Bill Maher: Pakistan Punishing ‘Blasphemer’ With Death, But I’m Wrong On Islam?

Bill Maher is continuing his verbal assault against Islam, much to the chagrin of his liberal viewers.

Maher recently brought up the story of a woman whose death sentence has been upheld by the high court in Pakistan. Her crime: speaking out, or “saying something derogatory against the prophet Muhammad,” the host of HBO’s Real Time said.

Sarcastically, Maher added, “So yeah, Sam Harris and I were way off on that.”

Harris is a fellow atheist who took Maher’s side in the recent heated debate with Ben Affleck on the same television program. Harris recently showed back up in the news with a blog post in which he pointed out how Affleck actually “proved my point on Islam.”

Affleck was joined by Nicholas Kristof in opposing Harris and Maher’s remarks, claiming that there were Muslims “risking their lives” to speak out against some of the actions for which the pair have been critical: treating women as second class citizens, executing those who try to leave the faith, and beheading defenseless journalists on video.

“Kristof made the point that there are brave Muslims who are risking their lives to condemn ‘extremism’ in the Muslim community,” Harris said. “Of course there are, and I celebrate these people too. But he seemed completely unaware that he was making my point for me — the point being, of course, that these people are now risking their lives by advocating for basic human rights in the Muslim world.”

On the latest edition of Real Time, Bill Maher continued to iterate those points, but did get some pushback from guest David Miliband, who pointed out that “it’s one thing to take on a religion, the other thing is to take on the people who are abusing the religion.”

Maher seemed unimpressed.

“But if that’s popular with the people, they’re not that different,” he shot back.

This certainly isn’t the harshest that Bill Maher has been when it comes to Islam. In September, he pointed out a Pew poll of Egypt where 82 percent of participants said that stoning was the appropriate punishment for adultery, and more than 80 percent thought death was the necessary punishment for renouncing the Muslim religion.

“So to claim that this religion is like other religions is just naive and plain wrong. It is not like other religions,” Maher said, pointing to an op-ed piece in The New York Times that detailed the fact that in Saudi Arabia, just since August 4, “they have beheaded 19 people” with most being for non-violent crimes “including homosexuality.”

“Right, okay, so we’re upset that ISIS is beheading people which we should be upset about but Saudi Arabia does it and they’re our good friends because they have oil. Okay. But they do it too. This is the center of the religion,” Maher said.

Do you agree with Bill Maher on Islam, or is he mischaracterizing the religion? Share your thoughts in our comments section.

[Image via HBO]