Anti-Gandhi Activist Pieter Friedrich Vainly Denies Links To Extremist Groups And Causes

Gandhi statue vandalized at Central Park in Davis

After the vandalization of the bronze statue of Gandhi which was 6 feet tall and weighed around 294 kg (650-pounds) gifted to the City of Davis, by the Government of India, in 2016, media articles had brought forth the hate campaign that had been unleashed by extremist groups preceding the incident. A group named ‘Organization For Minorities In India(OFMI) and its leaders Bhajan Singh Bhinder and self-styled “South Asia analyst” Pieter Friedrich had run a vociferous campaign demanding the removal of the Gandhi statue since its installation 4 years ago. Some of them had threatened to bring the statue down.

After the gruesome incident of vandalism which brought down the statue, the organization’s leaders and supporters celebrated the incident, and some of them even threatened to deface the statue worse if it were to be reinstalled.

Figure 1: Peter Friedrich speaking in front of Gandhi statue

Pieter Friedrich, responding to one of the articles that mentioned his association with the extremist group OFMI, tried disassociating himself from it, while also denying that OFMI had links to the radical Khalistan movement[1].

But it appears that neither of his claims is truthful.

OFMI founder’s links to Khalistan and radical political cause

Figure 2. Bhajan Singh Bhinder and OFMI leading protest against Gandhi statue at Central Park in Davis

Friedrich in his response said that “OFMI itself has no connection whatsoever to the Khalistan movement.” But its founding director Bhajan Singh Bhinder has been investigated for trying to procure arms for the Khalistan movement in 1992.

An article by East Bay Express gives details on the episode quoting DEA Special Agent Tim Lum’s court filing[2].

“Bhinder and Gurtej Singh allegedly met with the undercover agents to negotiate the purchase of assault weapons and shoulder-fired missiles for the Free Khalistan movement… Bhinder allegedly said he was looking for one ton of C-4 plastic explosive “to start with.” The declaration says the unnamed agents then showed Bhinder and Singh a collection of machine guns. They were evidently looking for something with more firepower, namely M-16s, AK-47s, detonators, night-vision goggles, mobile communications equipment, remote-control equipment, grenade and rocket launchers and, for good measure, Stinger missiles.

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. But the deal never went through. Two weeks after the meeting, according to the document, Bhinder phoned the undercover agent and called it off.

“A government source said the Customs Service then dropped the investigation, having already expended too much money and manpower on an unsuccessful sting. It was still nine years before the 9/11 attacks, and terrorism  —  particularly abroad  —  was low on the government’s list of priorities. Lum alleged that Bhinder travelled to Pakistan soon after the aborted arms deal, allegedly returning to the Bay Area six months later.”

Pieter Friedrich’s links with OFMI

Secondly, Friedrich tried to partly deny and partly defend his association with the OFMI. He has been listed as “advising director” of OFMI in articles quoting him on the OFMI’s website[3].

Figure 3. Snapshot from OFMI Website calling Friedrich as “Advising Director”

Friedrich defends himself by saying “he left that role several years ago.” But on a closer look, it appears that he has been writing pieces and coordinating press releases for OFMI as recently as January 29th, 2021[4]. In fact, his most recent writing published on the OFMI website seems to be on the vandalization of the Gandhi statue where neither Pieter Friedrich nor OFMI seems to be offering remorse for the destruction. It clearly indicates that Friedrich is still very much associated with the extremist group.

Figure 4. Snapshot of Friedrich’s Author Page on OFMI Website

Pieter Friedrich’s controversial views on slavery, gay rights, and rapes

Pieter Friedrich also has had regressive views on slavery, gay rights, and women’s rights. Friedrich, for example, was an avowed anti-abortion activist. His regressive views were exposed by investigative journalist Robbie Jaeger[5]. Friedrich’s now-deleted blog named “pumpkinhead” is “full of repulsive rape-victim shaming, anti-LGBT anecdotes[6]. He even argues against the immediate abolition of slavery.”

Figure 5. Who is Peter Friedrich?

In the blog, Friedrich introduces himself as somebody who believes in “Christian theocracy.” He also writes in blog posts that stores that have gay and lesbian sections should be boycotted.

Figure 6. Snapshot from Friedrich’s defunct blog

In another post, he argues against the immediate abolition of slavery and opines that a gradual one is in the interests of the blacks.

Figure 7. So much for Friedrich’s talk of anti-racism and human rights…

His denial of both his association with the extremist group OFMI and that OFMI itself is linked to extremist and violent causes, does not stand scrutiny.

References:

[1] Group Linked to RSS’s US Wing Repeats Tired Lies About FriedrichFeb 3, 2021, Pieter J Friedrich.com

[2] Singh vs. SinghNov 19, 2003, East Bay Express

[3] PM Cameron plans statue of apartheid proponent beside Mandela in Parliament SquareFeb 4, 2021, OFMI.org

[4] Organization for Minorities of India – OFMI.org

[5] Robbie Jaeger TweetOct 6, 2019, Twitter

[6]The Air ForceApr 25, 2006, Archive.org

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