Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Says She is Proud to be the First Hindu American to Run for President

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California administers the House oath of office to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, during a ceremonial swearing-in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, during the opening session of the 116th Congress. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

BOSTON—Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu American to have been elected to US Congress, says she is proud to be the first Hindu American to run for president.

She recently wrote an opinion editorial entitled Religious Bigotry is Un-American, published by Religion News Service.

In her op-ed, Congresswoman Gabbard writes, “I am proud to be the first Hindu American to have been elected to Congress, and now, the first Hindu American to run for president.”

She was recently sworn into her fourth term in US Congress, taking the oath of office on the Bhagavad Gita. Gabbard is a U.S. representative serving Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House.

“And while the headlines covering my announcement could have celebrated this historic first, maybe even informed Americans at large about the world’s third largest religion, some have instead fomented suspicion, fear, and religious bigotry about not only me but my supporters,” wrote Rep. Gabbard. “That Hindus — alongside countless Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, agnostics, and atheists — support me should not be newsworthy. But some media outlets have chosen to craft a false narrative of intrigue by profiling and targeting all of my donors who have names of Hindu origin and accusing them of being “Hindu nationalists.”

She adds: “Our country was established on the basis of freedom of religion, and the Constitution states there would never be any religious test for any public office. It is a freedom enshrined in our Constitution, and that every member of Congress takes an oath to protect — a freedom that many heroes have given their lives to defend. Nothing is more important to our democracy than this freedom.

“Those who are trying to foment anti-Hindu sentiment expose the dark underbelly of religious bigotry in politics, and must be called out. To advocate voting for or against someone based on their religion, race, or gender is simply un-American.”

You can read the full Op-Ed here.

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