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Maher: Islamophobia Kills? Or Maybe It's More The AK-47s, Beheadings, And The Planes Into Buildings

In the final segment of Friday's edition of HBO's Real Time, host Bill Maher took aim at those who oppose free speech, especially taking liberals to task for the "Islamophobia kills" campaign and being against "bullying" when it's convenient.

"Yeah, liberals hate bullying alright but they're not opposed to using it when they causally through out words like bigot and racist," Maher said.

"It does cower people into avoiding this debate. And if you're doing that, you don't get to wear the "Je suis Charlie" button; the button you wear is 'Je suis party of the problem.' And that goes for everybody," he added.

Maher criticized Catholic League president Bill Donahue for blaming the publisher of Charlie Hebo for not understanding "the role he played in his tragic death. Maher says that's essentially blaming a woman for rape because she was wearing clothes that were too provocative.

Next, Maher slammed frequent guest of the show Glenn Greenwald for saying anti-Muslim speech is a "vital driver" for the occupation of Muslim countries and killing the innocent.

"Really?" Maher incredulously asked. "Newspaper cartoons did all that? Wait until they get to the horoscopes and the crossword.

"It reminds me of one of those protest signs that I saw up in Berkeley last month; it said: 'Islamophobia kills.' Does it? The phobia kills? Or maybe it's more the AK-47s, and the beheadings, and the planes into buildings," Maher responded.

Maher even defended Rush Limbaugh from campaigns in recent years to boycott him and get companies to pull their advertisements from his show.

"This may surprise you, but I am not a big fan of Rush Limbaugh," Maher said. "However, if you're one of the people with a website devoted to making him go away, you are part of the problem. Ironically you're not even a proper liberal because you don't get free speech. You're just a baby who can't stand to live in a world where you hear things that upset you. Oh, you're not alone."

"Free speech only works if there are no waivers. No waivers. Including for religion," Maher said in the conclusion of his monologue. Transcript below.

BILL MAHER: Now that it's been a month since I gave the commencement address at Berkeley someone needs to check in with the people who tried to have my speech canceled, and make sure they made it though okay.

Also, since they were protesting me for once saying "Islam is the only religion that acts like the mafia (and will) kill you if you say the wrong thing or draw the wrong picture," and then two jihadists gun down 12 people in Paris for saying the wrong thing and drawing the wrong picture, you have to tell me where do I go to protest you?

The march we saw in Paris last Sunday with the leaders of 44 countries standing up for free speech was very heartening. But unfortunately, not everybody got the memo, like the Pope and his American vigilante Bill Donahue. Bill is the head of the Catholic League and as such he's called me an anti-Catholic bigot so many times it's now my ringtone. Bill also once took umbrage at my stance on pedophilia, on against it, and threatened to -- I guess this is a Catholic thing now -- punch me in the nose. Because whether you're representing the prince of peace or the religion of peace threatening violence is a great way to drive home the point that you're secure in your medieval beliefs.

Last week, Mr. Donahue wrote that it was too bad Charlie Hebdo's publisher, "didn't understand the role he played in his tragic death," which is like saying the rape victim didn't understand that her clothes were too provocative. And that's the great irony of Bill Donahue. He's a staunch advocate for a religion which considers masturbation a sin and yet he's a huge jerk off.

Glenn Greenwald says anti-Muslim speech like the cartoons in Charlie are, "a vital driver in bombing and occupying Muslim countries and killing the innocent." Really? Newspaper cartoons did all that? Wait until they get to the horoscopes and the crossword. It reminds me of one of those protest signs that I saw up in Berkeley last month; it said: "Islamophobia kills." Does it? The phobia kills? Or maybe it's more the AK-47s, and the beheadings, and the planes into buildings.

(MAHER to audience): Anyway, wow, you don't agree with that?

Thank you. Thank you. Hey one guy, thank you.


You'd think that someone like Glenn Greenwald wouldn't be so ambivalent about terrorism since terrorism is really just bullying. Extreme bullying. And I thought that we hated bullying now? When it happens in high schools these days people go nuts. When I was a kid adults just shrugged and said, "kids are assholes, what are you going to do?"

Yeah, liberals hate bullying alright but they're not opposed to using it when they causally through out words like bigot and racist. It does cower people into avoiding this debate. And if you're doing that, you don't get to wear the "Je suis Charlie" button; the button you wear is "Je suis party of the problem." And that goes for everybody.

This may surprise you, but I am not a big fan of Rush Limbaugh. However, if you're one of the people with a website devoted to making him go away, you are part of the problem. Ironically you're not even a proper liberal because you don't get free speech. You're just a baby who can't stand to live in a world where you hear things that upset you. Oh, you're not alone.

In much of Europe denying the Holocaust is a crime. It shouldn't be. The French arrested an anti-Semitic comedian this week for his comments about the attack, which were vile, but opinions shouldn't be illegal. Everyone can always come up with a reason why the thing that bugs you should get a waiver. But free speech only works if there are no waivers. No waivers. Including for religion.

Like, say you are, and I'm just picking a religion at random here -- Muslim. And you love, love, love you some Islam. It's what uplifts you and inspires you and you can't imagine your life without for what everyone doesn't love it too. Believe me, I get that, that's how I feel about weed. But when someone criticizes weed, I think, "good, more for me," not off with their head. And as a comedian I like it that jokes can hurt. I like it that Kim Jong-un was wounded by a movie. If you're a satirist, that's winning. Kim Jong-un hates jokes, he doesn't get them and he takes them too seriously, which proves something I've always expected about him. He's a lesbian. (HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, January 16, 2015)

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