We join the protest by American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD) to demand that CNN stops airing “Believer with Reza Aslan” show until practicing Hindu scholars have reviewed the content to ensure that it does not promote xenophobia and Hinduphobia.
We note that within days of seemingly racially motivated shooting of two Hindu engineers in Kansas, CNN is unleashing a program that is certain to promote xenophobia, specifically, Hinduphobia.
We the petitioners believe 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. For example, a teacher has requested CNN on Facebook if the Hindu related episode will be available for teaching ancient Indian history to her sixth grade class! We believe that more schools will use these half-baked, un-researched and inappropriate content to portray Hindu traditions as mainstream and this will have wider Hinduphobic societal impact than CNN can imagine.
We welcome Mr. Aslan to meet with practitioners of mainstream Hindu faiths. Learn about Hindu faith from our saints, priests and ascetics, and experience the practice of Hindu traditions from its practitioners and not merely from the libraries of elite institutions or known Hindu haters.
As a major global media outlet, CNN must hold itself to higher standards. To ensure that the educational ideals of this series are met, we demand that Hindu related episodes in the series be reviewed by practicing Hindu experts before they are aired. After the Hindu related episodes are aired, Hindu scholars must be invited to discuss the content of the show on air, and provide a deeper Hindu perspective.