On his Friday night “Real Time” show on HBO, Bill Maher took on the religion of Islam again as tensions are escalating in Iraq with the advances of the al Qaeda-affiliated group ISIS within the Iraqi borders.
Maher likened the current situation, which he and his guests argue has been prompted by the sectarian divide between Sunnis and Shiites, to the 16th century when Catholics and Protestants engaged in violence. According to Maher, the two sides in Iraq and throughout the Middle East will have to have it out and there is nothing the United States can do about it.
“Let’s not get lost in the weeds on this issue because I don’t want to,” Maher said. “More philosophically, we were arguing about this area of the world a couple of months ago on the show. And I said, because liberals get mad when I talk about the Muslims because I think they don’t read the paper. And I said in the 16th century I would have been criticizing the Christians but because in the 16th century, Protestants and Catholics spent the entire century slaughtering each other. But that’s the 16th century, when the world was too Christian – too religious on the Christian side. This seems to be like the moment when the Muslims are having their 16th century. The Sunnis and Shiites are going to have this out and we just have to let them have it out.”
Later in the segment, Maher attributed this violence and other threats of terrorism as a product of a flawed religion not held to an equal standard.
“I know I’m a bad guy because I talk about the Muslims and it’s just a few bad apples who read the Koran wrong — but apparently it’s thousands of independent militant groups,” he added. “I think if there were thousands of independent Jehovah’s Witness militant groups, we’d be doing something about the Jehovah Witnesses.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor