On Friday's edition of HBO's Real Time, host Bill Maher and his panel tackled the Syrian refugee crisis and how it has spilled over into Europe. Maher and his panel consisting of author Salman Rushdie, Former Reagan aide Linda Chavez and Michael Moynihan of The Daily Beast each expressed concern that Muslim migration into "tolerant" Europe will make Europe less tolerant and moderate.
"I so understand why moderate Muslims are fleeing their homelands, but the answer can't really be that we empty out the Middle East of all the moderates and leave it to ISIS and the extremists. If they just come to moderate, tolerant Europe to someday make it less moderate and tolerant that isn't the answer, right?" Maher asked.
"Let's not kid ourselves, there's a lot of young Muslim men in European cities who even though they are newcomers to the land, really are not humble about adopting to the ways of the Western world," Maher said. "They are, again, the newcomers and yet they bridle at the fact that women walk down the street with a miniskirt and sleeveless dresses on. Free speech we see is not something they always agree with. And often their attitude is, 'We're biding our time until you will do things our way.'"
"Can anyone really deny that element is there?" Maher asked.
"I would be more sympathetic if there was a better track record in the Muslim world of moderates standing up to extremists," the HBO host said. "I've mentioned on this show before -- ISIS is about 30,000 guys, the countries surrounding ISIS who say they hate them have an army, if they put it together, of about 5 million. If 5 million can't stand up to 30,000, I'm a little wary about this."
Maher also complained that Saudi Arabia won't take any refugees but has appropriated millions for new mosques. Rushdie said the king can book an entire luxury hotel when he visits Washington but can't spare money for the Syrian refugees.
"It seems like all the energy goes toward religion," Maher observed. "Saudi Arabia, as you mentioned, not taking in anybody, but they want to build, they're going to pay to build 200 new mosques in Germany. See, all the energy goes to the afterlife. And that's not how Europe rolls, they're atheists."
SALMAN RUSHDIE, GUEST: I do it is very weird that the countries where they share the language and the culture are the ones who is not letting them in. That is to say the Gulf States.
MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: They've taken zero...
MAHER: And it's not just Saudi Arabia, it's all the Gulf states -- Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait -- none, they will not let a single one in. And of course these are Arabic-speaking people who you think would fit in a little better there than say in Dusseldorf.