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Atheist Neuroscientist Defends Fiery Claim That 'Islam Is the Mother Lode of Bad Ideas

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"We have to acknowledge that Islam has doctrines like jihad and martyrdom and death to apostates, which are central to the faith in the way that they aren't in other faiths."

In this Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, image released by HBO, host Bill Maher, center, talks with actor Ben Affleck, left, and Sam Harris, author of "Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion", during "Real Time With Bill Maher," in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/HBO) AP Photo/HBO

Atheist author Sam Harris defended his recent claim that "Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas" during an appearance on CNN Monday night, telling host Don Lemon that every religion isn't equally wise.

After Lemon asked whether Harris, a neuroscientist, stands by his controversial claim about the Muslim faith that he uttered while recently debating actor Ben Affleck and comedian Bill Maher, the author affirmed that he does and proceeded to defend it.

"I think that we have an idea here that all religions are the same — that they're all equally wise or equally empty or equally irrelevant ... secular liberals tend to believe this and it's just not true," he said. "Our religions are quite different."

In this Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, image released by HBO, host Bill Maher, center, talks with actor Ben Affleck, left, and Sam Harris, author of "Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion", during "Real Time With Bill Maher," in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/HBO)

Harris went on to note that he believes Islam has some problematic doctrines that must be addressed — and he decried a "dogma of political correctness" that sometimes hampers candid discussion.

"We have to acknowledge that Islam has doctrines like jihad and martyrdom and death to apostates, which are central to the faith in the way that they aren't in other faiths," he continued. "We have to grapple with that and Muslims have to grapple with that."

Harris also mentioned President Barack Obama's claims that the Islamic State terror group's ideology has nothing to do with Islam.

While the author said he understands why Obama needs to tread lightly in addressing Islam, he said, "clearly ISIS has a lot to do with specific doctrines that are really ... Islamic doctrines."

"The Bible is much easier to cherry pick and this explains why we can forget about Leviticus and Deuteronomy and so many of the vile passages in there," Harris said.

Watch the segment below:

(H/T: Mediaite)

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