Facebook suspends account of noted author and journalist Tarek Fatah

Sriparna Ghosh
Tarek Fatah

Noted journalist, columnist and author Tarek Fatah said on Tuesday (April 25) that Facebook had suspended his account. Fatah, who is often in the eye of controversies because of his outspoken and divisive statements on Islam, has been criticised and harassed several times.

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Fatah, who is of Canadian nationality, took to Twitter on Tuesday to say: "As if being on the ISIS death list weren't enough, Facebook suspends me. This calls for a book titled: White Guilt and Brown Bastards."

The ISIS reference was to a terror plot that was reportedly hatched to kill him. Last week, the Uttar Pradesh anti-terror squad had foiled a plot and arrested two men. The ISIS had watched Fateh's YouTube videos and concluded that his views on Islam were "highly objectionable."

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Though the reason behind the suspension of his account is unclear, it can be chalked up to several social media posts that have stirred the hornet's nest. The most recent of these was when he showed open support for Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam on the latter's call for ban of loudspeakers during Azaan.

The Bollywood singer had ignited controversy on Monday, April 17, when he tweeted out that Azaan was forced religiousness. Fatah had supported the singer, calling him 'spot on' on the issue.

Facebook can suspend an account for a number of reasons. These include when the Cupertino-based company receives complaints about the account and its content being offensive or hurtful, or when the account starts to send out spam content. It can be surmised for now that Fatah's account was suspended following complaints.

Meanwhile, the Facebook account suspension seems to have had no effect on Fatah, who continues to share his views on other social media platforms. In reply to a tweet asking whether Mumbai Police had taken note of the life threats issued to Sonu Nigam, he said on Wednesday: "Seems in India, the Muslim triad-thugs, gangsters and mullahs r invincible. From top to bottom the Indian state shivers in fear & dare not act."

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