Canadian authorTarek Fatah has written about his frustration with Canadian authorities' response to a death threat against him.
It came in a Twitter posting containing a Somali profanity. "This is an open threat to Xaar Boy@Tarek Fatah," it read. "I know where you live and where your office is." The sender pictured herself "wearing a purple hijab in the style of Toronto's radical young Islamists," wrote Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress.
He explained that he learned about it just after waking up after surgery.
Other Twitter users condemned the threat, with some urging that the woman be arrested. She withdrew the posting, only to repeat the threat later that morning. "He was also the 1 to propose banning the Niqab in Quebec, (and he) supports homosexuality," she wrote, adding: "This is an open threat. I know where you live/work @TarekFatah."
Other Islamists joined the attack against Fatah, with some saying he had brought the threats on himself. Fatah contacted Toronto police. A few hours later, two uniformed policemen came to interview him in the hospital. A minute into the interview, two other men entered and ordered everyone else to leave the room. Fatah recognized the pair as police intelligence officers. One of them "had shut down a previous investigation into a death threat against me in 2008," Fatah wrote.
The same intelligence officer had shut down a 2007 investigation into a death threat directed at another liberal Muslim: Tahir Gora, then a columnist for the Hamilton Spectator, had noticed a Facebook page listing him in a group called "The Enemies of Islam." Next to his name was written: "Pseudo Muslims like you should be put to death."
Gora called the Toronto police and was visited two days later by a pair of Muslim officers who tried to talk him out of filing a complaint against a fellow Muslim. Fatah received a call from a Muslim police officer telling him that the woman who had threatened him twice "didn't mean to say it."
Fatah concludes: "The Toronto police, in their wish to promote an image of diversity and outreach, have dedicated themselves to serving and protecting the radical Islamist elements within our city. Meanwhile, Muslims like myself, who do their best to promote the equality and respect that the police claim to cherish, are left without legal protection when radicals explicitly and publicly threaten us with violence."
Read the full column here.