CNN’s ‘Believer’ Is Reckless, Racist And Dangerously Anti-Immigrant

Trinetra

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...-reckless-racist_us_58bbc5fee4b02eac8876cfad?

It is unbelievably callous and reckless of CNN to be pushing sensational and grotesque images of bearded brown men and their morbid and deathly religion at a time when the United States is living through a period of unprecedented concern and fear.

In the last few days, three Hindus and one Sikh have been shot in America, two of them fatally. Threats and bomb scares are circulating widely. This is a time when other cultures should be humanized and depicted with care by the mainstream news media.

And yet, CNN, for all its supposedly principled stand against anti-immigrant politics, is going to make Monday morning miserable and fearful for thousands of innocent people in America.

Not the allegedly anti-immigrant politicians and media. Not Breitbart, not Fox News, nor even that reckless Twitter handle that has replaced traditional press briefings. But CNN.

And, I am saddened to say, the host of the show, Reza Aslan too, who is about to do a complete U-turn from the important role he played to defuse Islamophobia in America in the painful years after 9/11 and in the heat of the Iraq war.

For the last few days, CNN has been promoting an episode of Believer with the title “City of the Dead,” and showing footage of corpses being burnt on the banks of the River Ganga. The ghoulish promos appear on social media frequently, and what is ghoulish about them is not just the brazen voyeurism towards the deceased and their families, but the total destruction of the culture of piety and respect that surrounds funeral rites.

The text in these promos spew total errors and lies as “facts,” misstating the meaning of the word “Ghats” (“a flight of stairs leading down to the river”) as “pyres,” depicting the whole city as a “giant crematorium,” and callously describing the poignant ceremony of loved ones immersing the ashes of those who have passed on into the sacred river as “dumping.” What sort of journalism is CNN doing? Or Reza, a renowned public commentator on religion and nice guy? And to whom on earth is the most sacred city of Hindus known as “city of the dead”? A complete hoax.

What promises to be even worse than the callous misrepresentation and dehumanization of a widely practiced tradition marking love to those who have gone is the episode’s planned focus on a fringe cult of extreme ascetics known as the aghoras. If the promos and reviews are any indication, American viewers from all over the land will be treated to a spectacle about bizarre, painted, ash-smeared, bearded men eating half-burnt corpses as a part of their spiritual practice.

It is one saddening reality that despite having had immigrants in America for so many decades now, a major news channel like CNN still cannot do better than the old Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom sort of story when it comes to India. But what is even more callous is the fact that CNN and Reza Aslan seem oblivious to the kind of discomfort and even danger that images like this could create for South Asians, Sikhs, Muslims and other brown people in America.

Here is a simple empathy question: would anyone in their right mind, or with a kind heart, have done a kitschy and voyeuristic program about an obscure and violent cult of Muslims on CNN in the years after 9/11? Why was Reza Aslan, a pleasant and articulate professor, welcomed as the face of Muslims in America on national TV and not some obscure hooded figure burning with fundamentalist zeal and violence? Common sense, and sheer decency, called for such a choice, and it was an apt one.

And yet, at a time when fears are high, and many people in America know so little about their diverse neighbors, a major news channel is going to peddle a shallow tale about dangerous and outlandish others.

Maybe there is some noble higher purpose that the show’s creators think they have in trying to highlight marginal religious groups and stoke liberal sensibilities and all that. But unfortunately, that is only a theoretical conceit. In truth, what CNN is perpetuating is a very racist, colonial era discourse of dehumanization and even demonization.

In the 1920s, an American writer named Katherine Mayo wrote a powerful, poisonous, and highly influential book called Mother India. The very first chapter of Mother India spends 25 lines describing in gruesome detail a woman’s body being burned in a ghat by the river in Calcutta (and includes some imaginative anatomical liberties about stealing the “navel” from the remains of the pyre). Mayo’s book was refuted by several writers in India, including leaders of the Indian women’s movement. Later, it would turn out that Mayo, an anti-immigrant and anti-labor zealot (who was at first naively supported by Indians in America who thought she would help them gain immigration rights), was more or less in cahoots with British intelligence seeking to defuse the popular support Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian freedom movement were gaining among Americans.

Mayo tried very hard to have India branded as “the world menace” and made frequent references in her book to how easily people and diseases could reach cities in the United States from India. She eviscerates all sense of humanity in the lives of Indians, reducing them to a spectacle of torture, delusion, false religion, disease, and most of all, death. She does this all clinically, in the name of science, hygiene, and civic concern.

Now, one hundred years later, an alarming moment in American political history has once again stoked fears of the other. Demagogues are labelling whole nationalities and religions as dangers to America, and criminals are feeling empowered perhaps to act on all the fears and resentments they harbor. At a time like this, media should be very responsible and not feed the frenzy with falsehoods and stereotypes of Hindus (or anyone) as death-obsessed cadaver-eating cultists.

Katherine Mayo did not quite succeed in making all or most Americans think a whole race of people were a “world menace.” It would be a shame if someone like Reza Aslan did it now.

I think it would be best if CNN held off from airing this death-obsessed episode of Believer at this fraught and sensitive time. After three shootings and two deaths, that is the least it can do to not make things even worse.
 

uoftotaku

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CNN ownership was recently taken over by a coalition of several funds linked with Dubai and Abu Dhabi and Qatar royal families. Kingdom Holdings of Saudi Arabia has been a long time shareholder in Time Warner also. So there is a subtle (well not so subtle) change in the editorial policy to show non-abrahamic religions in bad light (savages, uncivilized, dirty)
 

pringles

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Reza Aslan, you mean, this guy?



Anyway, it's a good rallying point for Hindus to unite.

It is a cruel and simplistic world we live in, there is no place for high philosophy, anyway there is no point teaching philosophy to an Abrahamic monkey.

At the same time, I hope the Russia-lovers understand that Russian Orthodox Christians don't think any better of us than American Protestant Christians.
 
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JaiRajputana

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CNN is and has always been fake news. Nehru Dynasty TV and Clinton News Network are on par.
I do not blame them though. They are driven by their agenda and their funding. Question is, what are we doing about it?
Check this out - https://swarajyamag.com/insta/tulsi...a-aslan-to-cleaners-for-spreading-hinduphobia
Our ministers would not lose "secularism" if they speak out in defense of Hindus, maybe if they spend less time picking up petty issues with Amazon, they would have more time making sense. It takes a Hawaiian Hindu to speak the truth and defend Dharma. Frankly, we lack the funds to represent our culture honestly. It hurts me to say this but our ancient scriptures, monuments are probably better off in European museums than at home, at least some people give a damn outside of this country (Bharat i.e.)
 

Trinetra

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Reza Aslan, you mean, this guy?



Anyway, it's a good rallying point for Hindus to unite.

It is a cruel and simplistic world we live in, there is no place for high philosophy, anyway there is no point teaching philosophy to an Abrahamic monkey.

At the same time, I hope the Russia-lovers understand that Russian Orthodox Christians don't think any better of us than American Protestant Christians.
Not sure.. who is this guy?? Philosophy of living in the world was proceeding to a slow death when the 2nd abrahimic religion came to existence in this world and it died after ISLAM came to existence on this earth..

This tools from the same existence .. nothing to expect from him..
 

pringles

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Not sure.. who is this guy?? Philosophy of living in the world was proceeding to a slow death when the 2nd abrahimic religion came to existence in this world and it died after ISLAM came to existence on this earth..

This tools from the same existence .. nothing to expect from him..
It's the same Reza Aslan guy who has conducted the CNN report.

What I wanted to say is that, these white monkeys come to our country, take our hospitality, click pictures, go home and make a report about "look how primitive these heathens are". And Indians end up showing them around as if they really care.

I see many Indians saying nice things about Christine Fair. She is only playing you by pressing the right buttons, saying nasty things about Pakistan every once in a while, and Indians think it is wise to allow her in our internal strategic dialogues. We are too naive.

If you see older forts, they had 2 chambers, one was a waiting room for foreign guests where they were entertained with food, music, culture, and the deeper chamber was one where strategic issues like troop deployments, international treaties were discussed. What has happened is, Hindus have forgotten that model. Today when some white monkey says "omm hy godd, I love Indian bollywood, Indian food so good" and Indians start saying "wow, that's great, why don't you come in an participate in our strategic dialogues".

There's no need to allow any tourists near our religious places and/or allowing them to be a part of our strategic dialogues.
 

Trinetra

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I see many Indians saying nice things about Christine Fair. She is only playing you by pressing the right buttons, saying nasty things about Pakistan every once in a while, and Indians think it is wise to allow her in our internal strategic dialogues. We are too naive.
I wouldn't mind.. as long as she tells good things about India.. the problem is that the developed and advanced country tag went to west after economic & modern education revolution.. so ppl in east always look at west to evaluate themselves.. its a sad state but its the truth..

The important part is we should take the west point of view with subtlety but in our own term as per our philosophy...
 

Srinivas_K

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Reza Aslam describing Hinduism is like a citizen who was under dictatorship and never experienced free world talking about democracy and free world.

Most of these guys brain washed into a doctrine of one book ,one god, one nation cannot understand the essence of Hinduism.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...-reckless-racist_us_58bbc5fee4b02eac8876cfad?

It is unbelievably callous and reckless of CNN to be pushing sensational and grotesque images of bearded brown men and their morbid and deathly religion at a time when the United States is living through a period of unprecedented concern and fear.

In the last few days, three Hindus and one Sikh have been shot in America, two of them fatally. Threats and bomb scares are circulating widely. This is a time when other cultures should be humanized and depicted with care by the mainstream news media.

And yet, CNN, for all its supposedly principled stand against anti-immigrant politics, is going to make Monday morning miserable and fearful for thousands of innocent people in America.

Not the allegedly anti-immigrant politicians and media. Not Breitbart, not Fox News, nor even that reckless Twitter handle that has replaced traditional press briefings. But CNN.

And, I am saddened to say, the host of the show, Reza Aslan too, who is about to do a complete U-turn from the important role he played to defuse Islamophobia in America in the painful years after 9/11 and in the heat of the Iraq war.

For the last few days, CNN has been promoting an episode of Believer with the title “City of the Dead,” and showing footage of corpses being burnt on the banks of the River Ganga. The ghoulish promos appear on social media frequently, and what is ghoulish about them is not just the brazen voyeurism towards the deceased and their families, but the total destruction of the culture of piety and respect that surrounds funeral rites.

The text in these promos spew total errors and lies as “facts,” misstating the meaning of the word “Ghats” (“a flight of stairs leading down to the river”) as “pyres,” depicting the whole city as a “giant crematorium,” and callously describing the poignant ceremony of loved ones immersing the ashes of those who have passed on into the sacred river as “dumping.” What sort of journalism is CNN doing? Or Reza, a renowned public commentator on religion and nice guy? And to whom on earth is the most sacred city of Hindus known as “city of the dead”? A complete hoax.

What promises to be even worse than the callous misrepresentation and dehumanization of a widely practiced tradition marking love to those who have gone is the episode’s planned focus on a fringe cult of extreme ascetics known as the aghoras. If the promos and reviews are any indication, American viewers from all over the land will be treated to a spectacle about bizarre, painted, ash-smeared, bearded men eating half-burnt corpses as a part of their spiritual practice.

It is one saddening reality that despite having had immigrants in America for so many decades now, a major news channel like CNN still cannot do better than the old Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom sort of story when it comes to India. But what is even more callous is the fact that CNN and Reza Aslan seem oblivious to the kind of discomfort and even danger that images like this could create for South Asians, Sikhs, Muslims and other brown people in America.

Here is a simple empathy question: would anyone in their right mind, or with a kind heart, have done a kitschy and voyeuristic program about an obscure and violent cult of Muslims on CNN in the years after 9/11? Why was Reza Aslan, a pleasant and articulate professor, welcomed as the face of Muslims in America on national TV and not some obscure hooded figure burning with fundamentalist zeal and violence? Common sense, and sheer decency, called for such a choice, and it was an apt one.

And yet, at a time when fears are high, and many people in America know so little about their diverse neighbors, a major news channel is going to peddle a shallow tale about dangerous and outlandish others.

Maybe there is some noble higher purpose that the show’s creators think they have in trying to highlight marginal religious groups and stoke liberal sensibilities and all that. But unfortunately, that is only a theoretical conceit. In truth, what CNN is perpetuating is a very racist, colonial era discourse of dehumanization and even demonization.

In the 1920s, an American writer named Katherine Mayo wrote a powerful, poisonous, and highly influential book called Mother India. The very first chapter of Mother India spends 25 lines describing in gruesome detail a woman’s body being burned in a ghat by the river in Calcutta (and includes some imaginative anatomical liberties about stealing the “navel” from the remains of the pyre). Mayo’s book was refuted by several writers in India, including leaders of the Indian women’s movement. Later, it would turn out that Mayo, an anti-immigrant and anti-labor zealot (who was at first naively supported by Indians in America who thought she would help them gain immigration rights), was more or less in cahoots with British intelligence seeking to defuse the popular support Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian freedom movement were gaining among Americans.

Mayo tried very hard to have India branded as “the world menace” and made frequent references in her book to how easily people and diseases could reach cities in the United States from India. She eviscerates all sense of humanity in the lives of Indians, reducing them to a spectacle of torture, delusion, false religion, disease, and most of all, death. She does this all clinically, in the name of science, hygiene, and civic concern.

Now, one hundred years later, an alarming moment in American political history has once again stoked fears of the other. Demagogues are labelling whole nationalities and religions as dangers to America, and criminals are feeling empowered perhaps to act on all the fears and resentments they harbor. At a time like this, media should be very responsible and not feed the frenzy with falsehoods and stereotypes of Hindus (or anyone) as death-obsessed cadaver-eating cultists.

Katherine Mayo did not quite succeed in making all or most Americans think a whole race of people were a “world menace.” It would be a shame if someone like Reza Aslan did it now.

I think it would be best if CNN held off from airing this death-obsessed episode of Believer at this fraught and sensitive time. After three shootings and two deaths, that is the least it can do to not make things even worse.
 

dhananjay1

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"Reza, a renowned public commentator on religion and nice guy?"

"Reza Aslan, a pleasant and articulate professor,"

:lol: The man was parading around as an evangelical convert few years back, now he maintains that he actually reconverted to Islam after few years. This guy commenting on Hindus is like a rabid 18th c protestant ranting against everything but his own death cult. There is no real reaction against this program shows that most americans have no problem with this and actually agree with him. The protestant hate is just hidden below the skin with most of these americans whether they are right wing or left wing. These are same people who jump up and down in the name of racism, anti-semitism, islamophobia and other assorted crap, but shitting on Hindus is just mainstream poverty/disgust porn.
 

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