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Maher: The More You Know About Islam, The More Afraid Of It You Are, Intolerant Christians ‘Really Aren’t a Problem’


HBO host Bill Maher argued that it isn’t true that people wouldn’t be as afraid of Islam if they knew more about it, “Actually, it’s the reverse” and that he wished liberals would “have the same enthusiasm for intolerance elsewhere in the world as they do for Christians here at home, who really aren’t a problem, because they don’t get really get their way” on Friday’s “Real Time.”


Maher, after referencing the covering up of nude statues in Italy during a visit by Iran’s president said, “I think people are mixing up two things, tolerance and capitulation.” He added, “It’s one thing to be tolerant of another culture, but this is our culture. You know, Christianity did have a problem with t*tties like in 1300, but we got over it. So, we shouldn’t change our culture to a more backward culture, should we?”

Talk radio host Thom Hartmann countered by citing the Justice Department putting curtains in front of a nude statue during John Ashcroft’s tenure as Attorney General and saying, “This is not a Muslim problem. This is a fundamentalist problem. Maher objected, “Except when it happened in this country, the liberals laughed at him, and they opposed him. I wish they would have the same enthusiasm for intolerance elsewhere in the world as they do for Christians here at home, who really aren’t a problem, because they don’t get really get their way. It’s laughable.”

Hartmann then said, “Except that he covered that for four years.” Maher responded, “But nobody thought it was realistic.” Hartmann maintained that “a lot of Republicans” did.

Former Congressman Trey Radel (R-FL) later wondered, “What about if we go, the next time we show up, an entourage to Iran, are they going to be — I want them decked out in muscle t-shirts, with those ’80s shorts with the American flag all over them. Are they going to do that for us? No.”

Maher added, “I think liberals have to stop insisting that the world is the way they want to it be instead of the way it is.” He then pointed to folk singer James Twyman’s efforts to do a concert in ISIS-controlled territory to hopefully stop ISIS’ violence. Maher then argued, “[Y]ou cannot just insist that the reality that you think about in your head is the reality that exists in the world. After the San Bernardino attacks, we were off the next week, but I heard all over TV, this — everybody was saying, ‘If only Americans knew more about Islam, they wouldn’t be so afraid.’ Actually, it’s the reverse.”

Hartmann then pointed to moderate Islamic groups on the ground. Maher responded, “We have to be on their side, not on the people who say ‘Islamophobe,’ who just help the enablers.”

Hartmann later stated, “I think back to all the years that I’ve been debating right-wingers who have been like, ‘Immigrants have to learn English first!’ And, you know, it actually makes a certain amount of sense. … It seems like the first step in any country, including in the United States, and we’re starting to do this now in our public schools, but we need to do it more extensively, is to bring — when people come in from another culture to, say ‘You know, your culture’s fine, but here’s our culture.'”

Maher responded, “Well, it isn’t fine, and I just hope that the civics guidebook in Sweden is more persuasive than the Koran, but I doubt it is.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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