CNN is once again facing a backlash. In the series “Believer with Reza Aslan,” host Reza Aslan provoked intense disgust and alarm from viewers when he ate part of a human brain with a Hindu cannibal sect in India.
Hindus in America were particularly dismayed.
The only Hindu in Congress, Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) blasted out a series of tweets on Mar, 7, including one which read:
“I am very disturbed that CNN is using its power and influence to increase people’s misunderstanding and fear of Hinduism.”
2/ I am very disturbed that CNN is using its power and influence to increase people’s misunderstanding and fear of Hinduism.
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) March 7, 2017
Gabbard also tweeted:
“Aslan apparently sought to find sensationalist and absurd ways to portray Hinduism.”
“Aslan and CNN didn’t just throw a harsh light on a sect of wandering ascetics to create shocking visuals – as if touring a zoo – but repeated false stereotypes about caste, karma and reincarnation that Hindus have been combating tirelessly.”
Aslan, 44, an Iranian-born Muslim and religious scholar, met with a group from the Aghori sect that performed a ritual in which they smeared ashes from cremated human bodies on the host’s face, drank alcohol from a human skull, and ate cooked brain tissue.
During the ritual, Aslan had an argument with the Aghori guru, who then ate his own feces, hurled it at Aslan, and screamed, “I will cut your head off if you keep talking so much.”
Aslan jokingly responded, “I feel like this may have been a mistake.”
Indian Americans are extremely upset with CNN for highlighting the beliefs of a tiny cult, whose practices and beliefs have little to do with mainstream Hinduism and are rejected by orthodox Hindus.
“This is a disgusting attack on Hinduism,” said industrialist Shalabh Kumar to the Press Trust of India. He stated that the Republican Hindu Coalition is “planning to take major action.”
Kumar previously reported that 65 percent of Hindus in America voted for President Trump. In a series of tweets, he wrote:
“CNN, Clinton News Network has no respect for Hindus. All Hindus worldwide should boycott CNN.”
“I condemn CNN for airing Believer with fiction. Disgusting attack on Hindus for supporting @POTUS @stephenkbannon @newtgingrich.”
— Shalabh Kumar (@iamshalabhkumar) March 5, 2017
Others weighed in, as well.
“We are very disappointed. This is an issue that is of deep concern to the Indian-American community evidenced by the large number of calls/emails we have received,” said the chairman of the United States India Political Action Committee, Sanjay Puri.
“In a charged environment, a show like this can create a perception about Indian Americans which could make them more vulnerable to further attacks.”
For his part, Reza Aslan seems to be enjoying the controversy he stirred up, showing no signs of remorse or that an apology is forthcoming.
See the bizarre ritual below:
H/T: Daily Mail
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