Dennis Prager, Right Wing News
Last Friday night a rare dialogue/debate took place on American television.
It was rare because it involved criticism of Islam, one of the many taboo subjects that are labeled “politically incorrect.” And it took place on the program “Real Time with Bill Maher,” a show not generally known for taking politically incorrect positions.
But on this night the host, Bill Maher, along with atheism-advocate Sam Harris, had a vigorous debate with Actor Ben Affleck, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.
Bill Maher, a man of the left on virtually every issue, began by defending liberalism’s honor against liberal hypocrisy on the subject of Islam:
“Liberals need to stand up for liberal principles. … Liberal principles like freedom of speech, freedom to practice any religion you want without fear of violence, freedom to leave a religion, equality for women, equality for minorities including homosexuals — these are liberal principles that liberals applaud for [pointing to his audience], but then when you say in the Muslim world this is what’s lacking, then they get upset.”
Sam Harris then added:
“Liberals have really failed on the topic of theocracy. They’ll criticize … Christians; they’ll still get agitated over the abortion clinic bombing that happened in 1984, but when you talk about the treatment of women and homosexuals and free thinkers and public intellectuals in the Muslim world, I would argue that liberals have failed us. And the crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of ‘Islamophobia,’ where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry toward Muslims as people. That’s intellectually ridiculous.”
Ben Affleck and Nicholas Kristof — along with, sad to say, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee — would have none of that.