Too bad most on the Left feel an obligation to defend the people who most want to kill them – Muslims.
— Atheist’s Atheism (@AtheistsAtheism) December 30, 2014
Salon Bill Maher has forged his reputation on an outspoken brand of progressive views that blurs the lines between comedy and outright prejudice. He speaks often about freedom of speech (which obviously is only the right of people who agree with left wing views and dare not challenge them, especially if you are a leftist yourself)
Isis- “one of thousands of Islamic militant groups” (NYTimes) beheads another. But by all means lets keep pretending all religions are alike
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) August 20, 2014
And that’s why he’s featured as a villain at Salon.
The controversy: This October, Maher had Ben Affleck on his show to discuss the release of “Gone Girl.” Instead, Maher’s panel, which also featured Sam Harris, Nicholas Kristof and Michael Steele, devolved into a yelling match. Referencing the emergence of ISIS, Maher claimed that Islam is “the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will fucking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book.” Affleck denounced his comments as “gross and racist.”
The response: Muslim journalist Rula Jebreal later spoke out on the show. “When you talk about Islam in a certain way, I have to tell you, it’s offensive sometimes,” she said. “And some people feel threatened.” She said that it seems Maher thinks all Muslims are “jihadists.” Self-described Religion scholar and writer Reza Aslan appeared on CNN to respond to Maher’s remarks, which he said were, “frankly, stupid.”
Aslan continued: “Islam doesn’t promote violence or peace. Islam is just a religion, and like every religion in the world, it depends on what you bring to it. If you’re a violent person, your Islam, your Judaism, your Christianity, your Hinduism, is going to be violent.”
Maher was scheduled to speak at University of California at Berkeley’s winter commencement ceremony. In response to his remarks, students started a petition that gained nearly 6,000 signatures. Maher responded to the students on “Real Time,” saying, “My reputation isn’t on the line. Yours is.” He condemned the move as one stifling free speech. He eventually gave the speech.
Where is he now? Same place. He is doing just fine. It might be too much to wish that he’d learn from his mistakes. But maybe this time around he’ll pick the right New Year’s resolution: “Be less of a bigot.”
— kevin smith (@1959greenarrow) December 19, 2014