Bill Maher, famously liberal and noted antagonist of religion, is showing signs of cracking. Even he believes there’s something fundamental about Islamic teaching that, for extreme adherents, sanctions killing. More surprisingly, he thinks that’s wrong.
On his Real Time talk show on HBO last week, Maher found himself sitting across from guest Brian Levin – director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University-San Bernardino. And within seconds, he found himself defending Christianity against Islam – and getting called an “Islamophobe” by someone more liberal than he.
Discussing the Boston Marathon bombing and motives behind it, Maher said it was hard to understand how a young extremist could wear his devotion to Islam on his sleeve while simultaneously chasing a middle-class life; a career and money.
His guest interrupted, saying “it’s not like people who are Muslim who do wacky things have a monopoly on it. We have hypocrites across faiths – Jewish; Christian – who say they’re out for God and end up doing not so nice things.”
Shockingly, Maher replied with, “You know what?… You know what? That’s liberal bulls#!% right there.”
“There are no Christian hypocrites?” Levin retorted. Of course there are, Maher replied, but:
[T]hey’re not as dangerous. I mean, there’s only one faith, for example, that kills you or wants to kill you if you draw a bad cartoon of the prophet. There’s only one faith that kills you or wants to kill you if you renounce the faith. An ex-Muslim is a very dangerous thing. Talk to Salman Rushdie after the show about “Christian versus Islam… Now, obviously, most Muslim people are not terrorists, but ask most Muslim people in the world, if you insult the prophet, do you have what’s coming to you. It’s more than just a fringe element.
Maher has rattled the sword against blatant liberalism a couple of times recently, ranting about regressive taxation last month, and described the Koran as a “hate-filled book” in 2011; one ripe for misappropriation by Eastern extremists who come from a “culture that is in its medieval era.”
It’s possible that Liberals who push their agendas too aggressively; who speed the churning process of gradualism too urgently, could end up outing themselves and their cause to uninformed and disinterested Americans who, so far, have been exposed to the more benign effects of liberal policy. In that sense, power-hungry liberals might themselves become the alarm that finally wakes the rest of the sleeping public.