Progressive liberal Bill Maher may say he doesn't want to make his "life's work" railing against the Muslim world, but he's been speaking passionately against Islamic thought for quite some time.
He wearily took up the issue again on HBO's "Real Time" Friday night, mentioning the rash of apparently Muslim violence that hit the U.S. and Canada this week.
But he stood alone on his own show as his guests all tried to tone down his remarks.
Cornel West argued that Islam has a long history of producing prominent figures who argue for tolerance, claiming that Malcolm X and Mohammed Taha were two such figures.
John Avlon, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Beast, acknowledged the importance of honestly discussing issues facing the U.S. without getting thrown into "PC [politically correct] police jail," but he asserted that the vast majority of the Muslim world is peaceful, despite Maher citing polls that show huge numbers of Muslims believing death is the appropriate punishment for someone leaving the Islamic faith.
Mary Matalin, a political consultant who worked for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, brought up the point that many nations in the Middle East were created artificially by Western colonial powers and that such artificial states (such as Iraq, which combines Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds in a violent mix) are inherently unstable.
On the relatively diverse panel, no one seemed willing to agree with the assertion that has gotten Maher in such hot water over the past few weeks: "Not only does the Muslim world have something in common with ISIS [the Islamic State], it has too much in common with ISIS."
Listen to the whole discussion below (content warning: some rough language)
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