Bill Maher: ‘At Least Half’ of Muslims Think It’s Okay to Kill Someone Who Insults ‘the Prophet’

(Photo: HBO)

Discussing Newsweek’s recent “Muslim Rage” cover, Bill Maher said on his show “Real Time” Friday night that “most Muslims” think it is acceptable to kill someone they think has offended the prophet Muhammad.

Accompanied by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, TIME’s Rana Foroohar, former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock, and the author Salman Rushdie, Maher held up the magazine and said: “Most Muslims — at least half of them, I think, around the world — think it is ok to kill someone if they insult the Prophet.  And that is a big problem.  That is a clash of civilizations.”

The panel was discussing Newsweek's 'Muslim Rage' cover when Maher made the assertion. (Photo: Newsweek via Think Progress)

Chris Matthews claimed Maher sounded like he was playing into Osama bin Laden’s “plan,” who he said wanted a West vs. East fight, and for Americans to confuse terrorism with Islam.  After Foroohar said she thinks the solution is for American officials to convey their messages more clearly to Muslims abroad, Matthews asked Maher whether he has ever lived in the Middle East.

“Of course not,” Maher responded with a face. “I’d be dead if I lived in the Middle East,” he noted.

Matthews continued: “I went over and I lived a month in the Old City of Jerusalem…you have the guys in the black hats, the ultra-religious Jewish people…the Islamic people praying five times a day– all intermingling in the streets.  Totally peaceful!  It’s totally getting along together, it’s [been] going on for 2,000 years.  People can live together with different religious beliefs.”

Without going into how Israel is far from “totally peaceful,” Maher simply said “not really” as Matthews finished his explanation.  When asked what his solution is, Maher joked that atheist beliefs would solve a lot of the problems.

At that point Salman Rushdie– who has been afraid for his life since Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa to kill him over his book “The Satanic Verses” in 1989– interjected to say he was “with” Bill Maher on the issue.

However, his solution is to start calling what he referred to as “politicized, manufactured outrage” by its true name.  We should not apologize, he says, we should say “would you stop winding people up” and “distorting facts.”

Click here for video.

Also on Bill Maher’s show, former San Diego mayor Roger Hedgecock called Chris Matthews a “liar” for saying much of the reason Republicans dislike Obama is because of his race and background.

After Chris gave a lengthy speech on “the big lie” that Republicans say the poor don’t work as hard as everybody else, Hedgecock replied: “Chris, Chris, calm down, man. You’re just, you’re lying. I mean, come on.”

When Matthews continued to say references to the welfare state are part of a “racial game” the right has been “playing,” Hedcock said: “You’re just outrageously wrong, okay?

Watch video of the exchange, via Newsbusters, below:

(H/T: Mediaite)