By now, you’ve probably seen the Islam debate on Friday night’s Real Time with Bill Maher. In case you missed it, Banter‘s Tommy Christopher posted a solid recap on Saturday. The primary participants in the debate were Maher, author Sam Harris, Gone Girl and Batman v. Superman actor Ben Affleck and columnist for The New York Times Nicholas Kristof. The topic: whether all of Islam should be negatively perceived based on the actions of jihadists and extremists.
You can probably guess who said what.
Obviously, Maher was as stridently anti-Muslim as he is anti-Christianity and, generally, anti-religion. Harris was a little more nuanced, suggesting that a not insignificant percentage of Muslims are made up of either jihadists or Islamists, believing in ideas such as death for anyone who leaves the religion. Harris seemed to suggest that while it shouldn’t negatively taint all Muslims, it should be a factor when evaluating the nature of the religion. On the opposite side, Affleck directly accused both Maher and Harris of being racist, while Kristof wasn’t quite that extreme but was certainly on Affleck’s side of the debate.
On one hand, it’s a huge mistake to believe that all Muslims are extremists, likewise it’s a huge mistake to believe that all Christians are fundamentalists. On the other hand, Affleck (who was fantastic in Gone Girl, by the way) was completely off the rails in accusing both Maher’s and Harris’s views as “racist.”
Frankly, all four participants were off the rails at one point or another, but Harris had arguably the most salient point of the debate, and this is it:
Liberals have really failed on the topic of theocracy. They’ll criticize white theocracy, they’ll criticize Christians.
I like where this is headed, but the following is just stupid… CONTINUE READING