Comedian Bill Maher butted heads Friday night with Brian Levin, a professor at California State University at San Bernardino and director of its Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, after the late-night host took issue with comparing Islamic extremism with all fundamentalism.
“You know what, yeah, yeah,” the HBO host said. “You know what — that’s liberal [expletive] right there … they’re not as dangerous. I mean there’s only one faith, for example, that kills you or wants to kill you if you draw a bad cartoon of the Prophet. There’s only one faith that kills you or wants to kill you if you renounce the faith. An ex-Muslim is a very dangerous thing. Talk to Salman Rushdie after the show about Christian versus Islam. So you know, I’m just saying, let’s keep it real.”
“All religious are not alike,” he continued. “As many people have pointed out — ‘The Book of Mormon,’ did you see the show? … OK, can you imagine if they did ‘The Book of Islam’? Could they do that? There’s only one religion that threatens violence and carries it out for things like that. Could they do “The Book of Islam” on Broadway?”
The guest responded “possibly so,” which Mr. Maher outright dismissed, and he seemed to get visibly irritated when Mr. Levin suggested Mr. Maher was promoting “Islamic hatred.”
“You’re wrong about that, and you’re wrong about your facts,” Mr. Maher fired back. “Now, obviously, most Muslim people are not terrorists. But ask most Muslim people in the world — if you insult the Prophet, do you have what’s coming to you? It’s more than just a fringe element.”