Pacific Scoop

Behind another invented story from blog Coup 4.5 – ‘Fiji Muslims aiding terrorists’

Ratu Tevita Mara

Fiji's military renegade Ratu Tevita Mara meets Coup 4.5. Photo: Coup 4.5

Pacific Scoop:
Opinion – By Professor Crosbie Walsh

The anonymous but popular blog Coup 4.5 has again peddled a Muslim scare-mongering item about Fiji.

The blog writes: “Intelligence sources say the CEO of Vodafone, Aslam Khan, was frisked and detained in a US airport on the suspicion he may be financing terrorist cells.”

From their first two words, they spin deceit. The “intelligence sources” are their informants, not some state intelligence source as many readers would suppose.

The blog goes on to say it is releasing “this controversial information to warn the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union that Fiji is a potential carrier of terrorists who might get into their country with the help of the illegal regime and that the above people may well be moving large amounts of monies that might have come from links to world terrorist cells.”

The people they refer to are Aslam Khan and his wife, former High Court Judge Nazhat Shameem, both of whom are Ahmadiyya Muslims who shun extremism of any sort, and are not even considered Muslim by many Muslims;  and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and his brother Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who heads Fiji Broadcasting, who are both Jamaati Muslims that denounce violence.

Even New Zealand journalist Michael Field, for all his distaste of the Bainimarama government, has not stooped to such accusations. Field, a frequent visitor to India, says all Fiji’s Muslims are liberal Muslims with no links to Sunni extremists.

Yet the Coup4.5 editors, who seem quite untutored on Islam, have persisted, for the past two years, to claim Muslim influence in Fiji politics. They have claimed the 2006 coup was Muslim-led; they have portrayed  Bainimarama as a Khaiyum puppet, and repeatedly called attention to supposed Fiji Muslim links to Al Qaeda.

This story, for which they have produced no evidence, is what they are trying to sell to US intelligence, and drill into to a gullible itaukei public.

Readers who choose to check out their latest story will find mention of supposedly mysterious comings and goings of people and money, a trip to Cuba, Fiji’s membership of the Non-Aligned Movement, a UAE embassy in Suva, Fijian soldiers who speak Arabic, and more, much more, in a rambling overkill that will leave US Immigration no less confused than the blog’s more intelligent readers.

But the main message is clear: Fiji’s Muslims could be aiding terrorism.

Putting aside their other claims (I will not ask them to name names or amounts of money), I must  ask them one question that can easily be proven or not proven: Where did they get their story about Aslam Khan?

I know for a fact that he has not even been to the US recently, and the last time he was there he denies he was frisked or detained.

Coup4.5 – closely aligned to the renegade ex-colonel Ratu Tevita Mara – continues to use deceitful tactics by creating, spinnning and embellishing tidbits of information,  pandering to the prejudices of the less educated and the more bigoted, warning i’taukei not to trust their Muslim and Indo-Fijian fellow citizens.

This supposedly Christian blog has thrown the 9th Commandment — Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour — out of the window.

Coup 4.5 reported:

In September last year, a newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, The National, reported the Arab League planned to open a regional office in Fiji. The announcement came after an endorsement by the League of the UAE initiative to promote co-operation between Arab countries and Pacific Island states.  

Fiji is among 10 Pacific countries that have established links with the Arab League, including the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu & Vanuatu. The UAE has provided funding for a US$50 million aid programme covering 14 countries, many of them suffering from the effects of climate change and often have small economies with rising populations and dwindling resources.

Late last year Voreqe Bainimarama said Fiji has been present in the Arab region since 1978. Fijian peacekeeping troops served in the South of Lebanon from 1978 to 2002 while 300 Fijian troops currently serve with the UN in Sinai, a mission they have served in since 1982.

Fiji troops are also the only UN blue helmets in Iraq since 2004 with a 221 strong contingent, as well as a presence in Sudan and previously Kuwait and Kurdistan.

Professor Crosbie Walsh is the retired founding director of development studies at the University of the South Pacific and publishes a specialist blog on Fiji affairs.

Blessed are the (latest) coup makers


  1. Thakur Ranjit Singh, 15. July 2011, 10:30

    I personally know and vouch for the characters of both Aslam Khan and his wife former Fiji High Court Judge , Nazhat Shameem. The latter comes from a very distinguished upbringing. Her mother was my son’s kindergarten teacher in Fiji, and was a distinguished teacher, educationalist and philanthropist. Her father was an equally respected and distinguished gentleman. The Shameem family has been a very upright and religious family which saw religion as a way of life. I can never imagine ever that her clean and distinguished upbringing would even make Shameem think of doing something for what the family has been accused doing, or even letting any member to do anything to hurt anybody or promote any type of religious bigotry.
    The credibility of Coup 4.5 and its editors with links to sections of Fiji media, has suffered another blow with such unfounded allegations. With media under great scrutiny through the apparent collapse of Murdoch Empire, such antics may cause the downfall of blogsite which indulge in daydreaming and vindication based of religion and other divisions. Shame on Coup 4.5 for such gutter brand of writing which falls outside the borders of journalism which is generally associated with balanced and responsible reporting.

  2. solomone radini, 20. August 2011, 22:06

    What the heck do you know about who is doing what.Long sleeve?

  3. Jale O. Baba (@trees4fijians), 4. October 2011, 23:47

    Very sad if people will stoop this low. We want democracy but we love Fiji. And these people do not deserve this.

  4. tee kortoe, 18. March 2012, 12:06

    wat a shame to the Fiji people, the government who is led by some half educated people, who does not have the mandate of the people and who knows nothing about politics.