CNN presenter Reza Aslan has ignited a massive controversy after eating human brains while filming with a Hindu cannibal sect from India. On Sunday, the episode of Aslan's Believer series aired showing the shocking moment that horrifed some viewers.
In the video, 44-year-old Aslan traveled to the Hindu city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh in order to meet up with members of the Aghori sect. While seated around a fire, Aslan was smeared with the ashes of cremated bodies and then invited to eat brain tissue during a religious ritual.
At one point in the conversation, Aslan angered the group leader who then shouted, "I will cut your head off if you keep talking so much."
Aslan then called the director and cameraman closer to say, "I feel like this may have been a mistake."
After the incident, many viewers took to social media and other platforms to voice their outrage. Tulsi Gabbard, the only Congress member to identify as Hindu, tweeted about the incident and blasting CNN for allowing this material to air on the network.
"I am very disturbed that CNN is using its power and influence to increase people's misunderstanding and fear of Hinduism," Gabbard wrote.
She continued by saying: "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."
The US India Political Action Committee delivered a statement on the segment that read:
"With multiple reports of hate-fueled attacks against people of Indian origin from across the US, the show characterizes Hindusim as cannibalistic, which is a bizarre way of looking at the third largest religion in the world."
Despite the massive controversy that has broken out due to the scandal, Aslan doesn't seem fazed by the criticism. He has released no apology and seems to be enjoying the heavy dose of attention
"As I repeatedly state on camera and in voice-over, (they) are not representative of Hinduism but are instead an extreme hindu sect who reject the fundamental Hindu distinction between purity and pollution."
Aslan tweeted out a link to an article about the issue with the headline, "Why CNN's Reza Aslan Shouldn't Eat Human Brains." He shared the story with the caption: "You work all your life for a headline like this."
You work all your life for a headline like this. https://t.co/h2WL466ZuE— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) March 8, 2017
What were your thoughts about Reza Aslan eating human brains?
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[H/T Daily Mail]