it a point to attend events by the extreme right and left along with the moderate ones. Unless we know all sides of the issue, our opinion will be partial. As usual, I have had some awkward moments with the lies propagated and sad moments of watching spineless Muslims.
The panel included Daniel Pipes, Cynthia Farhat, Sam Westrop, and Tarek Fatah. They released a report titled “Islamists with Direct Ties to Terrorists Lobby Congress.”
They opened the program with a proper preface, announcing that the event was not anti-Muslim but anti-Islamist. Indeed, all of us need to understand the difference between the extremist political ideologies in each faith group and the faith itself; they are two different things.
A few Muslims from USCOMO have said dumb things, and they are all in the report. I did not verify the integrity of those statements, but they are welcome to correct it. USCOMO members are CAIR, ICNA, MANA, MSA, MLFA, MUNA, AMP, and the mosque cures. I fought with World Net for nearly a decade about their accusations against a CAIR executive in 1999 who had said that when they had the power, they would impose sharia. Of course, I challenged World Net to produce documents, and they never did.
The kind of sharia that is practiced is not coming to America; no Muslim woman would want to give up her share of the property upon the death of her husband or vice versa. Unless there is a will, the surviving spouse will own the full feature. No American Muslim, father or mother, would want their daughter or son to be hurt because they have a child out of wedlock or they are gay or lesbian. It does not happen in fifty-two out of fifty-six Muslim majority nations, and it will never happen in America either. American Muslims are free and brave people and know that if it is not common sense, then it is not Islam.
During Tarek Fatah’s presentation, he said that Muslims curse Jews and Christians in every prayer five times a day and recited “Surah Al-Fatiha” in Arabic as if the audience were dumb idiots, a few maybe, but most people were intelligent. Then he pointed his finger at me and said, “Mohamed, no, you like to be called Mike. Okay, Mike Mohamed, would you join me in condemning those words in prayers?” You know the pettiness in that statement; I am used to it. It is for men like him I wrote an article “My Name Is Mike Ghouse.”
He wanted to pick a fight with me. He recited “Surah Al-Fatiha” (the first chapter of the Quran) again, and I knew where he was going with it. Usually, no one would speak during a presentation, but he dragged me with a question, pointing his finger at me. That was a mistake he made, and I gave it back to him.
I said, “Tarek, you are full of hot air. You are dead wrong on the prayers. Muslims do not curse Jews and Christians in their prayers. It is not in the Quran, and it is not a part of Islam.” He repeated the last verse of “Surah Al-Fatiha,” and I shot right back at him, “That is a bloody mistranslation,” and reiterated that the translation he was referring to was “as worse as his lies.”
Tarek started shouting to drown my voice, and I appealed to Daniel Pipes to share the translation of that verse. I knew he knew the right interpretation.
Daniel Pipes had to respond and translated the last verse again, and I applauded him and said he was right and asked him if the verse said anything about Christians or Jews. He acknowledged that it was not but said it was assumed to be “Jews and Christians.” That completely shut Fatah’s ass up, sorry—it was his mouth. Unfortunately, both are the same on his body; they release foul air.
Tarek’s presentation panders to the base instincts of people—those who relish belittling others. A few outrageous items are listed here. Most people let it pass, but those who cannot stand the falsities will speak up. Tarek Fatah will thrive well as long as he belittles Muslims and their way of life. There are shameless people out there who will give him a lift on that. He does not have facts; all he has is hot air. I encourage Muslims to take up the challenge with him; he will lose if we go by points.
He continued with his nonsense.
- Muslims’ goal is the destruction of the world—totally false.
- Muslims live for living for a hereafter—some truth in it.
- He made fun of writing from right to left. That joke goes well in India, but the man did not realize Hebrew is written from right to left as well. Of the twenty-three people in the room, more than ten were Jewish, a few Muslims and Christians. The program was tight. If not, a Jewish person would have corrected him.
- He said if a Muslim would not denounce jihad, he should be kicked out.
- He said if a Muslim would not denounce polygamy, he should be kicked out.
- He said that Muslims should not be allowed to speak with the congresspersons or the senators. Same was told by Cynthia. In that controlled event, I could not say, “Tarek and Cynthia, since you don’t believe in the American value of free speech, you must be kicked out as well.” I did not because I think free speech is an inalienable right of every individual. Thankfully, neither Pipes nor the British guy attacked free speech.
All the three—Tarek, Sam, and Cynthia—were criticizing congresspersons and senators for meeting American citizens. Every elected representative is duty bound to meet all his constituents without prejudice.
They did not spare the republicans for listening to “those friends of brotherhood” and showed a clear bias toward democrats.
Of course, they were blaming the press.
Tarek ought to be a stand-up comedian; he turned situations into comedy superbly well. He got several laughs out of the audience. Pakistan must have done something to him; he was so hostile toward that country.
I was proud of the Jewish audience in a Los Angeles synagogue. When Wafa Sultan, another Islam basher, started lying about Muslims, the audience not only spoke up but also walked out on her. They did not want to hear her, and they were not gullible.
At the question and answer session, I was one of the first ones to raise my hand, and I kept rising for thirty minutes. Dr. Pipes was ignoring me, and I was determined to speak up. It was quite a battle. I was sitting in the second-row center, and they had taped the whole thing, and my hand should be prominent there. We’ll see if they will retain or cut my segment. However, I must give credit to Robert Spencer and his likes who have published my pieces word for word even though it went against them. I trust Pipes will respect free speech.
Finally, Mr. Pipes could not look around or beyond me. I was right in his face, and I said, “Dr. Pipes, your forum will be little more credible if you have a moderate Muslim on your panel so that the people can get a full picture rather than a partial, one-sided picture.” As a courtesy, he thanked me for the tip.
I continued, “Some of the information in the report is legitimate and am glad you brought this up, but a whole lot of it was full of hot air. The audience here should be embarrassed for laughing when Tarek Fatah ridiculed hijab and Muslim garb. Tomorrow, it would be kippahs and turbans. No one should condemn other people’s way of life.” Tarek interrupted and tried to defend, but I bulldozed him by reiterating his statement ridiculing hijabs.
Sam and Cynthia had decimated the Islamic Relief charity and claimed it was an operation of brotherhood. I didn’t buy that, and later, I talked with Pipes about it, and he took my information and said he would send the data.
I have defended CAIR on the show Hannity many times, but they need to attend these meetings and produce documents to the audience and get their slate cleaned once for all. ISNA did it.
Free speech is an American value and must be valued at all times. If there is a seminar or conference about Muslims and no Muslim is there, please try to go or send me there.