Terek Fatah: An Iconic Life

Written By Daniel Bordman, Posted on April 25, 2023

On Monday, April 24th, 2023 Terek Fatah passed away at the age of 73. Born in Karachi Pakistan Fatah immigrated to Canada in 1987, where he would go on to become a media icon in both Canada and India.

There are many words that could describe Terek Fatah, but the one that comes top of mind to me is fearless. The man was absolutely fearless in the face of controversy. He was always a thorn in the side of religious extremists accumulating more death threats than most people get birthday wishes.

Terek was a secular Muslim with an affinity for poking the bear, it was not just Islamists that he managed to rile up, although he accomplished that feat many times. Terek Fatah was a political iconoclast, no one was safe from his criticism. If there was a human rights violation he would speak up. For me, Terek Fatah was the first person to raise the issue of the human rights abuses of the Baloch people in Pakistan, an issue that gets almost zero attention outside of a Terek Fatah column in Canada.

Over my brief career, I have had the pleasure of being on every side of the Terek Fatah experience. It was an honour to sit with him on a panel about Kashmiri human rights, it was also fortunate for me that we agreed on much of the issue as he can be a force of nature in those debates. I have been on the opposite side of Terek, lucky in a private setting, as I remember us butting heads over some policy issues when the PPC first started up in 2019. I don’t remember exactly what we debated, but what always stuck with me was how he was able to separate a political argument from a personal one. I admired him for being able to transition from butting heads in a fierce political debate right back to a friendly disposition once the moment passed.

However, one moment that will always stick out to me was being in the media room of a conference of mostly Right wingers dealing with political extremism to have Terek Fatah stroll in and tell people that if they really wanted to fight Islamists they should join the NDP and do it from within. Needless to say, a good portion of the crowd did not take it well and chaos was insured. I just turned to a friend, shrugged my shoulders, and watched Terek Fatah match wits with a couple dozen very angry political activists.

The world will be a little bit duller without him and at a time when so many people are afraid to speak their minds, his loss will be felt by many.

Daniel Bordman

Daniel is the host of political satire show Uninterrupted, runs multiple podcasts and has written for a variety of publications. Daniel is also the communications coordinator of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation. You can find him on Twitter here. Uninterrupted on YouTube

One response to “Terek Fatah: An Iconic Life”

  1. Jo says:

    Mr. Bordman, please correct the whooping ELEVEN misspellings of Tarek Fatah; it is Tarek, not Terek. Thank you.