I am a b-i-g fan of Bill Maher. There are not very many TV programs I watch regularly, but you'll find me plopped down in front of the television almost every Friday night when Real Time with Bill Maher is on!
For the most part, I think Bill is insightful and extremely funny. He typically educates with barbs and biting humor. I agree with his take on a lot of issues, but there is at least one issue that I think he has dead wrong. JP Sottile seems to agree with me.
Bill Maher is a funny guy.
But he’s not very reflective.
That’s because, quite ironically, he’s fallen into the War on Terror trap — the comfortable and comforting stereotype of angry Muslims as irrational ideologues armed with religious hair-triggers and little else.
Like so many of the so-called “Left” in America, Maher has basically accepted the key notion that a whole population of like-minded people have decided to kill Americans because of an irrational religious belief system.
Maher’s go-to example of the Muslim world’s “unique” religious insanity is the way Muslims seem to go ballistic whenever “The Prophet” is offended — in cartoons, bad movies or by American soldiers burning Korans.
It’s not that it hasn’t happened. It has. Muslim outrage over real or perceived sleights to The Prophet and Islam — which forbids graven imagery of God and, in some cases, Mohammed — is no laughing matter.
But isn’t it interesting that the supposedly “Liberal” Obama Administration is currently fending off scandal-hungry Republicans because they tried to pawn off a “terrorist” attack on a paramilitary target (the Benghazi “diplomatic facility” also housed a “CIA annex”) as little more than a predictably frenzied Muslim response to an offensive movie?
That’s where Maher picked it up on an episode of “Real Time” when the topic strayed from GOP efforts to hang Benghazi on the Democrats to Maher’s relentless drumbeat about the inherent nuttiness of Muslims. Bill even entertained the possibility that it is better to keep dictatorships in control of Muslims because, like the Arab Spring in Egypt, when you let them have some freedom, they naturally become a mob of theocratic loonies. In other words, their kooky religion means Muslim masses cannot be trusted to govern themselves.
And there is something else about Bill that has made me a bit uneasy lately. He appears to have taken a page straight from the Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh handbook. When guests bring up points that he strongly disagrees with, he talks right over the top of them! How rude!