Canadian political activist, author, columnist and practicing Muslim Tarek Fatah has been described as a liberal Marxist who stands firmly opposed to radicalism Islam. While he disagrees vehemently with American conservatives when it comes to the economy, he may surprise you when it comes to fighting radical Islam.
Recently, The Blaze interviewed Fatah, delving deeply into his views about President Barack Obama, the American left and the ongoing need to fight extremism.
You may recall our coverage last year of his address at Canada's Ideacity conference. During his speech, the practicing Muslim bravely proclaimed that "the religion of Islam is being used as a tool by a fascist force." Additionally, he made some bold claims about the American government.
“Instead of bringing victory over the fascist forces of the Muslim Brotherhood, we now recognize that their infiltration is right up to the American White House, but we can’t say that,” he proclaimed. "Today we are fighting another idea of Islamo-fascism that has shut our mouths and we can’t speak because we’re too scared that someone may turn around and call us a racist. And mind you, everyday as I speak, a few dozen Muslims would have been killed by now by these Jihadis."
In his interview with The Blaze, Fatah doubled down on these words, leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that those paying attention understand the horrific implications of radical Islamism. Fighting extremism, he said, shouldn't be a partisan undertaking.
THE LEFT'S FAILURES
"During the entire Cold War you didn't have to be liberal or conservative to recognize a threat communism was [posing]," he said. "It's a pity that the new sort of fascism that America -- the West faces -- has not produced some sort of recognition in liberal circles of this...the left in the U.S. has betrayed every single position that they've ever stood for."
On the issues of racism, slavery and women's and gay rights, Fatah said that the American life suffers from a "heavy dose of white guilt." Later in the interview, he mirrored this sentiment, charging, "Right now the tragedy is -- Barack Obama seems to be the first black person with a white man's guilt."
When it comes to addressing specific policy issues, the activist claims the left has simply become ideologically-driven. When a conservative takes a position, for instance, liberals, he claims, automatically adopt the opposing view. In essence, the commentator maintains that such a mentality leaves American liberals in a position where they are "shooting themselves in the foot" and potentially moving in a direction that could be dangerous to the nation.
Fatah also told The Blaze about his view that America, despite leftist claims, is a beacon of democracy. The U.S., he believes, is a country that provides more "social justice" (i.e. senior care, free education, trade union rights and numerous other freedoms) than practically any other "society on earth."
FIGHTING ISLAMIC EXTREMISM
Among the other issues that Fatah has been passionate about is the ongoing quest to combat radical Islam. Despite his leftist economic views, the commentator is intent about the West's need to stand up and strongly resists extremism.
Just as he did during his Ideacity address, Fatah condemned the treatment of radical Islam in the West. Rather than confronting the issue as they should, he lamented liberals' political correctness that, often times, dictates how the issue is discussed.
The Muslim Brotherhood -- a group that is re-emerging and capturing power in nations across the world -- is one that he has heavily criticized. In fact, he sees the radical cohort as a major danger that must be rationally examined and combated. Recently, the group has emerged as a powerful force in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Libya, among other countries. Dealing with opposition to the Brotherhood is particularly difficult among members of Fatah's own community.
"Anyone opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood in the Muslim community is shut out," he said. "If you're critical of the NYPD, if you're critical of American policies, you can be invited to the White House by White House officials but if you are supportive of American values and the separation of religion and state and an opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood you're shut out. That's the reality."
Watch him discussing the Brotherhood in an interview last year:
The commentator, who claims he initially supported Obama, said the president has left him "terribly disappointed." This is particularly true when considering how the administration has purportedly allowed Islamist influence to seep in. And that, he said, must be confronted, as there are specific steps that he contends must be taken in order to combat Islamic extremism.
"[The West] has to launch a very ideological war and weed out all the academics in the American universities who support the Muslim Brotherhood and have taken over all of the Islamic studies departments," Fatah contended. "And Islamism 101 should be a mandatory course in Georgetown University, in Howard and in all the Ivy League schools and anti-Muslim Brotherhood academics should be invited to teach."
Allowing such pervasive ideals to enter the university system leads to indoctrination and a diminished ability to properly alert young people and adults, alike, to the worldly dangers that exist.
"We've ended up [in] a situation that the only people teaching American diplomats about how to fight Islamism are the ones who have sympathy with our enemy," he said. "I keep repeating one thing -- you can fight Malaria by killing mosquitoes. You've got to drain the swamps."
THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD & THE WHITE HOUSE
As for the Obama White House, Fatah explained that, though it may be unintentional and/or sophisticated work by the Muslim Brotherhood, the White House may be near one of these swamps. The Brotherhood, he said, has a powerful ability to embed itself in political structures.
"Let me put it this way, it's one of the most secretive organizations that infiltrates like the Communist Party...the communists used to work that way," Fatah explained. "You'd have cells, you'd have hierarchy. You cannot take the question to the top. There are multiple levels of membership. And then you get into the inner circle. And so this is a vast fascist organization that will create bloodshed only when it suits itself."
Fatah maintains that past examples -- including The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development case -- show how the Brotherhood's code of conduct operates. The group's goals, he maintains, are to destroy any institution where people have power over the public law.
"It's an ideological war," he said. "You cannot do this without having Muslims that are anti-Islamists take the lead."
As for sharia, a complex Islamic law that serves as the basis for legislative and judicial structures in many fundamentalist Muslim countries (Click here for the BBC's brief description on sharia), Fatah has an opinion that is certain to be unpopular among Islamists and fans of the legal structure. Not only does he dislike sharia, but he believes it is a paradigm that was never intended to exist in the Islamic faith.
"The simple question is, 'Do you think that sharia is the source of public law where you live?.'" he asked. "If you say 'yes' [that sharia has a place in public law] you're part of the problem."
When pressed on the issue and asked to explain what role, if any, sharia serves, Fatah was quick to answer.
"It has no place in Islam. It has to be totally rejected, because it is the law that gives dictators -- it has been dictated by caliphs and sultans to justify their rule over oppressed people," he explained. "If Muhammed came around he wouldn't know what this meant. If he came around, he'd say who the [heck] wrote this up?"
While many conservatives may agree with Fatah's points on radical Islam, the chances they'll be able to endorse his economic views are pretty low. He claims that he doesn't "buy into this notion of cutting taxes and making America beg for money from the Chinese."
When asked to comment on the title he's been given by some -- "liberal Marxist" -- Fatah seemed hesitant to fully embrace it.
"I study Marxism primarily to study the effect of economics on the development of society. And I still believe that the economic depiction of how capitalism works by Karl Marx is quite accurate," he said. "That doesn't necessarily mean I'm a communist or that has anything to do with how constitutional democracy should work. I think many of the facets of Marxism ended up in the U.S. -- the 40-hour work week or the Saturday and Sunday holidays or women in the work force."
While he explained that these latter elements may not have come from Marxism directly, he said that have roots in Fabian socialism.
Regardless of where individuals stand on the economic front, Fatah's message about America was clear during the interview: "Criticizing the U.S. simply because it suits for better dinner table conversation -- it doesn't help anyone."