On Friday, HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher stated, ” “I hear a lot of talk today about xenophobia. And, is it really xenophobia if you have something to be afraid of?” And that false claims of Islamophobia give radical Muslims cover.
Maher stated that while banning all Muslims is a bad idea, “I hear a lot of talk today about xenophobia. And, is it really xenophobia if you have something to be afraid of? 52% of British Muslims think being gay should be illegal.”
After CNN Commentator Paul Begala responded, “What percentage of American Republicans believe that? Can we deport them?” Maher angrily responded that Begala’s point was “bullsh*t” and told him “Stop it.”
Maher later added, “[T]here are a lot of moderate Muslims in the world. They are afraid to speak out, because of violent intimidation, okay, and every time somebody says ‘Islamophobia,’ it gives the people who are intimidating cover.”
Begala countered that criticizing Islam as an entire religion empowers fanatics, to which Daily Beast Politics Reporter Betsy Woodruff replied that fanatics will use just about anything to empower themselves, a point Maher agreed with. Maher also agreed with Woodruff’s later point that the US’ immigration situation is very different from Europe’s and that it’s “silly” to conclude that because Europe has problems with immigration, so does the US.
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