Monday, August 22, 2011 | Tarek Fatah Speech Transcript

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Good afternoon, and thank you, Moses, for inviting me. I'm quite honored.

I was listening to Steven talk about death. I just wanted to share with you, before I get on to the gist of what I am saying, that I've just escaped and seen death very close. I'm a cancer survivor now. Just last week, I was informed that I have beaten cancer. Now I'm in rehab.

In the four months that I lay in bed at St. Mike's and other hospitals and got radiated and received horrendous chemotherapy, one tends to look at the ceiling, and I'm some sort of an expert now how they look like or what patches don't agree with me or not; but one does get a television set nowadays and the internet that keeps you abreast with what is happening around the world. In those four/five months, I saw the troubles in Egypt. I saw Osama bin Laden being killed. I saw the Pakistani government double-crossing Canada and the United States, and both countries not having the guts to stand up and say, You double-crossed us. I saw the Japanese typhoons. I saw the earthquakes. But above all, I realized that as a Muslim, fate has put me in a place where I have no escape, because I'm an Indian born in Pakistan, a Muslim born in the Punjabi culture. I'm a Marxist who has seen my own fellow-travelers betray the cause of social justice and aligned themselves with the most horrendous fascists that you could ever meet.

But I want you to leave today with the thought that 65 or 70 years ago when men, like Moses Znaimer, were mere infants, and I was about to be born, we defeated the most powerful army of the world. And to get in context to what happened during the second world war--just in the Soviet Union, 30 million people died. The catastrophic price that human civilization paid to defeat the Nazis has been forgotten by your generation because it was your parents and your grandparents who fought for the freedom that you inherited and now seems to be withering away.

Just in the Battle of Kharkov, that's in Ukraine or slightly west of Russia, 24 thousand tanks and artillery pieces were involved in a battle in which the Red Army broke the back of the Nazis. In 1944, Canadians landed, not to save their own country, but to fight for a cause of freedom, democracy, equality, justice. But in four years, we destroyed Hitler! And in 10 years, we couldn't destroy bin Laden?

We didn't go on tours of duty. We went to fight and knew we would come back in a body bag or come back as victors or end up as POWs. Today, we have privatized our own effort to fight for the freedoms that we have inherited after 400 years of European civilization, but are more interested in the hockey game rather in the Canadian soldier that is being betrayed by the government of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, supposedly allies, but were selling us to the Taliban. Why? Because you are silent.

Let me give you the status of what happened after, what Salman Rushdie calls the Midnight Children, were born (those born in the '40s), when the jewel of the British Empire (India) was divided in two. We had the Cold War, and other than the missile crisis of Cuba, communism was destroyed in a battle of ideas. It took four decades, but by 1990 and by the year 2000, communism was wiped out. The Gulags of Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov were finished, people (Russians) felt the freedom. Today, they live under a different form of oligarchy. That's a separate story, but we destroyed communism without firing a bullet!

Today, we are fighting another idea of Islamofascism that has shut our mouths, and we can't speak because we are too scared that someone will 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 the Jihadis. But what are we doing today? Are we not more concerned in Parliament about the ill-treatment of the Taliban at the hand of the Afghan army? But do you ever hear about the hundreds of people being slaughtered by the same Taliban right across the world? [It's] a threat they pose to this country, to the extent we have a terror trial coming up every few months. But none of us want to talk about it, because it makes us uncomfortable. The hockey game, the basketball match, the Air Canada Center--all of this is more important to us than the civilization that we've inherited.

Did you know that last week, a Canadian was convicted of terror-related charges in Chicago for involvement in two incidents in Denmark and in India? How many of you know his name? I can tell you, not more than 1% of this country's population knows about this incident, because we have forsaken our country and said we will subcontract it to some gladiator who will take care of us.

In the meantime, the forces of Islamism, and I distinguish it from the religion of Islam, which most of you are finding it very difficult. My point about communism and Hitler was that we knew them. We knew Lenin wore a suit. We knew Hitler wore a suit. We knew he listened to Wagner. We knew someone read Shakespeare. We knew who was Pushkin, and they knew what was our tradition. But in the case of the threat that worldwide Jihad poses to us, we are illiterate, and instead we are admitting that there is not a single a university course that teaches us the ABC of Islamism. We try to subcontract it to consultants who then make a profit by telling us that that is what you have to do. And 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.

We, today, have a situation where the religion of Islam is being used as a tool by a fascist force. The combination of the thought that life begins after death and the supremacy of Arab Muslims over the rest of the world is not debated. We are willing to even tolerate or discuss the Israel Apartheid Week, but we are not willing to stand up in front of the Saudi Embassy and say that you, in the name of Islam, practice an apartheid that is shameful. We have people not standing up for Air Canada but instead Emirate Airlines, a national airline of a country that practices slavery to this day.

Something, brothers and sisters, has gone wrong. The sponge-like spine that we are displaying could lead us to the end of the civilization as we know it. That men and women are equal and sit in the front row of such an event is not something that was always there. It has come out of 400 years. It has come out of the Enlightenment. It has come out of Europe. It has come out of the French and American revolutions. Trust me. I'm from India. It didn't come out of the Gupta Dynasty. It didn't come from the Ming Dynasty of China. Many of these thoughts originated and crystallized into European civilization, but how dare we feel ashamed of the fact that this is a country where gay people can marry, that you cannot go against the Jews and slander them and practice antisemitism [and listen until you couch] that as solidarity with the Palestinians. And European antisemitism is now creeping into our society under the guise of showing solidarity with Muslims.

It is horrendous what is happening, but no one is speaking because nobody wishes to insult or demean the Muslim community, and that is the right thing to do. However, please understand that there is a distinction between Islam as a faith, which along with every other religion has its own problems, and Islamism, which is an ideology, a political ideology, that says that western civilization has to be destroyed. The books that are distributed at Eaton Center and the Dundas Square clearly state by the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood that all western countries have to be destroyed. They are distributed free of charge. I have never seen one Canadian stand up to the goon who distributes that. We makes noise after lost Stanley Cup games, but we don't make noise of what is happening to western civilization, of which Canada is an integral part.

We are a society and a culture that saves its best parking spaces for handicapped men, like me. We do not throw the marginalized into separate, segregated camps. We take care of them. That culture, that civilization, is superior to the one in which a thousand people can be killed and shot dead by the army of Syria, but nobody speaks about it.

In the closing time that I have, I want you to focus, and I hope you can talk to your families and your friends and your neighbors, that when someone says that there is a penetration of Jihadi Islamists within Canadian society, do not dismiss it as some right-wing, xenophobic, racist rant.

Today, in the White House, there are three members of the Muslim Brotherhood that influence Obama's policy. One is Rashad Hassan of Indian origin, who is the American ambassador to the 52-nation organization of Islamic countries. Dahlia Mujahid who writes his speech, who comes from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Just day before yesterday, another woman, an academic, was appointed in that circle. This is happening while we sit silent, and I say that as a liberal democrat, as someone who worked and campaigned for Barrack Obama.

We have evidence in Canada of this penetration that's going on. Our campuses are no longer the campuses where you can talk freely. You have antisemitism on the rise at University of Toronto. Just a couple of weeks ago, there was a count of Jews in the University of Toronto--in an academics class. This is happening friends. I'm not talking of Nuremberg or Heidelberg of the '30s. I'm talking 2011 University of Toronto here in the Social Work Department, where the professor said to the class, Oh, half of my peers are Jews, and it went unprotested. And when it starts with the Jews, because they are so few, trust me, it extends to other people.

We have sacrificed a lot to create a society where men and women are equal, where black and white can be of equal status, where citizenship is not based on inherited race or religion. Let us not sacrifice that in the name of pluralism and tolerance, and tolerate bigotry and Islamofascism as if it was something that need to be tolerated. I refer to that as "racism of lower expectations," when you say yes, the rest of us are equal human beings but those Muslims--well, maybe they are not yet fully developed as human beings, so we will put a lower threshold. If that guy beats up his wife and kills his daughter, we won't even call it honor killing. That happened in this city! When Aqsa Pervez died, there were women groups saying that's not honor killing. For crying out loud, 5000 Pakistani women die every year. If you claim you have done an honor killing, you get half a sentence than what you do with a murder. And yet, there are feminist organizations in this city that would refer to me as a right-wing lunatic or an agent of Zionism for having spoken up for the dead body of Aqsa Pervez.

Why is it happening? Because we are not speaking out. And the dangers we face, if we do not confront them today, our children will not forgive us tomorrow.

Thank you very much.

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