New CNN show with Muslim host presents Varanasi as ‘City of the Dead’

You thought Varanasi was a symbol of Bharat’s ancient civilization, something cherished by the whole world like we Hindus cherish the symbols of other great civilizations like Great Wall of China, Pyramids of Egypt, cities of Europe etc.?

Well, Varanasi (Benares/Kashi) is nothing but ‘one large crematorium’ and ‘city of the dead’ as per the trailer for a new CNN show ‘Believers’ hosted by Reza Aslan which goes live this Sunday.

The trailer says that “Varanasi has 87 ghats, each of which burns up to 100 bodies a day.”, and adds that “ghats mean pyre.” The tragedy is that many educated Hindus (even in Bharat) would digest these gross falsehoods, feeling a twinge of guilt and self-loathing while watching shows like ‘Believers’. In reality, most of the ghats in Varanasi are meant for bathing and puja, while only Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghats are dedicated to cremation. Ghats are riverfront steps, not pyres.

Yes, pollution is a real concern in Varanasi, as it is in most of Bharat. But what sort of mind puts ‘death and pollution’ as the defining feature of a city that welcomes millions every year, including non-Hindus who come there seeking spiritual knowledge?

Even if we set aside distortion of facts like CNN has done, would any show on Vatican start off with talking about pedophilia and the sex abuse scandal which has rocked the Catholic church for over a decade now, or show Mecca by highlighting how the holy Muslim land still follows medieval sharia justice & prohibits practice of any religion other than Islam?

Such monumental ignorance & denigration of Hindu Dharma in Western media, both left-liberal and right-wing outlets, is nothing new for the discerning Hindu. When Hinduphobic scholars like Wendy Doniger dominate academic Hindu studies with their Freudian psycho-sexual approach, popular culture celebrates films like ‘Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom‘ which showed Amrish Puri as a murderous Hindu priest of a Kali-worshipping cult, and Sri Ganesha figures on underwear being sold on Amazon, the ‘Believers’ show doesn’t come as a surprise. This analysis exposes the acute Hinduphobia problem that major international news outlets suffer from.

Incidentally, Reza Aslan has been termed an Islamist apologist even by liberal Muslims, and he has actually argued that there is no need to fight jihadis like Al-Qaeda, rather the world should engage “moderate Islamic” political forces.

Here is a critical review of this upcoming show and why it fails to achieve its stated goal of “showing the shared similarities at the heart of the world’s various religions.” It seems that after the opening episode on ‘Hinduism’, Reza Aslan will cover religious communities involved with ultra-Orthodox Judaism in Israel, voodoo in Haiti, an apocalyptic doomsday cult in Hawaii, Santa Muerte in Mexico and Scientology in the States. Notice how the 6-part series clubs Hindu Dharma with outlandish cults and neatly sidesteps the ‘mainstream’ Abrahamic religions i.e Islam and Christianity.

The good thing is that Hindus are not taking such stereotyping and distortion lying down anymore. The trailer has set off a lively debate on Facebook, with many Hindus and even Westerners rebutting the negative & false portrayal of Varanasi –

But there were some who found in the video a good opportunity to indulge in some Hindu-bashing, or who thought the video provided a good introduction to Hindu Dharma, despite what the Hindus themselves had to say about it in the comments section!

Just in case you were wondering who Ken Miller, who believes that “Hinduism is a dark and oppressive faith” is – this is what his FB profile says –

Ken Miller claims that he was in Bharat a few days back, and he intends to return to Bharat despite hating the culture and religion of the majority people of this country. His likely goal – ‘to harvest souls in the name of Christ’.

So, dear urban secular Hindu, the next time you lecture the practicing Hindus of this country on ‘tolerance’, do let us know your views on Ken Miller and other intolerant, hate-mongering Abrahamics as well – otherwise we want no part of the one-sided tolerance you preach day in and out.


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  • Raj Krsna

    There are over hundreds of ‘Cities of Dead’ from Libya to Pakistan, and yet CNN would like to misinform about Varanasi the cradle of HINDU civilization? Why? Another fake NEWS !

  • AS

    You want a donation for this false reporting. Joke of the century. And for your journalism you need to be nailed on the cross and allowed to bleed to pay for your sins. Check your facts before writing something like this. You are taking on a billion people population with over 10,000 years of solid civilisation as against a religion which was born from one man who struggled to even stay alive just 2000 years ago!!!!!!

    • did you read the article?

      • Romi

        I think he mixed up this article for one attacking Hinduism. Since Islam is just 1400 years old, he cannot mean to refer to it when he says 10,000 years.

  • HidayatRizvi

    The entire game of communal politics by BJP and RSS is structured around a few points that are constantly reiterated – Ram mandir, article 370, uniform civil code and so on. These points are exploited in a number of ways based on local issues.

    A 150-year-old myth which is still doing the rounds is that of a growing Muslim population as opposed to that of Hindus. For a century and a half, Hindus have feared that Muslim men forcefully marry Hindu women, that they produce more children and that the Hindus will become a minority at some point in future. After the crushing defeat in Bihar, it was thought that the BJP will drop this agenda, but it hasn’t. They will continue to resort to such language until people get used to it.

    Such rhetoric is nothing new. But no matter how many times it has been used in the past, its workability is decided by several other factors.

    Victory is important in elections, but to change people’s minds and influence the way they think has far-reaching effects. The defeat of the BJP in Bihar does not guarantee that communalisation has not taken place.

    Social scientist Ashis Nandy, along with Archit Yagnik, had interviewed Modi in the early 1990s. After the interview, Nandy told Yagnik, “For the first time, I have met a textbook case of a fascist.” It is not the opinion of a political leader but that of an expert – a psychoanalyst….!!!!.

    • stop vomiting your mish-mash of 4-5 propaganda points on each and every HinduPost article

      • HidayatRizvi

        This is an excerpt from an article at thewire dot in. You can find a lot of counter arguments at this website..!.!.

        • Romi

          Shut up you Jihadi Taqiya liar (more about Taqiya later here). Read the Koran and get your fill of evil there. Don’t visualize it where it does not exist. That city is 5 times older than your pedophile prophet cult and suffering from systemic neglect at the hands of Vote Bank vampires like the Samajwadi party, it has been somehow discharging its role as the most auspicious place for the last rites of Hindus on earth.

          I know your Muslim brain churns at the sight of a rare site like this one, trying to come up with some filth you can hurl at it, frantic and frothing at the mouth. Come take a look at what i found for you, inbred psychopathic minion of the most violent cult in human history. See what Islam says about non-Muslims and I hope the non-Muslim morons like the Xtians on this page see it too.

          Koran 2:191
          – “Slay the unbelievers whenever you find them”.

          Koran 3:28
          – “Muslims must not take the
          infidels as your friends”.

          Koran 3:85
          – “Any religion other than Islam
          is not acceptable”.

          Koran 5:33
          – “Maim & crucify the infidels
          if they criticized Islam”.

          Koran 8:12
          – “Terrorize & behead those
          who believe in scriptures other than Koran”.

          Koran 8:60
          – “Muslims must muster all the
          weapons to terrorize the infidels’.

          Koran
          9:5 –
          “When opportunity arises kill the infidels wherever you catch
          them”.

          Koran 9:30
          – “Jews & Christians are
          perverts; fight them”.

          Koran
          9:123 – “Make war on the infidels having in your neighborhood”.

          Koran 22:19
          – “Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling

          Water: melt
          their bellies & skin”.

          Koran
          47:4 – “Don’t hanker for peace with the
          infidels; behead them when you catch them.

          Koran 65:4 –
          You can rape, marry & divorce pre-pubescent girls.

          Koran 4:3,
          4:24, 5:89, 33:50, 58:3, 70;30 – You can enslave for sex & work.

          Koran 4:34 –
          you can beat sex slaves, work slaves & wives.

          Koran 24:4 –
          You will need 4 Muslim male witnesses to prove a rape.

          Koran 9:29 –
          Kill Jews & Christians if they don’t pay Jizya (Infidel Tax).

          Koran 8:12,
          47:4 – Crucify & amputate non-Muslims

          Koran 8:12,
          47:4 – You will behead non-Muslims.

          Koran 9:5 –
          You will kill & be killed for Allah.

          Koran 8:12,
          8:60 – You will terrorize non-Muslims.

          Koran 8:12 –
          Steal non-Muslims.

          Koran 3:26,
          3:54, 9:3, 16:106, 40:28 – Lie to strengthen Islam. (Taqiyya description).

          • HidayatRizvi

            Enough of copy paste. Do you support intercaste marriage or is it still a taboo for you? Yes or no.

          • Romi

            what is wrong with copy paste? you think only you can do that, crybaby? ‘excerpt of an article’ is what you called it when you did exactly the same right here on this page? lol.

            Hello, check your copy of the Koran, for confirmation. 🙂 No problemo!

            And did it make your @ss itch so much? Don’t rub it with stones, like your pedophile Prophet taught you to, your intriguing ‘dry wudu’. Learn to use soap finally!

            Now that you are nice and non-itchy, read this ‘excerpt’. I hope it satisfies you finally. of course you are incapable of intelligent rebuttals, trying to dismiss it on one excuse or another, imagine saying ‘copy paste-copy paste’ when that was exactly what you did in your post on this article. Pathetic Muslim loopy (ill)logic!

            Islamic Heaven
            BY SYED KAMRAN MIRZA · NOVEMBER 19, 2005 (see i am quoting the author for your retarded mind) . I will continue to quote more from this insightful author as you keep barking abuse. I hope the readers on this page are able to benefit even if you are too intellectually addled to respond.

            Quranic verses (Translated by Maolana A. Yousuf Ali) that promises Heaven with Houris, Sex, and Wine for the pious Muslims:

            Quran-(52:17-20): “They will recline (with ease) on thrones arranged in ranks. And We shall marry them to Huris (fair females) with wide lovely eyes.” “There they shall pass from hand to hand a (wine) cup, free from any Laghw….”

            Quran: (37:40-48): …they will sit with bashful, dark-eyed virgins, as chaste as the sheltered eggs of ostriches.

            Quran: (44:51-55): Yes and we shall wed them to dark-eyed houris (beautiful virgins).

            Quran: (55:56-57): In them will be bashful virgins neither man nor Jinn will have touched before. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?

            Quran-(55:72): “Hur (beautiful, fair females) guarded in pavilions;”

            Quran: (78:31): “As for the righteous, they surely triumph. Their gardens and vineyards and high-bosomed (pointed breast) virgins for companions, truly overflowing cup”

            Quran-(78: 33-34):“And young full-breasted (mature) maidens of equal age, and a full cup of wine.”

            Quran-(55:57-58): “Then which of the blessings of your lord will you both (jinn and men) deny? (In beauty) they are like rubies and coral”.

            Quran-(56:7-40): “ …we created the houris and made them virgins, loving companions for those on the right hand….”

            Quran-(55:70-77): “ In each there shall be virgins chaste and fair….dark eyed virgins sheltered in their tents whom neither man or Jinn have touched before…”

            Quran-56:22: “And (there will be) Huris with wide, lovely eyes (as wives for the pious)”

            Quran-(56: 35-36): “Verily , We have created them (maidens) of special creation. And made them Virgins.”

            Quran- (55:56): “Wherein both will be Qasirat-ut-Tarf (chaste females restraining their glances, desiring none except their husband) with whom no man or jinni has had tamth before them.”

            Quran: (2:25): “And give glad tidings to those who believe and do righteous good deeds, that for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise)……….and they will be given these things in resemblance (i.e., in the same form but different in taste) and they shall have therein Azwajun Muhtahharatun (purified mates and wives) and that they will have abide therein forever”.

            Quran:(47:15): “The description of Paradise which the Muttaqun have been promised (is that) in it are rivers of water the taste and smell of which are not changed, rivers of milk of which the taste never changes, rivers of wine delicious to those who drink, and rivers of clarified honey……….”

            Quran-(40-45): “Surely for the God-fearing awaits a place of security gardens and vineyards and maidens with swelling (protruding) bosoms.”

          • HidayatRizvi

            Again cut paste , Do you support intercaste marriage or is it still a taboo for you? Yes or no.!.!

  • Kalit

    Reza Aslan’s assault against Hindus and Bharat is no different from the terror attacks against Hindus for hundreds of years, including recent ones against the Lok Sabha and 26/11. He is the reconnoitring advance guard of mass murderers like his co-religionist and historical compatriot Nadir Shah. Demand the Indian embassy refuse visas to him in the future. And include CNN journalists in this ban.

  • Romi

    Shame on CNN for taking a faker like Reza Aslan and giving him a chance to spread this egregious Jihadi lies about a religion he has neither the brains nor the sensibility to understand. Presstitutes like CNN, leftists, ibtards, and Evangelists have a field day dishing out their dirt to anyone so silly as to fall for it.