Bill Maher is a closet republican. The article below elaborates.
Political comedian Bill Maher got into a heated back and forth Friday with Ben Affleck over radical Islam, with the actor saying comments Maher made about the religion were “gross and racist.”
On HBO’s “Real Time,” Maher said he and author Sam Harris, who both identify as atheists, had been trying to make the case “that liberals need to stand up for liberal principles. This is what I said on last week’s show, obviously I got a lot of hate for it.”
Maher pointed to such principles as freedom of religion and speech as well as equality for women, minorities and homosexuals.
“These are liberal principles that liberals applaud for but then when you say in the Muslim world, this is what’s lacking, then they get upset,” Maher said.
Harris added that, “I would argue the liberals have failed us. The crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of Islamophobia where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry towards Muslims as people. That is intellectually ridiculous.”
Affleck interjected, “So you’re saying that Islamophobia is not a real thing.”
“I’m not denying that some people are bigoted against Muslims as a people and that’s a problem,” Harris replied.
“That’s big of you,” Affleck shot back.
Maher asked Affleck, “But why are you so hostile about this?”
“It’s gross, it’s racist,” the actor said. “It’s like saying you’re a shifty Jew.”
Maher said Affleck wasn’t listening to the argument he and Harris were making.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, also appearing on the panel, said that tolerance is also basic principle of liberalism, to which Maher replied, “but not for intolerance.”
“The picture you’re painting is to some extent true,” Kristol said, “but it’s hugely incomplete.”
Kristof added that while “plenty of fanatics and jihadists are Muslim,” there are many who are standing up to them as well.
While Kristof said the divide is between fundamentalists and moderates in any faith, Harris replied, “We’re misled to think the fundamentalists are the fringe.”
Former RNC chairman Michael Steele also agreed that there are people who are not subscribing to radical Islam within the religion, but they don’t receive the same coverage. Maher argued it’s because people are scared.
The panelists continued to argue over each other, before Maher eventually turned the subject to ISIL and the United States’ involvement in the region.
Affleck acknowledged radical groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and jihadists.
“The question is the degree to which you are willing to say, because I’ve witnessed this behavior — which we all object to — on the part these people, I’m willing to flatly condemn those of you I don’t know and never met,” Affleck said.