An open letter to the U.S. House members of Indian origin/ ancestry

What Islamophobia Act stands to do against every non-Islamic nation is a serious encroachment to their internal affairs by the United States

What Islamophobia Act stands to do against every non-Islamic nation is a serious encroachment to their internal affairs by the United States
What Islamophobia Act stands to do against every non-Islamic nation is a serious encroachment to their internal affairs by the United States

U.S. House passes Islamophobia bill

The Islamophobia Act, passed by the House in 2021, is now before the Senate. I believe I have done my fair share to raise awareness about this Act from the time it was being drafted by writing a series of articles (1-4) and making an appeal to Indian American communities for writing to their Representatives and Senators[1][2][3][4]. I hope they did but the Act has already passed the House anyway where we have three Representatives of Indian origin or ancestry.

It is most painful that all of them not only voted affirmatively but refrained from even questioning and correcting the blatant lies by their colleague Ilhan Omar, the most vocal pro-Islamic and anti-other religions. It may not be an overstatement that if she has her way and continues her pro-Islamic agenda, the U.S. may soon be engaged in discussing/ practicing Sharia law. On the other side of the globe, the Act in question stands to label every non-Islamic nation and non-Muslim citizen as Islamophobic.

Therefore, I chose to compose this Open Letter addressed to the following Representatives, who are Hindus at least by birth and Indian Americans. One of them was born in the U.S. (Khanna) and the other two were born in India and later immigrated to the U.S.

The Honorable Congressman Ro Khanna, CA (Democratic Vice-Chair of the House Caucus on India and Indian Americans)

The Honorable Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthy, IL

The Honorable Congresswoman, Pramila Jayapal, WA

As a fellow Democrat and a proud Hindu of Indian origin, I am saddened that you voted affirmatively for the bill titled, “Combating International Islamophobia Act.” I am deeply troubled that you have mortgaged your own Hindu origin (to the best of my knowledge you have not changed your religion) by voting for the Islamophobia Act. Did you not realize that the Act you voted for is deeply flawed on many fronts?

  • It promotes favoritism of one religion over others which can directly lead to divisiveness within the religious communities in your Congressional districts and around the country.
  • It promotes false narratives against our valued allies around the world, thus negatively impacting our country’s reputation and relationships.
  • It erodes the confidence of your supporters, particularly Indian Americans of the Hindu faith, who believe that the Act is a direct attack on our Dharmic values.
  • It does not define Islamophobia, allowing for its interpretation to be an arbitrary way to curb free speech and freedom of religion. For example, the current bill stands to slap with a label of Islamophobia for any criticism of ISIS or the Taliban. Did you realize that your vote meant supporting ISIS and/ or Taliban philosophies and way of life?
  • It stands to curtail free speech and meaningful and legitimate discussion on global issues such as 9/11 and its perpetrators, global terrorism by Jihadists, and other events.

Let me remind you of Nadia Murad, a 28-year-old woman, an Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist. She was kidnapped and was a sex slave at the hands of ISIS. She had an event canceled by the Canadian school board due to fears of being accused of “Islamophobia”.

Did you realize that your colleague, Congresswoman Omar, was stating a completely false narrative and making a totally incorrect claim when she said, “In India, Prime Minister Modi’s government has moved to strip the citizenship from millions of Muslims?” On the contrary, not even ONE Muslim has been stripped of citizenship. You let her tar and feather India, Hinduism, and the leader of the largest democracy and a central part of QUAD. The affirmative vote indicates that either you did not do your due diligence to counter baseless accusations or simply ignored the facts. With due respect, I ask if you were blissfully ignorant, willfully deviant, or both.

You are equally well aware that the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) already monitors religious freedom. Why then did you support the creation of an additional office in the State Department to replicate what is already happening for the benefit of Congress and the White House? Let me say humbly that the taxpayers money is not to be abused just because the elected officials have the right to pass legislation even if not in the national interest. The Islamophobia Act is squarely an example of abuse of that authority.

During my one-year tenure in The White House Science Policy office, I have personally witnessed that most Representatives and Senators take pride and work diligently to take their responsibility very seriously for the greater good of their constituency and the nation. I have no doubt that each of you does the same. I am not terribly surprised that Representative Ilhan Omar often speaks ill of other religions but Islam because of her extraordinary bias towards her own religion. But what surprised and saddened me is that you chose not to safeguard your Dharmic values and seek equality among all religions which Islamophobia Act does not.

While I am not from any of your constituencies, I respectfully ask each of you to rise above the partisanship in defending what is right, be more inclusive and just to people of all faiths, and at least honor your ancestry.

In conclusion, what Islamophobia Act stands to do against every non-Islamic nation is a serious encroachment to their internal affairs by the United States. With respect to Hinduism and India, I hope that every Hindu American will remember where the Representatives named above stand when they go to the polls next time irrespective of their political ideology. I for one had expected that each of you will at least question the most blatant remarks by Omar on the House floor so she never dares to tar and feather India and Hinduism again.

1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.


[1] A bill for monitoring Islamophobia in the U.S. State Department: Part 1Oct 28, 2021,

[2] Islamophobia Act and its far-reaching consequencesOct 30, 2021,

[3] The reluctant American Indians and the aggressive Islamic ActNov 02, 2021,

[4] Religious freedom & no intolerance and Islamophobia in India?Dec 24, 2021, My Voice

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Vijendra Agarwal, born in village Kota (Saharanpur, U.P), left India in 1973 after Ph.D. (Physics) from IIT Roorkee. He is currently a member of project GNARUS, a syndicated service and writers collective. He and his wife co-founded a US-based NGO, Vidya Gyan, to serve rural India toward better education and health of children, especially empowerment of girls. Vidya Gyan is a calling to give back to rural communities and keeping connected to his roots which gave him so much more. His passion for writing includes the interface of policy, politics, and people, and social/cultural activities promoting community engagement.

Formerly, a researcher in Italy, Japan, and France, he has widely travelled and came to the US in 1978. He was a faculty and academic administrator in several different universities in PA, TX, NJ, MN, WI, and NY, and an Executive Fellow in the White House S&T Policy during the Clinton administration.
Vijendra Agarwal


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