Australasian Muslim Times (AMUST)

AMUST is an Islamist newspaper and news portal operating from Australia. It is run by Australian-Indian, Zia Ahmad, whose late father Dr.Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad started it in 1991. The paper is sympathetic to Bangladesh’s Jamat-e-Islami that helped Pakistan army conduct a genocide during 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Dr. Ashfaq Ahmed is cousin of India’s former Vice-President Hamid Ansari. It is also sympathetic to Pakistan promoting Pakistan’s interest along with being pro-independence for Kashmir and Khalistan.

Zia Ahmad, Editor, AMUST Late Dr. Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad, Founder Editor

Dr. Ahmad was a member of Abu a’la Maddudi’s Jamat-e-Islami Hind during Indian freedom struggle. He was also briefly associated with Indian National Congress (INC) and Muslim League. He left INC to join Muslim League because he considered Congress too pro-Hindu.

According to Dr.Ahmad he became anti-Hindu during pre-Independence mob violence in India. He left India when he was accused of ‘treason‘ and helping Pakistan. He moved to Australia in 1971 during Bangladesh’s Liberation War.

AMUST’s pro-Pakistan is evident in its articles parroting Pakistani regime’s rhetoric on India. For example, in 2018 Zia Ahmad denounced “Indian belligerence against Pakistani peace overtures” in the wake of Imran Khan’s purported efforts to “[offer] an olive branch to India in order to solve disputes between the two neighbours through dialogue.” In 2020 editorial “Modi’s hawkish move in Kashmir destabilising the whole region“, author accuses ruling BJP of using Pulwama terror attack to create “hysteria against Pakistan and playing Hindu/Muslim divisive politics for its electoral advantage, thus helping Modi to win a second term during federal elections mid 2019.”

Pakistani born Hasan Fazeel in his 2015 article “Pakistan: Time for analysis” writes a glowing piece on Pakistan “where Muslims can live Islam in their daily life, where all citizens will be free to practice their religion and will be protected by the state promoting mutual respect, tolerance, justice and merit based educational and employment opportunities.” He then goes on to compare Prophet Mohammed’s Islamic state of Medina “The state of Madinah – where all religions were protected and practiced freely, everyone’s dignity, life and property were safe.” The piece is devoid of facts. Abduction, rape, forced conversion of Hindu, Sikh and Christian girls is routine, non-Muslims are second class citizens, they are butchered, burned alive under the pretest of blasphemy, they cannot aspire to become Prime Minister of Pakistan, they are treated as slaves, their places of worship is frequently attacked among other human rights violations.

In their articles on Kashmir, India has been called “forcible occupier“, “settler-colonial“, “India annexed Kashmir” and “Indian occupied Kashmir“. They have been against Indian government’s move to remove special status given to Kashmir by abrogating Article 370 and 35A. Pushing Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir, AMUST has frequently demanded for a plebiscite on the future of Kashmir.

AMUST has in their articles call for integration of Kashmir into Pakistan. In an article by Indian-born Zahid Jamil “The Kashmir crisis: Indian Muslims’ perspectives“, the author laments that “However, once the partition took place, the Muslim majority region of Kashmir should have gone to Pakistan based on the formula of the division.” He further states that Pakistan “somehow managed to liberate one third of greater Kashmir“.

In their editorial piece by Mohammed Ainullah “BJP government changing Kashmir’s demography“, the author writes granting domicile certificates to non-local Hindus is changing the demography of the region. “Indian authorities is granting domicile certificates in Kashmir to thousands of Indian nationals in order to to change the demographic structure of the disputed region.” What is not acknowledged here is that Hindus are natives and indigenous to Kashmir who were forcefully driven out after their genocide on 19th January 1990.

In another article on Kashmir by Hasan Faseel “State terrorism in Kashmir: Ummah needs to respond” calls for Islamic Ummah to come together on Kashmir and despairs the Ummah’s stand on Kashmir. “Regardless of 45 Islamic countries, Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition of 41 countries; and millions of pilgrims praying for the Ummah, the Ummah is yet to stand tall against this state terrorism perpetrated upon them.” After a lesson in history, the author reminds the readers “Once the youth of Ummah stand tall and revive the efforts of Sahaba (r) to not only resolve Kashmir issue once and for all but make this world a better place for all to live in peace.

In October 2019, Zia Ahmad participated in a rally organised by Jamat-e-Islami’s Stand With Kashmir. Stand With Kashmir is a cheerleader for terrorists portraying captured terrorists as “political prisoner”. The rally was organised as protest for Abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A by the Indian Government. The rally also called for independence for Kashmir saying “The current Modi Hindu nationalist government’s abruptly annexed the state of the Jammu & Kashmir on 5 August 2019 by abrogation of Article 370 of Indian Constitution, which gave the state a special autonomous status.” Australia’s Greens Party member Lee Rihannon was present and addressed the rally too.

Stand With Kashmir’s Australia representative Anjum Rafiqi has his own column at AMUST where he routinely posts articles showing support from Australia’s political parties, especially the Greens Party.

Given their proximity to Pakistan’s vested interests, it comes as no surprise that AMUST glorifies terrorists. Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani is described as “popular Kashmiri leader“, “charismatic youth murdered by Indian army“. Hizul is US and India designated terrorist group and militant wing of Jamat-e-Islami. In an obituary for Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Shah Geelani, AMUST Editor refers to him as a “freedom fighter“. Geelani was Jamat-e-Islami’s leader tied closely to jihadists and operated on behalf on Pakistan.

AMUST called The Kashmir Files a “fictional film, propaganda film aligned with Hindutva narratives promoting Islamophobia in order to justify oppression of Kashmiri Muslims and legitimise their impending genocide.” The film is based on account of 700 victims and witnesses.

Many of articles further the agenda of hatred for Hindus especially Brahmins. In the article by Dr.Aslam Abdullah “Why do Hindu nationalists hate Islam and Muslims?” says Hindus hate Islam and Muslims because “Hindu nationalists believe that Islam wooed Dalits to its fold for its egalitarian values and challenged the supremacy of Brahmans. Much of the conversions, they insist, were forcible.” He further states RSS is a militant organisation consisting of upper-caste and Brahmin leaders who still humiliate dalits and tribals.

The same author in another piece says “RSS-BJP vision of Hinduism poses a threat to world peace” where he says of the RSS-BJP “In their analysis, Christians and Muslims are either foreign invaders or forcibly converted Hindus who betrayed the caste-hierarchy of their faith and broke rank with the way of life introduced by the upper-caste Brahmins.” In the entire article, RSS-BJP is referred to as “Hindu upper caste” “brahmins”, “upper caste elite”, then he goes on to equate White supremacists to Hindus and uses Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists to drive a wedge between Indic faiths. He finishes by saying presence of Hindus in US and Europe is a threat to world peace and that Hindus presence in inter-faith dialogues “threatens genuine discussions among the faiths for peace and harmony.”

Dr.Aslam Abdullah aslo justifies the necessity for Khalistan in “Why does the world need Khalistan?“. In this he blames Hindus for being hateful and violent and says “As a Muslim, I feel compelled to support Khalistan because my religious scripture reminds me to stand for good wherever I find it.” equating the presence of Jewish state to justify Khalistan and says “Under a Hindu nationalist government, India would have to face a vibrant Sikh movement with support from Europe, North America, and Australia for a separate homeland for Khalsas.”

Dr. Javed Jamil’s piece on “Rohingya Crisis: Let Humanity Prevail! A view from India” justifies Islamic terrorism because “If the world witnessed “Muslim terrorism” in last two decades, it was partly if not wholly the result of the prosecution and persecution of Muslims for decades. They faced persecution by almost every power – Leftist or Rightist, Western or Eastern. From Philippines and Bosnia to Middle East, they were killed and brutalised almost everywhere. When some organisations took the terrorist route, the Muslim lands were brutalised and ravished through sheer use of force.” The author then goes on to complain that Indian government refused to take in Rohingyas because they are Muslims. What the author refuses to disclose is that Rohingyas have been deemed a security threat no less than Bangladesh, an Islamic country it itself. According to International Crisis Group, the 9th October 2016 attack on Myanmar Border Police was carried out by the terrorist group Harakat al-Yaqin. Indian defence experts too have opined that illegal Rohingyas are working fro Al-Qaeda and ISIS. In addition, Rohingyas massacred Hindu men, women and children in Myanmar in August 2017. Some Hindus who were spared were forced to convert to Islam.

The article “How Islam spread in India” gives a completely white-washed version of Indian history. The American author Firas Alkhateeb says “Leaders such as Mahmud of Ghazni and Muhammad Tughluq expanded Muslim political domains without altering the religious or social fabric of Indian society.” There is no mention of Islamic invaders butchering Hindu men, women and children, taking away Hindu women as war-booty, to be kept as sex-slaves, vandalising, desecrating, temples, slaughtering cows, looting and plundering, burning of educational centres like Nalanda and Takshashila. For example, as per the website Hindu Genocide Islamic barbarian Taimurlane, slaughtered 100,00 (1 Lakh) Hindus in a single night and his attack on Delhi lasted 7 days or 17 attacks of Mohammed Ghazni on the Somanth temple destroying the famous Shivalingam, Aurangzeb’s destruction of Kashi Vsiwanath and Shri Krishna’s Mathura temple and killing 4.7 million Hindus, or Babur’s destruction of Ayodhya’s Shri Ram’s temple.

Given their stance on Kashmir, Khalistan and Hindus, it should come as no surprise that AMUST also supported anti-CAA protests, called Ram Janmabhoomi verdict ” a revenge for a thousand years of Muslim rule in India“, seen with anti-India forces such as IAMC, Hindus for Human Rights, CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, The Humanism Project, and the likes. Below are some of their social media posts.