|Tulsi Gabbard, Congresswoman of Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District, speaks to an|
audience about the service and sacrifice given by wounded warriors, during the Tripler
Army Medical Center's Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Warrior Care Kick-off Event
Oct. 31, 2014, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal. Courtesy DVIDS.)
Fox News reported on Feb. 28 that the Hawaiian National Guard captain had been the state’s “golden girl after winning a seat in Congress with support from top liberal groups,” but that her former supporters are now attacking her following her criticism of Obama for failing to identify that Islam drives Islamic terrorists.
“‘Every soldier knows this simple fact: If you don’t know your enemy, you will not be able to defeat him,’ Gabbard told FoxNews.com. ‘Our leaders must clearly identify the enemy as Islamist extremists, understand the ideology that is motivating them and attracting new recruits, and focus on defeating that enemy both militarily and ideologically.’”
Fox then reported on a variety of left-wing people criticizing her for criticizing the president. At the same time, people on the right voiced their support of her identifying the Islamic threat. Former Defense Intelligence Agency Director Michael Flynn also backed the Iraq war veteran, saying according to the Fox article, that she “has taken a very courageous stand in a party that just refuses to face reality.”
Gabbard’s position and challenging of Obama is incredibly unique as a Democrat. And a look at her background provides clues as to why she might be taking the position she is taking.
The Fox article said she was born in American Samoa to parents who are “strict social conservatives.” Gabbard, however, clearly is not. The article mentions that anti-life Emily’s List was one of the leftist groups that backed her run for Congress. Furthermore, the article specifically states she is “a left-leaning Democrat until it comes to foreign affairs.”
So why might that be? The article doesn’t say. But it does mention that she is a Hindu. And that is important.
The Taliban wanted to mark Hindus in Afghanistan when they ruled. And then there is the conflict between Muslims and Hindus in India, and on a larger scale, between the Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India. Hindus and Muslims are in conflict across the globe, and there is no indication that Hindus fail to see their faith and the faith of their opponents as being central to their conflict.
So is Gabbard’s Hindu religion partially responsible for her being able to identify the Islamic aspect of Islamic terrorism? Perhaps. In fact, almost certainly so. Faith plays an important part in everyone’s life. It’s unavoidable even as it’s deniable. Even those claiming faith in no god are themselves full of faith; faith in their autotheism, where they are their gods and determine what they believe to be right and wrong based on their self-worshiping religion.
But the public taboo of acknowledging how important faith is prevents most people from recognizing this, or admitting they recognize it if they do. And that is damaging; it is in part what has led to the U.S. being unable to identify that Islam is central to Islamic terrorism. Perhaps Gabbard can help change this. She is, after all, non-white, non-Christian, non-male, and a Democrat, and people might be more inclined to listen to what she has to say than someone who doesn’t fall in the same demographics she does.
And if people listen to her, perhaps they’ll also recognize that her Hindu faith plays an important part in why she is able to recognize the Islamic component of Islamic terrorism, and that in turn might cause people to acknowledge that faith impacts us all, and is central to everything we think and do.