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CNN’s `Believer with Reza Aslan` promotes xenophobia, Hinduphobia: AHAD

New Delhi: A prominent Hindu organisation in the United States has issued a statement against CNN’s show ‘Believer with Reza Aslan’, citing it promotes xenophobia, particularly, Hinduphobia.

Ajay Shah, Convenor, American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD) said in his statement, “The six-part CNN series, ‘Believer with Reza Aslan,’ purports to demystify some of the world religions, however, from the promotional material and review articles about the show, it is clear that the show paints Hindu dharma (spiritual, religion and cultural tradition) by accentuating a lesser understood tiny sect of a faith that count seventy ascetics among a one and a quarter billion adherents, whose mainstream practices and philosophical underpinnings have flourished for thousands of years.”

“Ms. Aslan attributes the quest for societal-equality in Indian society to Aghori influence, ignoring the fact that underpinning of this equality is inherent in the most ancient of Hindu scriptures, including Rig Veda, the earliest scripture of Hindu dharma. As most non-practicing Hindus, Mr. Aslan has not gained deeper understanding of difference between varna (caste label that is acquired based on profession and is not based on birth) and jaati (family association that traditionally passed through inheritance),” the statement further reads.

Shah has also said Aslan had a way to denigrate other religions. While he promoted ‘moderate’ Islamic Sufi tradition as mainstream in the media, he generalises fringe elements of Hindu faith, while ignoring the peaceful, non-violent, all accepting and universal ideals of Hindu dharma.

AHAD believes that this crass representation of Hindu faith will do little to promote interfaith understanding. It will promote ignorance about Hindu traditions and promote ridicule of Hindu children in the schools.

To ensure that the educational ideals of this series are met, the AHAD has demanded that Hindu related episodes in the series be reviewed by practicing Hindu experts before they are aired.

AHAD further called on CNN to hold itself to higher standards. (ANI)