Cannibal News Network
Once cannibalism was seen as one of the ultimate signs of depravity. Now CNN makes it entertainment, as we slide to depravity: “Religion scholar Reza Aslan ate cooked human brain tissue with a group of cannibals in India during Sunday’s premiere of the new CNN show “Believer”…”
A fitting finale:
And when the guru began to eat his own waste and hurl it at Aslan and his camera crew, the CNN host scurried away.
CNN’s Reza Aslan has been facing some heavy criticism after he ate part of a human brain while filming a segment on a Hindu sect in India.
The episode, part of a series called Believer with Reza Aslan, provoked disgust from many viewers and prompted backlash from many American Hindus after it was aired Sunday, the Daily Mail reported.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), the only Hindu in Congress and one of the more high-profile critics of the episode, blasted CNN for using “sensationalist” ways to promote Hinduism.
Reza Aslan’s agenda: showing Hinduism and Christianity as violent, Islam as peaceful
David Wood several years ago pointed out a feature of Reza Aslan’s work that, as time goes by, increasingly appears to be the central feature of all his work: he downplays or denies the violent aspects of Islamic teaching, while exaggerating or inventing violent elements in other religions. In No god but God, Aslan portrayed Muhammad as peaceful, explaining away or ignoring the violent actions that Islamic tradition attributes to him. In Zealot, Aslan portrayed Jesus as violent, resuscitating a long-discredited theory that Jesus was a member of the Zealot sect that rebelled against Roman oppression.
And now in this critique of Aslan’s controversial Believer episode in which he eats human brain tissue, Vamsee Juluri (the same person I took to task here, but who writes with great perceptiveness and acuity in this new piece) notes how Aslan is doing the same thing with Hinduism: trying to demonize it and depict it as violent. He focuses in his cannibalistic Believer episode on a small, odd, violent sect — one member even threatens to behead Aslan. Juluri charges that the episode was “contrived to actually de-humanize Hindus.” The overall effect is the same as the one Wood noticed regarding Aslan and Christianity: Aslan seems intent upon portraying non-Muslim religions as violent and filled with irrationality, but then when discussing Islam, is intent upon showing it to be benign and rational. His overall purpose seems to be Islamic apologetics, subtle dawah for the post-religious secular Leftists who would watch a show such as Believer, designed to foster complacency about the jihad threat and opposition to any effective steps to counter that threat.
This agenda makes clear why Aslan, despite his increasingly obvious Islamic heterodoxy, remains so popular with Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups in the U.S.: he has also spoken at events sponsored by the Muslim Students Association, a Brotherhood group, as well as at an at an event co-sponsored by the Los Angeles chapter of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Perhaps they recognize that he shares their overall agenda.
CNN’s Reza Aslan Faces Backlash After Eating Part of a Human Brain While Filming with Hindu Cannibal Sect
“I am very disturbed that CNN is using its power and influence to increase people’s misunderstanding and fear of Hinduism,” Gabbard wrote on Twitter. “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,” she added.
Aslan, 44, met with the Aghori sect when he was invited to eat cooked brain tissue during a ritual in which they also spread ashes from cremated human bodies on his face.
He drank an alcoholic drink out of a human skull before he ate the brain.
The Aghori guru got mad at Aslan at one point when he shouted, “I will cut your head off if you keep talking so much.”
The guru started eating his own feces before throwing it at Aslan, to which Aslan responded, “I feel like this may have been a mistake.”
The Aghori are devotees of the Hindu god Shiva and believe that the human body cannot be tainted. But orthodox Hindus reject their beliefs and practices.
Indian-Americans have criticized CNN for highlighting the practices of a cult of less than 100 members, saying that it does not represent mainstream Hinduism.
“With multiple reports of hate-fuelled attacks against people of Indian origin from across the US, the show characterises Hinduism as cannibalistic, which is a bizarre way of looking at the third largest religion in the world,” US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) said in a statement to the Hindustan Times.
Indian-American industrialist and Trump adviser Shalabh Kumar also denounced CNN for its broadcast.
“CNN, Clinton News Network has no respect for Hindus. All Hindus worldwide should boycott CNN,” he wrote on Twitter.
Aslan seems to have no signs of apologizing for the segment, clarified in a post on his Facebook page that the Aghori are “an extreme Hindu sect” that is “not representative of Hinduism.”
Raymond Ibrahim: The Islamic State Revives Islam’s Original Terror Tactic — Cannibalism
In light of recent revelations that the Islamic State is teaching its followers to eat non-Muslims, surely we can now all agree that, at least in this, ISIS is truly not Islamic?
Alas, no. Even the eating of “infidels” has precedents throughout Islamic history, especially as a terror tactic. Two well-documented anecdotes come to mind:
The first concerns that jihadi par excellence, Khalid bin al-Walid (d.642). Dubbed the “Sword of Allah” by Muhammad for his prowess, he holds a revered position among jihadi groups (ISIS’ black flag with white Arabic writing is a facsimile of the banner Khalid carried in battle). During the Ridda — or “apostasy wars” on several Arab tribes that sought to break away from Islam following Muhammad’s death — Khalid falsely accused Malik bin Nuwayra, a well-liked Arab chieftain, of apostasy. After slaughtering him, Khalid raped — Muslim sources call it “married” — Malik’s wife. Not content,
He [Khalid] ordered his [Malik’s] head and he combined it with two stones and cooked a pot over them. And Khalid ate from it that night to terrify the apostate Arab tribes and others. And it was said that Malik’s hair created such a blaze that the meat was so thoroughly cooked [from Muslim historian al-Tabari’s multi-volume chronicle, al-bidaya w’al nihaya (“the Beginning and the End”; Arabic excerpt here).
The second anecdote concerns the Islamic conquest of Spain. According to Muslim chronicler Ibn Abdul Hakam, after capturing a group of Christian winemakers, the Islamic invaders
made them prisoners. After that they took one of the vinedressers, slaughtered him, cut him in pieces, and boiled him, while the rest of his companions looked on. They had also boiled meat in other cauldrons. When the meat was cooked, they threw away the flesh of that man which they had boiled; no one knowing that it was thrown away: and they ate the meat which they had boiled, while the rest of the vinedressers were spectators. These did not doubt but that the Moslems ate the flesh of their companion; the rest being afterwards sent away informed the people of Andalus [Christian Spain] that the Moslems feed on human flesh, acquainting them with what had been done to the vinedresser [source].
Tarek ibn Ziyad — another jihadi extraordinaire, revered for burning his boats on reaching Spain’s shores as proof of his commitment to jihad or “martyrdom” — also had Christian captives slaughtered, cooked up, and apparently eaten in front of their fellow hostages. Then, according to Muslim historian Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Maqqari, the jihadi hero “allowed some of the captives to escape, that they might report to their countrymen what they had seen. And thus the stratagem produced the desired effect, since the report of the fugitives contributed in no small degree to increase the panic of the infidels” (The History of the Mohammedan Dynasty, p. 276).
Note that, according to all the above cited Muslim chroniclers, the jihadis engaged in these cannibalistic practices to terrorize and create panic among infidels and apostates, that is, as a form of psychological warfare. This is further highlighted when, as they often do, the chroniclers quote or paraphrase Koran verses that call for “striking terror” into the hearts of nonbelievers (e.g., 3:151, 8:12, 8:60) in juxtaposition to the savage accounts they relay.
(I watched and linked to a video some years back of a modern day Egyptian cleric also making it clear that Khalid’s actions were calculated to terrify the apostates. Although YouTube has, as usual, taken the video down by now, here’s my original translation of what he said: “People wonder how our lord Khalid could have eaten from such meat? Oh yes — he ate from it! Our lord Khalid had a very strong character, a great appetite, and everything! All to terrorize the desert Arabs [apostates]. The matter requires determination; these matters require strength — terrorism.”)
There are more and related anecdotes. During the earliest Muslim invasions of Christian Syria, one of Muhammad’s companions, ‘Ubadah bin al-Samat, told a Christian commander that “We have tasted blood and find none sweeter than the blood of Romans,” meaning Byzantines and/or Christians. Whether literal or figurative, clearly such bloodthirsty references inspire the Islamic State’s worldview as evidenced by the latter’s assertion that “American blood is best, and we will taste it soon.”
Incidentally, veneration and/or emulation of early jihadi barbarity is not limited to “radical” or extreme outfits that, so we are always told, “have nothing to do with Islam.” None other than Al Azhar — the Muslim world’s most prestigious university, which hosted Obama’s 2009 “New Beginning” speech — teaches these accounts of Muslims eating infidels. The reason is simple: such a heritage doesn’t belong to ISIS any more than it does to Al Azhar. It belongs to Islam.
A final note: one school of thought maintains that in the aforementioned historical anecdotes, Muslims did not just pretend to devour their victims; they really did. However, later Muslim chroniclers, embarrassed by the bestial savagery of their coreligionists, portrayed the cannibalism as only pretend. If true, this further validates why ISIS isn’t merely teaching Muslims to pretend to devour their infidel victims, but to eat them in reality — as when one jihadi cut out and dug his teeth into the heart of a fallen Syrian soldier, after saying “I swear to Allah, soldiers of Bashar, you dogs — we will eat your heart and livers! Allahu Akbar!” (Yes, video here.)
This may also shed light on the Daily Mail‘s unsatisfactory explanation on why ISIS is promoting cannibalism. According to Haras Rafiq, the Daily’s authority whom it describes as a “practicing Muslim,” ISIS is promoting cannibalism “if there are no food supplies available during what they describe as a time of jihad.” Under such circumstances, “terrorists were encouraged to kill non-Muslims or Muslims who do not share their version of Islam for food.”
To be sure, eating humans in times of extreme duress and starvation — or “non-halal” food — is not particularly shocking and has been committed many times, past and present, by peoples of all races and religions. One is therefore left to wonder if Rafiq is yet another in a long line of embarrassed Muslim authorities trying to rationalize away their coreligionists’ depraved practices in the name of Islam.