‘Believer’ is Aslan’s attempt to introduce his audience to extreme manifestations of faith, and reject their foundations in favor of the more moderate.
Reza Aslan, an Iranian-American author, is often seen in the media sharing his perspective as a Muslim as well as other scholarly discourse about a variety of religions. His new six-part television series puts a spotlight on different faith communities, with the emphasis on the extreme being a deliberate pedagogical strategy to grab the attention of his audience through sensationalism.
The first episode was met with a variety of criticisms, especially from some of the Indian-American community. Suhag Shukla, the leader of the Hindu American Foundation, called it “shock religion porn”, with the potential to create a perception of Indian-Americans that could make them more vulnerable to attacks from the wider community.
Aslan, however, opposes these views, claiming that the show is meant to highlight the “connectivity” between various faiths – a rhetoric he believes is more important than ever in an age of xenophobia and racial division.
You can watch the first episode below, and head to Youtube for the series so far.