Bill Maher vs. Ben Affleck On Islam: "Mafia That Will Fucking Kill You If You Say The Wrong Thing" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Bill Maher vs. Ben Affleck On Islam: "Mafia That Will F**king Kill You If You Say The Wrong Thing"


Bill Maher and Ben Affleck engaged in a heated debate over radical Islam and Islamophobia on Friday's broadcast of Real Time on HBO.

Aided by author Sam Harris, Maher contended radical Islamists are essentially a "mafia" that will kill you if you say or draw the wrong thing. Affleck argued that condemning a whole religion based on jihadists that make up a small fraction of Islam isn't fair.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who was also on the panel, said the criticism of Islam has "a tinge of how white racists talk about African-American and define blacks."

On last week's broadcast of Real Time, Maher went after Islam and argued "if we're giving no quarter to intolerance, shouldn't we be starting the mutilators and the honor killers?"

Carolla Defends Maher: Affleck Not Used To Sitting There And Eating It

BEN AFFLECK: How about more than a billion people who aren't fanatical, who don't punch women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches, pray 5 times a day, and don't do any of the things you're saying of all Muslims. It's stereotyping.

SAM HARRIS, AUTHOR: I'm not saying all Muslims --

AFFLECK: Some of them do bad things and you're painting the whole religion with that broad brush.

MAHER: Wait, let's get down to who has the right answer here. A billion people, you say.

AFFLECK: A billion five.

MAHER: All these billion people don't hold these pernicious beliefs?

AFFLECK: They don't.

MAHER: That's just not true, Ben. That's just not true. You're trying to say that these few people, that's all the problem is, these few bad apples. The idea that someone should be killed if they leave the Islamic

AFFLECK: That's horrible.

MAHER: But you're saying the idea that someone should be killed if they leave the Islamic religion is just a few bad apples?

AFFLECK: The people who would actually believe in that you murder someone if they leave Islam is not the majority of Muslims at all...

SAM HARRIS: Just imagine you have some concentric circles. You have at the center, you have jihadists, these are people who wake up wanting to kill apostates, wanting to die trying. They believe in paradise, they believe in martyrdom. Outside of them, we have Islamists, these are people who are just as convinced of martyrdom and paradise and wanting to foist their religion on the rest of humanity but they want to work within the system. They're not going to blow themselves up on a bus. They want to change governments, they want to use democracy against itself. Those two circles arguably are 20% of the Muslim world.

BEN AFFLECK: What are you basing that research on?

HARRIS: There are a bunch of poll results that we can talk about. To give you one point of contact: 78% of British Muslims think that the Danish cartoonist should have been prosecuted. 78%. So, I'm being conservative when I roll this back to 20%. But outside of that circle you have conservative Muslims who can honestly look at ISIS and say that does not represent us, we're horrified by that but they hold views about human rights, and about women, and about homosexuals that are deeply troubling. So, these are not Islamists, they are not jihadists, but they often keep women and homosexuals immiserated in these cultures and we have to empower the true reformers in the Muslim world to change it. And lying about doctrine and this behavior is not going to do that...

MICHAEL STEELE, FMR. RNC CHAIR: So having said that, even if that is true, statistically or otherwise, the key thing to recognize that I don't think is part of the argument but I think should be is that there are voices that are oftentimes raised in opposition to these jihadists and to these extreme acts but, guess what, they don't covered, they don't get exposed. And they're not on the same level platform that we see jihadists get.

BILL MAHER: One reason they don't get exposed is because they're afraid to speak out because it's the only religion that acts like the mafia that will fucking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book. There's a reason why Ayaan Hirsi Ali needs bodyguards 24/7...

AFFLECK: What is your solution? To condemn Islam? To do what? We've killed more Muslims than they've killed us by an awful lot. We've invaded more --

MAHER: I'm not for more dead Muslims.

AFFLECK: And somehow we're exempt from these things because they're not really a reflection of what we believe in. We did it by accident, that's why we invaded Iraq.

MAHER: We're not convincing anybody here.

AFFLECK: I'm simply telling you that I disagree with you.

MAHER: I understand, and we're obviously not convincing anybody here.

HARRIS: You don't understand my argument.

AFFLECK: Your argument is, "You know, black people, they shoot each other" --

MAHER: It's not! No, it's not. It's based on facts. I can show you a Pew poll of Egyptians. They are not outliers in the Muslims world. It's like 90% of them believe death is the appropriate response to leaving the religion. If 90% of Brazilians thought that death was the appropriate response to leaving Catholicism you would think it was a bigger deal.

AFFLECK: I would think it's a big deal no matter what.

MAHER: Okay, well, that's the facts.

AFFLECK: I wouldn't say it's all Brazilians, or I wouldn't say, "Well, Ted Bundy did this. God damn these gays, they're all trying to eat each other."

HARRIS: Let me just give you what you want. There are hundreds of millions of Muslims who are nominal Muslims who don't take the faith siresly, who don't want to kill apostates, who are horrified by ISIS and we need to defend these people, prop them up and let them reform their faith.

AFFLECK: ISIS couldn't couldn't full a AA ballpark in Charleston, West Virginia and you want to make a career out of ISIS, ISIS, ISIS.

MAHER: No we're not. That's the opposite.

HARRIS: No, it's not just ISIS, it's all jihadists. It's a phenomenon of global jihad.

MAHER: I think that's the opposite of what we're doing.

AFFLECK: There is those things. There is ISIS, there is global jihadists. The question is the degree to which you're willing to say, because I've witnessed this behavior, which we all object to on part of these people, I'm willing to flatly condemn those of you I don't know and never met.

MAHER: They're not willing. This is based on reality.

HARRIS: It's not condemning people, it's ideas.

MAHER: It's based on reality, Ben. We're not take it up that in the Muslim world it is mainstream belief.

NICHOLAS KRISTOF: This is such a caricature of Indonesia, of Malaysia, of so much of the world. And this does have a tinge a little bit of how white racists talk about African-American and define blacks by --

MAHER: What you're saying is because they are a minority, we shouldn't criticize.

AFFLECK: It's not a minority, it's the second biggest religion in the world.

MAHER: Exactly, but you're treating them like a minority. I mean if Filipinos were capturing teenagers and sending them into white slavery, we would criticize that. We wouldn't say, oh, well, they're Filipinos.

AFFLECK: You would criticize the people who are doing it, not the Philippines. A Filipino kid who lives on the streets has nothing to do with that. These are different things.

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