Bill Maher has had an interesting six months.
After targeting the entire religion of Islam for what he says are “backward” beliefs, he’s become somewhat of a go-to for conservatives who are fearful of the religion in spite of the fact that he’s one of the most liberal commentators working today.
While people like President Obama and Howard Dean continue to stand up for religion, refusing to call ISIS beheadings and other jihadist attacks the work of radical Muslim followers, Maher has blasted the faith at every turn and received a lot of criticism from the Left in so doing.
On Friday night’s edition of Real Time, his HBO talk show, Bill Maher took Howard Dean to task for saying the Charlie Hebdo attackers were “about as Muslim as I am.”
Dean was trying to make the point that he wanted to “take away the power” from jihadists because they “want us to identify them as Muslim,” Maher unloaded on the former Democratic presidential candidate.
“King Abdullah died. He was praised by everyone from Obama to McCain as a moderate. Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, said he was a ‘strong advocate of women.’ In the kingdom [of Saudi Arabia], women can’t drive, leave the house without a man, hold a lot of jobs; some are being beheaded. This is what I call the soft bigotry of low expectations when it comes to Muslims.”
At that point, Maher turned to Howard Dean directly and brought up the “as Muslim as I am” comment. Dean tried to clarify.
“What they are is a group of thugs, who are murderers and subhuman. They do horrible things. They want us to call them Islamic terrorists because it connects them with a billion people. They are not.”
To this, Maher said they “are connected,” and pointed out that in “poll after poll… most Muslims in the world — say the wife is obligated to always obey her husband. Is that how you would describe your marriage? Because if not, I don’t think your statement, ‘I’m about as Islamic as they are,’ is true.”
This set Dean back, saying, “But they’re crazy, these people,” to which Maher reminded him, “That’s most Muslims, [not just jihadists] the wife is always obliged to obey her husband.”
Dean then said he didn’t believe it was true.
“But that’s a fact,” Maher retorted. “They’ve done polling. You’re just denying the fact.”
“Look, you can read stuff in the Old Testament that is, ‘an eye for an eye,’ and all this kind of stuff,” Dean continued.
“This isn’t the Old Testament,” Maher said. “This is modern polling.”
At this point, awkward laughter set in from the audience and Dean appeared to be at a loss for how to respond. From there, Maher moved on to the next point.
Do you think Bill Maher is right to target the Islamic faith with his criticisms? Sound off in our comments section.