The American Hindu Against Defamation (AHAD), one of the prominent Hindu organisation on Monday, issued a statement against CNN's 'Believer in Reza Aslan', stating that the show promoted Xenophobia and Hinduphobia.
The American Hindu Against Defamation (AHAD), one of the prominent Hindu organisation on Monday, issued a statement against CNN’s ‘Believer in Reza Aslan’, stating that the show promoted Xenophobia and Hinduphobia. Ajay Shah, convenor of the AHAD briefed the media on the situation and said that the 6 part CNN series was aimed at demystifying some of the world’s religions. Although, the promotional matter and the reviews of the show painted Hinduism 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”, he told ANI.
He further speaks about the host of the show, Reza Aslan and says that the latter attributed mission for societal-equality in the Indian society to Aghori influence, while ignoring that such equality has been found in most of the ancient Hindu scriptures, like the Rig Veda. He further adds that since Aslan was like most non-practicing Hindus, he had not gained a deeper understanding of the difference between ‘Varna’, which is the caste system based on a profession, not birth and ‘Jaati’, which was the traditional passing of caste through inheritance by family association.
Shah further said that while Aslan, moderately promoted Islamic Sufi tradition in the media, he generalised Hindu faith and ignored the ‘peaceful, non-violent and all accepting and universal ideas’ of Hinduism. The AHAD remained of the opinion that such representation of Hinduism would do very little to promote interfaith understandings. The group is the belief that such ignorance would promote ridicule of Hindu children in schools. The American Hindu Against Defamation also called on CNN to hold itself to better and higher standards.