Not only has he come under fire for what he did, but also the way in which the episode, part of the series “Believer with Reza Aslan,” portrays Hinduism.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, challenged CNN for using “sensationalist” methodology to promote Hinduism. She made a statement via a series of posts on Twitter, which has been transcribed below.
1/ While good people across our country are working hard to increase mutual understanding and respect between people of different religions,
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) March 7, 2017
“While good people across our country are working hard to increase mutual understanding and respect between people of different religions, I am very disturbed that CNN is using its power and influence to increase people’s misunderstanding and fear of Hinduism,” she wrote.
“CNN on Sunday aired the first episode of a new series called ‘Believer’ hosted by Reza Aslan,” she continued. “For this episode, 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,” she continued..
“CNN promotional materials and trailers that included a scene showing a group of Hindus under a caption ‘CANNIBALS’ perpetuated bizarre and ugly impressions of Hindus and their religion.”
“CNN knows well that sensational, even false, reporting about religions only fosters ignorance that can lead to terrible consequences,” she wrote. That’s definitely true — CNN would know a thing or two about the consequences of false reporting.
“Indeed, Hindus are still reeling after witnessing terrible hate crimes in the last few weeks. Our nation celebrates religious pluralism and diversity.”
“CNN must do more to foster greater respect for people of different religions. It is my sincere hope that CNN and Aslan will engage with the Hindu community … to resolve the pain and outrage that the ‘Believer’ episode on Hinduism has engendered in the community,” she concluded.
For his part, Aslan doesn’t seem sorry. According to a Facebook post published on his official page March 8, he has no intention of apologizing.
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