Pakistani-Canadian journalist Tarek Fatah, a self-described “Midnight’s Child”, born on November 20, 1949 in Karachi, died on Monday of cancer, confirmed by his daughter on social media. Fatah (73) was known for his criticisms of Islamic extremism and the Pakistani establishment, and was a celebrated advocate of queer rights.
Fatah was born to parents who migrated from Bombay to Karachi a month after Independence. He called himself an “Indian born in Pakistan, a Punjabi born in Islam; an immigrant in Canada with a Muslim consciousness, grounded in a Marxist youth.” He studied biochemistry at the University of Karachi, was a vigorous leftist activist in college, and graduated before shifting gears to journalism a career that earned him laurels and brickbats.
Fatah authored Chasing a Mirage, a critique of modern Islam, and The Jew is not my enemy, a history of the relationship between the Muslim and Jewish communities.