Bill Maher has the capacity to surprise. A few months ago, Bill Maher called the Constitution “bullshit.” Last week, he narrowed that insult down to say that the Second Amendment is “bullshit.” Clearly, Maher is an unappealing character with a limited vocabulary and what intelligence he has is viciously anti-American. Still there’s occasionally more to the man than that. Just the other day, he told a guest on his show who claimed that all religions are equally violent, that the guest was spouting “liberal bullshit.”
Maher’s guest on his HBO show, Real Time, was Brian Levin, who directs the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino. Levin earnestly assured Maher that, despite the havoc two Muslims caused in Boston, religious extremism isn’t limited to Islam. Maher was having none of that:
“You know what, yeah, yeah. You know what — that’s liberal bullshit right there … they’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…So, you know, I’m just saying, let’s keep it real.
Apparently “keeping things real” was more than a professor – you know, one of those who indoctrines . . . er, educates our kids about “tolerance” – could tolerate. He promptly accused Maher of promoting Islamophobia and, redundantly (which is what one would expect from a liberal professor), “Islamic hatred.” He even offered the worst insult he could, by comparing Maher to Pamela Geller, the astute analyst who has frequently pointed out that Islam’s core is based upon violent jihad.
Maher was undeterred:
I am not an Islamophobe. I am a truth lover. All religious are not alike. As many people have pointed out. . . . “The Book of Mormon” — did you see the show? . . . OK, can you imagine if they did “The Book of Islam?” Could they do that? There’s only one religion that threatens violence and carries it out for things like that. Could they do “The Book of Islam” on Broadway?
Showing the intelligence that consigns him to living off the taxpayers’ dime at California State University in San Bernardino, Levin answered “possibly.” Maher went straight from argument to contempt. “Tell me,” he asked Levin, “what color the sky is in your world?” He roundly told the professor, “You’re wrong about that and you’re wrong about your facts.”
Most importantly, Maher said that the problem lies with the faith itself, not just with a fringe:
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?’
If only Bill Maher would be this smart all the time. But this is the same man who says that some of our troops are psychopaths, a statement that, by ignoring the reality that some part of every group is psychopathic, manages to smear the troops as cold-blooded killers. He’s also the man who, ignoring biological reality, savages Americans in the most disgusting terms for being meat-eaters. Still, giving credit where credit is due, Maher’s right about Islam and, given Islam’s notorious sensitivity to insults real or perceived, he’s courageous too.