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IAMC: A US-Based Islamist Disinformation Factory

 Rohan Giri / New Delhi

Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), formerly known as Indian Muslim Council (IMC USA), is a US-based organisation that is in the news for supposedly advancing the interests of Indian Muslims in America. The organisation\’s mandate states that its goal is to safeguard India\’s pluralism, tolerance, and respect for human rights, however this is far from the reality. Through the dissemination of organised false information and the portrayal of India as the oppressor of Indian Muslims, its efforts frequently demonise India. IAMC routinely spreads its agenda-driven, biassed ideas about India and Hindus in particular, utilising disparaging and Hinduphobic slurs, under the guise of interfaith and inter-community debate. IAMC and its representatives have been defaming India\’s sovereignty, culture, tradition, and government efforts over the past few years, misleading the American people about Indian events and happenings. Thereby continuously attempting to sow strife between the oldest and largest democracies in the world.

Rasheed Ahmed, executive director of the IAMC with Rashad Hussain, US Ambassador fnternational Religious Freedom

Over many years, the agenda-driven leadership at IAMC created numerous organisations with the same members. In order to conceal the organisation\’s dubious identity, support, and foreign ties—including those with United Nations-prohibited terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Islamist extremist organisations like the Jamaat-E-Islami—the entities were given new names.

Deeper investigation reveals that Shaik Ubaid, the founder of IAMC, BTF, JFA, and ImamNet, and Abdul Mujahid, the founder of Sound Vision and a co-founder of JFA and BTF, are the major protagonists in the nexus. Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) can be found backing all of these the major organisations. Select  organisations are detailed below.

  • Shaik Ubaid founded the Indian American Centre for Social Justice (IACSJ), which is a front for Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC).
  • The Burma Task Force (BTF), founded by Shaik Ubaid and Abdul Mujahid, gathers money on behalf of Rohingya Muslims worldwide while claiming to speak for the interests of Muslims in Burma. However, the funds are used for IAMC activities. Abdul Mujahid formed Justice for All (JFA), which is the umbrella organisation under which the Burma Task Force operates.
  • In addition, Abdul Mujahid launched Sound Vision, a JFA-powered organisation. The media front for ICNA is Sound Vision.

It\’s crucial to note that the Islamic Circle of North America ICNA is a nexus of Islamist fundamentalist organisations like  Jamaat-e-Islami and its affiliated terrorist groups and entities. The US government indicated in a resolution that it is concerned about the threat that theocratic organisations pose to democracy and human rights and that ICNA receives funding, shares leadership, and is openly associated with Jamaat-e-Islami.[1]

Claims and realities don\’t always match up, and IAMC is not an exception to this common occurrence. Even while the Indian American Muslim Council claims to be a non-profit organisation that advocates for Muslim rights, the truth is that it has close ties, both directly and indirectly, to extremist and terrorist organisations that are run by jihadis and islamists. Mohammad Siddiqi, the founder of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), a terrorist group that has been proscribed in India and has carried out multiple bombings aiming to establish an Islamic state in India was once hosted as a guest at the Shaik Ubaid-founded IAMC.[2] Moreover, IAMC’s founder Sheikh Ubaid is associated with ICNA, which has links with Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba.[3] At the inaugural convention of the IAMC, they lined up the extremist guest speaker, Asim Ghafoor, aka Asim Abdur Rehman Ghafoor. Ghafoor was a former spokesperson for the terrorist-linked groups Global Relief Foundation (GRF), and Care International[4]. The IAMC is run by Rasheed Ahmed. From 2008 to 2017, he was the executive director of the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA). Three islamist humanitarian organisations, including IMANA, raised millions of money under the guise of assisting India but provided little to no relief to India during COVID-19. IMANA is connected to a number of terrorist organisations, including the Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.[5] Top IAMC functionaries like Kaleem Kawaja have vociferously advocated the cause of Taliban, once he recorded to have stated “Brother, can you spare a tear for Taliban?”[6] Additionally, IAMC has a history of advocating against India, whether it is through the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) or by glorifying motivated and agenda driven journalists, actors and writers like Rana Ayub, Swara Bhaskar, Angana P. Chatterji and Barkha Dutt.


IAMC began influencing the supposedly independent, bipartisan United States federal government panel USCIRF in 2013–2014. Through the commissioner Nadine Maenza, Shaik Ubaid was able to influence the USCIRF with the assistance of the US-based lobbying group Fidelis Government Relations (FGR). The lobbying\’s objective was to designate India as country of particular concern (CPC) and draw attention to the country\’s human rights issues. In 2020, when USCIRF recognised India as CPC, the well-funded lobbying efforts of IAMC and its nexus would finally yield results. In its 2014 report, the USCIRF altered the map of India by defacing regions of India’s Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, and Arunachal Pradesh.[7]

IAMC awarded extraordinary reward money for some of its favoured journalists in the annual Human Rights and Religious Freedom Journalism (HRRF) Awards. Select names decided by IAMC for various cash prizes included Shahid Tantray of The Caravan Magazine, Aishwarya S Iyer of Scroll, Ismat Ara of The Wire, Sumedha Mittal of The Caravan, Naomi Barton of The Wire, Priyanka Thirumurthy of The News Minute, and Akanksha Kumar of Newslaundry, among others.[8] Each prize has gone to an individual who supports the pro-Pakistani, Islamist narrative that the Indian government is terrorising Indian Muslims.


To further its jihadist and Islamist goal of destabilising relations between the two progressive nations, India and the USA, IAMC frequently spreads misleading information about India. IAMC has been at the forefront of demonising both America in India and India in America while disguising itself as a pluralist and advocacy group. It has been working continuously against American and Indian interests. Whether it is by encouraging Journalists by compensating them for their activities against India and America, or by lobbying and coercing USCIRF to label India as a country of particular concern. IAMC aggressively supports an anti-Hindu and anti-Indian agenda in the US while publicly promoting its vile lies. Strong checks and balances must be in place to ensure that such propaganda organisations do not have free reign in a free and democratic America.

(Rohan is a journalism graduate from Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) New Delhi, and Manager Operations at CIHS.)









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