Exposing lies in Zaid Jilani’s Alternet article on Tulsi Gabbard

Jilani’s article is a Hinduphobic piece singling Tulsi out for her religion for saying things that the founder and president of Muslims for Progressive Values and moderate Muslims agree with her on:

“If one wants to examine the absurd lengths as to where the PC Police have taken us, one needs to go no further than the misrepresentation of Rep (D) Tulsi Gabbard as an Islamophobe! This is the same war veteran and Congresswoman who has advocated AGAINST the regime change policies in Iraq, Syria and Libya — all Muslim majority countries.

Simply talking about extremism within some sections of the Muslim Community does not make one an Islamophobe. Congresswoman Tulsi does not adopt broad bush tactics. Her discourse is clear, nuanced and to the point. I would know since I am a Muslim. Rep Gabbard’s statements in favour of Muslims who sacrificed their lives for speaking out against extremism is a testament to her sincerity and support to the Larger Muslim community.

.. American Muslims are lucky to have some like Tulsi in Congress who has publically opposed regime change intervention in Muslim majority countries. Let’s support her as opposed to making absurb and unfounded correlations “

I do not believe the timing of this hearing is a coincidence. The national elections in India begin on Monday and continue until May 12. I am concerned that the goal of this hearing is to influence the outcome of India’s national elections, which is not an appropriate role for the US Congress. Such interference with India’s elections would undermine our shared goals.

The United States of America should always stand for religious freedom for all people in all countries and should always work to that end. In this regard, we need to be especially careful not to directly or indirectly contribute to sectarian strife in India or other countries. I am concerned that this hearing is an attempt to foment fear and loathing purely for political purposes, and that it’s being done to influence India’s national elections. This is wrong and it will contribute to further sectarian division in India and will undermine the national interests of the United States.

I look forward to the conversation that we have in a way that will be constructive, both for our shared interests with India, but also to make sure that we are fighting against religious persecution in all countries.”

  • Lies: Then the author goes on to imply US India PAC is some kind of BJP group, when in reality it contributes to Indian Americans and people supportive of India and has existed since long before BJP came to power in India. It has supported people of different religions including Pramila Jayapal, Kamala Harris (Christian — Baptist), Ami Bera (Christian — Unitarian Universalism), Raja Krishnamoorthi, Dhillon (Sikh) etc.

“The majority of Muslims are practicing the spiritual path of Islam within their own lives in a pluralistic, peaceful way. So by calling organizations like ISIS Islamic or Islamist extremists, we are making a distinction between the vast majority of Muslims who are not extremists and a handful of those who are”

Support of the Muslim community:

  1. Tulsi was invited to be the keynote speaker by Muslims 4 Peace at the 10th Annual Prophet Mohammed Day at Rutgers University. I challenge anyone and everyone to watch her speech and say that Tulsi has anything but sincere love and respect for Muslims.

Here’s Tulsi speaking with young Muslim women after her keynote speech for Muslims for Peace Prophet Mohammed Day:

4. She endorsed Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison for DNC chair, even though he was opposed by Hindu and Jewish groups

5. championed legislation, including speaking on the House floor, in favor of vetted refugees from Muslim-majority Iraq and Afghanistan. Here’s what one of the beneficiaries of this legislation had to say about Tulsi

Sham Hasan: I love Tulsi. She is one of the main reason that my Special Immigrant Visa Program was extended. She is very vocal and loudly honest since the very beginning.

6. opposed bigotry against Muslims by Trump, Carson, Graham (on Fox news) & others and

7. has been called a “refreshingly strong voice for secularism and free expression” by secular organizations.

8. She also condemned violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States by cosponsoring H.Res.569.

9. Here’s what a Syrian-American Sunni Muslim wrote about her:

Gabbard has shown utmost concern and respect for our community, the Syrian people and for all new Americans, which is why so many Syrians at home and in the U.S. support her tireless efforts to bring peace to Syria.

Note: Regarding that shawl/scarf around her shoulders, it’s a common gift given at Indian events and I was able to google few other pictures of her with similar shawls. It would be rather ungraceful to check such a gift before accepting it, just like one wouldn’t inspect a garland before accepting it. Here’s some of those pictures