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Reza Aslan: Media has pushed Islamophobia to ‘unprecedented levels’ in U.S.

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Religious scholar Reza Aslan on Fusion's 'Midterm Madness' on Oct. 20, 2014 (YouTube)

Religious scholar Reza Aslan ripped comedian Bill Maher on Monday, saying Maher had “gotten away” with making Islamophobic statements in the past because people like him — but adding that the tide has turned.

“I like him,” Aslan told Fusion host Nando Villa. “I think at a certain point, though, there’s been a kind of ‘jump the shark’ moment, and I think that people who are smart, engaged are just not putting up with it any longer. And so a much-needed conversation is finally being had. Not just about the problem of religion and violence, but in how we talk about it.”

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Aslan conceded that the ongoing conversation around Islam was precipitated by Maher’s argument with actor Ben Affleck on the Oct. 3 episode of Real Time, during which Maher said the religion was “like the mafia.”

“The problem is that anti-Muslim sentiment in this country is at unprecedented levels, thanks in great part to the media rhetoric,” Aslan said.

The debate spurred a war of words involving Aslan, who blasted Maher’s take in a New York Times op-ed, and neuroscientist Sam Harris, who subsequently called Aslan “a comical figure.”

Aslan’s interview with Villa begins at the nine-minute mark of Monday’s episode of Midterm Mayhem, which can be seen below.

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Trump mask-shames CBS reporter Lesley Stahl — and ominously warns ‘much more to come’

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President Donald Trump has spent months belittling people for wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

His anti-mask attitude reportedly resulted in White House and campaign staff not wearing masks so as to avoid angering their boss.

And Trump has repeatedly attacked Joe Biden for wearing facial coverings -- even after the president was hospitalized for COVID-19.

But on Tuesday, Trump dramatically shifted his position and mask-shamed CBS "60 Minutes" reporter Lesley Stahl, posting video of her not wearing a mask while Trump was.

Trump included video of their interview in his tweet:

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Donald Trump Jr.: Biden already had a chance to ‘fix’ racism because Obama is Black

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Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday argued that former Vice President Joe Biden should have solved racial tensions when there was an African-American president.

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2020 Election

‘Tell McConnell to hold the vote’: Top Democrat calls on Trump to put his money where his mouth is on stimulus

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