In early 1980s, after the demise of the MMM at the general elections, a Muslim bashing campaign started because the MMM meant for some, Mouvement Militant Musulman. The perpetrators of the discrimination had the invisible support of the world media which have not been kind to the Muslims, especially after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Some people met to analyse the socio political situation of the Muslim community and the tools at their disposal to neutralize any effort at marginalizing 16% of the Mauritian population. It was a loose group which shared ideas over cups of tea.
It was clear to the initiators that there was a need to project the correct image of the Muslims and Islam and impress upon the Government of the day that Muslims were free to exercise their political rights as they wished and should not be sidelined if they were believed to be on the wrong side of politics of the day.
A campaign was launched to sensitise Muslim leaders for a collective effort to forestall any anti-Muslim political decisions to be implemented. Dinners were organized at Eids and shared with other components of the Mauritian rainbow in presence of political leaders. It was a forum to share the concerns of Muslims with their guests.
After a running in period of about 5 years, a decision was taken to give the informal group a shape, a name and a registration certificate. ALIF was officially born.
A trio attracted several passers-by, some stopped to see if they had common interests with the ideals and ideas proposed, some stayed for a few weeks and left, some stayed longer and some are here up to now. It is the nature of human beings I believe: they are attracted in a cause, stay interested and engaged but fatally, they get fed up with the best.
ALIF, a collection of individuals at first and a solid formation now, has made giant strides. It is a respected body which has contributed to enhance the fate of Muslims and make Mauritius a more cordial place to live.