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The Khalistani propaganda against Tulsi Gabbard: How extremists linked to Pakistan’s ISI are targeting Hindus to influence US politics

Organization for Minorites of India is a company formed by Pieter Friedrich with the backing of Khalistani terrorist Bhajan Singh Bhinder, who is an operative of Pakistan's ISI.

With the revelation of Pieter Friedrich’s Khalistani ties, his activities and the activities of the organizations he’s associated have come under the scanner for any potential wrongdoing. Organization for Minorites of India is a company formed by Pieter Friedrich with the backing of Khalistani terrorist Bhajan Singh Bhinder, who is an operative of Pakistan’s ISI.

In 2013, Bhinder became the CEO of OFMI, and in 2016 Bhinder brought in Steve Macias, Pieter’s brother-in-law as CFO. The OFMI has a track record of protesting against Mahatma Gandhi, Hindu politicians, and just about anything which can be considered pro-India or pro-Hindu.

The OFMI has a history of associating with other Anti-India groups which push for Kashmir separatism. A bare perusal of OFMI’s website will tell you the entire story. For an organization which is supposed to exist for the welfare minority communities in India, there is a lot of focus on Mahatma Gandhi. OFMI’s website is full of vitriol against Gandhi, with all sorts of baseless allegations against him, including being allied to Adolf Hitler, being a pedophile etc.

Mahatma Gandhi is the most popular Hindu leader in the world who worked for the welfare of Indian minorities eg. Dalits. OFMI’s website consists of bizarre smears of Mahatma Gandhi but little to none coverage for OFMI’s activities which actually helps minorities in India. And its not just limited to the Mahatma, OFMI has a history smearing Hindu or pro-India figures and organizations.

Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard was the first practicing Hindu to be elected to the U.S. Congress in 2012. Ever since then, in both her rhetoric and the legislations that she has pushed, she’s been an Anti-War Progressive legislator. Way before Gabbard’s announcement of a Presidential run in early February 2019, the OFMI was already targeting and defaming Tulsi Gabbard. Pieter Friedrich’s and OFMI’s campaign against Tulsi Gabbard started in 2018 with the first anti-Tulsi article appearing on the OFMI website. The article also consists of a letter which OFMI addressed to Tulsi.

For OFMI, it seems that the mere invitation to speak at the World Hindu Council, an event organized by the VHP, is enough to to run a smear campaign. Tulsi did not end up going to the event, however this was not enough to satisfy OFMI and Pieter Friedrich. OFMI continued to smear and harass Tulsi as ‘agent of RSS’, a ‘Hindutva Fascist’ etc. without any proof or evidence. When Tulsi announced her Presidential run in February 2019, OFMI smelt blood in the water.

Immediately after her announcement, Pieter Friedrich and the OFMI gang went to work trying to trend #TulsiGottaGo, filling up the trend with all sorts of misinformation about Tulsi Gabbard. Harmful smears and misinformation, like Tulsi Gabbard being a Russia agent, a Hindutva agent, an Assad agent were spread liberally. And the credit for launching and perpetuating this hashtag trend full of outright lies and misinformation goes to Pieter Friedrich

However, it did not just stop in the virtual world for OFMI. Apparently, the candidacy of Tulsi Gabbard, a Left-wing Anti-War Progressive, a campaign which was never in any realistic position to win the Democratic Presidential nomination, was so disturbing to OFMI that they harassed Tulsi Gabbard at one of her public events. Holding signs saying ‘Prince$$ of R$$’, OFMI accused Tulsi Gabbard, without evidence, that she was somehow a sellout to the RSS.

So why did OFMI run an entire campaign against Tulsi Gabbard, with articles on their website, with Pieter Friedrich leading a direct assault on social media, with OFMI activists hairdressing Tulsi at her public events? Well…there is no bona fide explanation. OFMI did not have any shred of tangible evidence for any of their histrionic claims against Tulsi. Anything like a monetary receipt or some sort of documented evidence for Tulsi being a sellout the RSS was out of the question. If such a thing existed, any one of her 10 plus primary opponents would’ve brought it up. So why did OFMI run a malicious, obviously untrue campaign against Tulsi?

Well, sometimes the simplest explanation is the best one. As we already know, OFMI is a pro-Khalistan organization with a literal Khalistani terrorist as its CEO. Now that she is out of Congress, Tulsi is not the most prominent Hindu in U.S. Congress anymore but she still is the most prominent Hindu politician in the U.S. It would not be outside the realm of possibility for OFMI to attack and harass Tulsi solely on the basis that she is the most prominent Hindu politician in the USA.

Hindu American Foundation

The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) is an educational and advocacy foundation which champions the issues of concern of Hindu Americans to U.S. policymakers. HAF’s first run in with Pieter Friedrich was in July 2019, when HAF sent a letter to Caravan Magazine, expressing concerns about an upcoming article on the political activities of American Hindus. The article was written by none other than known Khalistani associate, Pieter Friedrich. When HAF found that Pieter Friedrich was writing the article for Caravan, multiple concerns were raised.

HAF questioned the objectivity of Pieter Friedrich. Rightfully so, since Pieter had blocked many members of the HAF leadership on social media, despite having no previous engagements. Pieter Friedrich had also publicly denigrated HAF leaderships, and HAF questioned his motives to have a conversation now.

HAF questioned the credentials of Pieter to be a self-described ‘South Asia analyst’. According to HAF, Pieter did not have a university degree, any fellowships completed, or any associations with think tanks and policy making institution which qualified him to be a ‘South Asia analyst’. Also HAF directly pointed out Friedrich’s long track record with the OFMI, an organization which has a Khalistani terrorist as its CEO. HAF also made note of Bhinder’s ties to the International Sikh Youth Federation, a designated terrorist organization in multiple countries including USA.

On 26th September 2020, HAF lashed out at the Democratic Party leadership for being a ‘mute spectator’ to the ‘growing Hinduphobia’ within the Democratic Party, especially the Progressive caucus. In their statement the HAF alleged that Amar Shergill, Chair of the California Democratic Progressive Caucas and Pieter Friedrich of running campaigns against all Indian American and Hindu lawmakers.

HAF alleged that the amongst the prominent Hindu American Democrats Shergill and Pieter were trying to defeat were Former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to the House of Representatives, who did not run for re-election. Sri Preston Kulkarni, who failed to win on the Democratic ticket from Texas and Democratic Michigan State House member Padma Kuppa, the first Hindu and Indian American elected to that state’s house were among the targets as well.

“Friedrich, Shergill and their political allies targeted not only Kulkarni, Kuppa and Gabbard, but also Indian American Democratic legislators like Ami Bera and Raja Krishnamoorthi. Democratic candidates Jenifer Rajkumar, a New York Assembly candidate, and Rishi Kumar, member of the Saratoga City Council and California congressional candidate, were also targeted. Besides Jani, Friedrich also went after another senior Biden campaign staffer, senior policy advisor and former president Obama-appointee, Sonal Shah,” HAF said.

“The attacks follow a pattern: depict prominent Hindu American donors who assert Hindu identity, call out Hinduphobia or promote robust US-India relations as “Hindu nationalists”, “Hindu supremacists” or “Hindu fascists”. Allege dual loyalty. Raise suspicion against all of them and then intimidate them through reputational harm, even dox them. Only Hindu American candidates supported by these donors are singled out for attack,” HAF alleged.

Conclusion

The United States of America is a global superpower with an increasingly diverse population. As newer immigrants of various groups wield power in the power structures of the U.S. system, they can utilize this power to improve the life of their fellow identity group. For example, the Armenian Genocide recognition by the USA in October 2019 did not happen in a vacuum.

Rep. Adam Schiff introduced the resolution for the Armenian genocide because more Armenians are living in his district than any other district of America. It is the power of the people putting pressure on politicians for their ethnic or religious goals.

Khalistanis fear that pro-India voices in the United States would deter their sinister designs. Therefore, they launch pre-emptive attacks against anyone who remotely do not appear anti-India. Pieter Friedrich is an associated of a known ISI operative. In this regard, the attacks against Hindu Americans is particularly sinister as they are blatantly indulging in propaganda against a religious minority in the USA for their larger objective.

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