Actor Ben Affleck appeared on Real Time this weekend to debate Islam and “Islamophobia” with Bill Maher. Maher’s comments last week, which suggested that those in the United States who want to take on intolerance should start with Muslims who perform genital mutilation and honor killings, sparked controversy.
Former RNC Chair Michael Steele suggested that the Muslims who do speak out against jihad or genital mutilation or honor killings should get more press coverage, and then Maher had his turn:
One reason they don’t get exposed is because they’re afraid to speak out, because it’s the only religion that acts like the mafia that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book. There’s a reason why Ayaan Hirsi Ali needs bodyguards 24/7…
I can show you a Pew poll of Egyptians. They are not outliers in the Muslims world. It’s like 90% of them believe death is the appropriate response to leaving the religion.
In response, Affleck and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof slammed Maher’s views, and Affleck attempted to link them to “how white racists talk about African-Americans.”
The actor, who’s currently filming the new Batman movie, argued, according to a transcript at Real Clear Politics:
Most Muslims aren’t fanatical, who don’t punch women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches, pray 5 times a day, and don’t do any of the things you’re saying of all Muslims. It’s stereotyping.