On Friday (June 3), Baptist Minister Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr took to Twitter to slam anti-Hindu activist Peter Friedrich for allegedly making objectionable remarks against US Representative from Illinois, Raja Krishnamoorthi.
In a series of tweets, the former Democratic leader remarked, “The days of people like Friedrich making threats against non-white people, especially because of the colour of their skin, their religious affiliation, or their country of origin must remain behind us.”
“To put it bluntly: saying ‘Nazis out, Raja must go’& ‘Death to Krishnamoorthi’ is racist, bigoted, incendiary rhetoric that does not belong in our political or civic discourse,” he further emphasised.
The Baptist Minister condemned the bigoted rhetorics of Peter Friedrich and his accomplice Junaid Ahmed, who is running for Office to represent Illinois’ 8th Congressional District.
“In the strongest possible terms I urge all candidates for elected office to use your platform to unite us, not divide us, and to refrain from using hate as a means to scoring cheap political points,” Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr concluded.
The Background of the Controversy
The matter came to light after Hindu American Foundation (HAF) alleged that Pieter Friedrich had yelled ‘Death to Raja Krishnamoorthi’ outside the office of the US Representative. In a video shared by HAF, Friedrich could be heard chanting ‘RSS Murdabad’ and ‘Krishnamoorthi Murdabad.’
#Breaking: Last night at an election debate, @CongressmanRaja reported that Pieter Friedrich, a shady operative known for anti-Hindu activism, stood outside his office & yelled “Death to Raja Krishnamoorthi.”— Hindu American Foundation (@HinduAmerican) June 3, 2022
Today, Friedrich is sharing the video & repeating the threat in Urdu. pic.twitter.com/vcjkg9GhyS
HAF called upon the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and US Capitol Police to take cognisance of the threats. “Friedrich has well-known ties to a terror movement in India highlighted in this article & his repeating “Murdabad” (death to) in that context, cannot be dismissed as a joke,” the Hindu advocacy group pointed out.
It asked the Democratic Party to take note of the Hinduphobic tropes, that are smearing the political participation of hard-working Hindu Americans.
We ask @TheDemocrats to be aware that activism against @CongressmanRaja is repeated against other Hindu candidates, & these Hinduphobic tropes of dual loyalty & smearing political participation of many hard working Hindu Americans as somehow suspect or foreign funded is dangerous— Hindu American Foundation (@HinduAmerican) June 3, 2022
In his defence, the known anti-Hindu activist has claimed that he never chanted ‘death to Krishnamoorthi’. “I have never done this and I challenge you to prove otherwise,” he tweeted while sharing a video of Raja Krishnamoorthi.
In the video, the US Representative for Illinois’s 8th congressional district accused Pieter Friedrich of sloganeering against him outside his house, including raising chants of ‘death to Krishnamoorthi.’
@CongressmanRaja, please publicly retract and apologize for your slander immediately or potentially face legal consequences for defamation.— Pieter Friedrich (@FriedrichPieter) June 3, 2022
While threatening the Hindu politician with defamation, he tweeted, “Raja Krishnamoorthi, please publicly retract and apologize for your slander immediately or potentially face legal consequences for defamation.”
The pro-Khalistan antecedents of Pieter Friedrich
Last year, Opindia had reported how Pieter Friedrich went from being a believer in ‘constitutional republican Christian theocracy’ to a critic of ‘Hindu fascism’. Until 2007, he was a Christian missionary activist and a majority of his early work was based on Pro-Life Christian activism.
Thereafter, he became a close associate of Bhajan Bhinder, a Khalistani ISI handler. As per a 2003 report in East Bay Express, Bhinder and his accomplice Gurtej Singh met with an undercover agent posing as a weapon dealer to purchase assault weapons and shoulder-fired missiles for the Free Khalistan movement.”
The report added, “Bhinder allegedly said the weapons would travel via yacht to Pakistan. They would then move overland by truck into India, where members of the Free Khalistan movement would receive them. Bhinder, the declaration said, would pay half of the money when he got the weapons and the other half when the shipment arrived in India.”
Pieter has been on the radar of Indian security agencies ever since 2006, when his connection to ISI operative Bhajan Singh Bhinder came to light. Around 2007, Pieter also went by another name, Pieter Flanigan.
Under this name, Pieter ran Gandhism.net, an anti-Gandhi website created to denigrate Mahatma Gandhi and his ideologies. The goal of this website was clear. It was to cast an overwhelmingly negative light on Gandhi, with accusations of racism and pedophilia being thrown at the Mahatma in every column on the website.
During 2015-2019, many articles by Pieter Friedrich in online news media websites like thecitizen.com, velivada.com, sabrangindia.in, clarionindia.net etc. were published. This was a coordinated effort in order to boost Friedrich’s credibility in India as an ‘expert’. Before this period, Friedrich’s main focus of operations was within the United States.
This period was critical and necessary for Friedrich in order to establish his credibility as a ‘South Asian Expert’.