The Aslan segment with the Aghori sect featured the tv host eating cooked human brains and allowing sect leaders to spread ashes from cremated human remains on his face.
At one point, the Aghori guru threatened to cut off Aslan’s head because he was “talking so much.” When the sect leader was eating his own feces, he got mad at Aslan and threw it at him.
That’s when Aslan remarked, “I feel like this may have been a mistake.”
For Ms. Gabbard, it was much worse than a mere mistake. She saw the show as a deliberate effort by CNN to promote misunderstanding of Hindu beliefs and create a climate of fear against Hindus. The congresswoman put multiple posts on Twitter to express her total outrage at CNN.
I am very disturbed that CNN is using its power and influence to increase people's misunderstanding and fear of Hinduism. 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 combatting tirelessly.”
In addition, the U.S India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) provided a statement to the Hindustan Times to condemn the television program.
With multiple reports of hate-fueled attacks against people of Indian origin from across the US, the show characterizes Hinduism as cannibalistic, which is a bizarre way of looking at the third largest religion in the world.”
Joining Congresswoman Gabbard and USINPAC in the attack on CNN was Indian-American industrialist Shalabh Kumar, who served as Chairman of the India Advisory Board and a key fundraiser for the Trump presidential campaign. He took to Twitter to register his outrage.
CNN, Clinton News Network, has no respect for Hindus. All Hindus worldwide should boycott CNN.”
In response to the uproar, Aslan noted on his Facebook page that the Aghori are “an extreme Hindu sect” that isn’t “representative of Hinduism.”
Aslan is an Iranian-born, Harvard-educated academic who writes and speaks on religious topics. His new CNN program explores fringe religious elements worldwide in what the network terms a “spiritual adventure.” Sounds more like a platform to discredit religions other than Aslan’s favored Sufi arm of Islam. By airing the program on Sundays, CNN may be making more of a statement as well.
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