A group of University of California, Berkeley students are rallying to have Bill Maher removed as a speaker for a commencement ceremony in December following controversial statements he made about Islam earlier this month.
During a segment of his show Real Time With Bill Maher, the host referred to the Muslim community as “the only religion that acts like the Mafia, that will f*cking kill you if you say the wrong thing,” and now California students are fighting to have his invitation revoked.
The change.org petition titled “Stop Bill Maher from speaking at UC Berkeley’s December graduation” reached 2,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning and is authored by campus activist Khwaja Ahmed. Ahmed is a member of the group Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian Coalition, according to the Huffington Post.
“Bill Maher is a blatant bigot and racist who has no respect for the values UC Berkeley students and administration stand for. In a time where climate is a priority for all on campus, we cannot invite an individual who himself perpetuates a dangerous learning environment. Bill Maher’s public statements on various religions and cultures are offensive and his dangerous rhetoric has found its way into our campus communities,” the petition reads.
The following are examples of Maher’s “hate speech” that are cited in the petition:
Religions are maintained by people. People who can’t get laid, because sex is the first great earthly pleasure. But if you can’t get that, power is a pretty good second one. And that’s what religion gives to people. Power. Power is sex for people who can’t get or don’t want or aren’t any good at sex itself.
Rational people, anti-religionists, must end their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves. And those who consider themselves only moderately religious really need to look in the mirror and realize that the solace and comfort that religion brings you actually comes at a terrible price.
But I’ve often said that if I had – I have two dogs – if I had two retarded children, I’d be a hero. And yet the dogs, which are pretty much the same thing. What? They’re sweet. They’re loving. They’re kind, but they don’t mentally advance at all… Dogs are like retarded children.
Dealing w/ Hamas is like dealing w/ a crazy woman who’s trying to kill u – u can only hold her wrists so long before you have to slap her
Talk to women who’ve ever dated an Arab man. The results are not good.
The Muslim world has too much in common with Isis.
You have to understand, you have to embrace the values of Western civilization. They’re not just different, they are better.
The petition insists that Maher is a threat to students at UC Berkeley, and college officials must boycott him immediately to uphold its standards of respect and civility.
“People say he has the right to freedom of speech, and I agree with that,” Marium Navid, a senator with a student government group on campus told the San Jose Mercury News. “The problem is that when you bring him to the university, you’re pretty much putting him into a privileged position. You’re raising his voice.”