‘Islam is the problem’: Bill Maher and panel clash over Boko Haram

By Arturo Garcia
Saturday, May 10, 2014 0:30 EDT
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Bill Maher on January 13, 2012. Screenshot via HBO.
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The outrage over the activities of the radical Nigerian Islamic group Boko Haram and the imposition of Sharia law in Brunei spurred a combative discussion between Real Time host Bill Maher and his panelists on Friday.

“I’m the bad guy ’cause I’m against the people who cut your arm off for not praying,” Maher said.

“You’re not the bad guy for that,” author and comedian Baratunde Thurston shot back. “You’re the bad guy ’cause you’re saying it’s inherent in the religion and exclusive.”

“What’s going on here [is], there’s a civil war in the mind of the liberal,” conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza said, cutting in.

“We’re right here, dude,” Thurston told him, meaning himself and Huffington Post editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington. “Tell me about my brain some more, please.”

“If it was the Catholic church, you’d be all on it. But on the other hand, you’re committed to multiculturalism. And ‘Islam is a victim.’ And we don’t want to make the Muslims feel bad,” said D’Souza, who is suspected of breaking political contribution laws and was fired from a religious college last year after getting caught traveling with a woman who was not his wife at the time. “And so these two impulses have got to be brokered one against the other, and that’s why there’s a protection of Islam. The problem isn’t the Muslims. The problem is all the multiculturalists on campus who protect and defend them.”

“This is ridiculous,” Huffington said. “This is like saying that all Muslims are guilty.”

“We’re not saying that,” Maher countered, gesturing toward himself and D’Souza. “You’re hearing that.”

“What you’re saying is that Islam is the problem,” Thurston responded.

“Islam is the problem, correct,” Maher said in agreement. “All religions are the problem, but especially this one.”

Watch the discussion, as posted online on Friday, below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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