For propaganda website AltNews, whose entire existence rests on vilifying the Modi government and painting the regime as anti-Muslim, it is difficult to reconcile with the fact that some Muslims might be BJP supporters and admirers of PM Modi.
When Muslims express their association with the BJP, RSS or any other party that is bracketed by liberals as parties with ‘Hindutva’ ideology, AltNews goes into overdrive. It denounces the Muslims who voice their support for PM Modi and his government and raising questions over their Muslimness by highlighting the fact they are associated with the RSS. Sometimes, they don’t even have to support the PM. The mere fact that as a Muslim they do not hate PM Modi with all their guts is sometimes enough to lose their Muslim credentials.
Recently, on PM Modi’s birthday, members of Muslim community celebrated the occasion at Nizamuddin, Delhi. The event was covered by news agency ANI. However, this did not sit well with the anti-Modi propaganda website AltNews which was quick to slam ANI for presenting an RSS-backed event as ‘Muslim community’ celebrations of PM Modi’s birthday.
This is not a one-off incident when AltNews has called into question the faith of the Muslims who extend their support to the BJP and the RSS. In yet another instance, AltNews had published an article in which it slammed media organisations for representing Muslim women associated with RSS-affiliated organisations as Muslims. Just because the demand of the Muslim women to construct a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya did not conform to AltNews stand on the issue, it decided to cast aspersions on the Muslimness of the women.
In yet another report published in August 2018, AltNews slammed ANI and News 18 for reporting RSS-affiliated Muslim organisation as “people in Lucknow” celebrating Bakrid by cutting a cake. AltNews was perturbed that some of the Muslims abhorred the custom of sacrificing a speechless animal and were exhorting others to shun the practice. This provided a reasonable opportunity to the leftist online rag to cast doubt over the Muslimness of the people by pointing out their association with the RSS.
In one of the reports published by AltNews, the so-called ‘fact-checker’, who is often found peddling fake news, Muslim women from Varanasi as quoted by ANI couldn’t be authentic Muslims because they belonged to an organisation founded by a staunch BJP supporter. By this rationale, AltNews implies that no true Muslim can be a supporter of the BJP or be associated with it or its affiliate organisation.
For AltNews, Muslims cease to exist as Muslims if they do not oppose the BJP and the RSS. Any association of the Muslims with the aforesaid organisations automatically raises doubts over their adherence to Islam. According to AltNews, resistance and opposition to PM Modi, BJP and its affiliate organisations is the only measure of one’s Muslimness. Any Muslim who is found defying these conventions, his Muslimness is liable to be questioned by AltNews.
With its anti-Modi propaganda, AltNews seems to have assumed the role of authority to dish out the certificate of Muslimness to others. Those who conform to their propaganda against PM Modi and BJP are hailed as pious Muslims, others do not toe their propaganda are discredited and their Muslimness questioned, just because they did not share the deep-seated and intense hatred for PM Modi as harboured by the AltNews.