Why is this video of Iranian-American scholar on Islam and terrorism going viral one year later


A six-minute video of an Iranian-American scholar calling CNN anchors’ assertion that Islam should be criticised for the act of few stupid has gone viral more than a year after it was original broadcast.

The video of Reza Aslan is being fervently being shared on social media platform in the wake of Paris attacks and the subsequent debate on the role of Islam and terrorism.

Professor Reza Aslan, a scholar at the University of California, had appeared on the show in September in 2014 to rebut the allegations made by TV presenter Bill Maher linking Islam to IS.

Two CNN presenters in this video point out the rampant practice of female genital mutilation in Muslim countries blaming the religion.

Aslan reminds the anchors that the female genital mutilation is an African problem and Islam has nothing to do with this. He said that this practice was rampant in Christian countries such as Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Aslan, in this video, is Aslan highlighted the absurdity in generalising about as entire religion based on the actions of a small minority of its followers.

“The problem is that you’re talking about a religion of one and a half billion people and it certainly becomes very easy to paint them all with a single brush by saying ‘Well in Saudi Arabia they [women] can’t drive and therefore that’s representative of Islam’, it’s representative of Saudi Arabia,” he said.

“The problem is these kinds of conversations that we’re having aren’t really being had in any kind of legitimate way. We’re not talking about women in the Muslim world, we’re using two or three examples to justify a generalisation.That’s actually the definition of bigotry.”

When responding to the anchor’s question “Does Islam promote violence?”, Mr Aslan says: “Islam doesn’t promote violence or peace, it’s a religion. Like every other religion in the world it depends on what you bring to it. If you’re a violent person your Islam, Judaism, Christianity or Hinduism is going to be violent.”


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