- The Washington Times - Monday, October 6, 2014

When asked about his spat with “Gone Girl” actor Ben Affleck on Friday night’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Mr. Maher defended his comments in an interview with Salon.com, saying, “We’re liberals! We’re liberals. We’re not crazy tea-baggers, y’know.”

During a panel discussion on HBO’s “Real Time,” Mr. Affleck challenged Mr. Maher and Sam Harris, author of “Waking Up,” when they argued that people who criticize the Islamic religion are not necessarily bigoted.

Calling Mr. Maher’s and Mr. Harris’ comments “gross and racist,” Mr. Affleck argued that they were painting 1.5 billion Muslim people with the same broad stroke based on a small group of radical Islamists and said that was a form of Islamophobic stereotyping.

In his Salon interview, Mr. Maher maintained that he was not bigoted and was in fact standing up for liberal principals. 

“I think we all feel frustrated because I think we feel like the people who are arguing with us are not listening,” he said, referring to the segment with Mr. Affleck.

“I mean, do the people arguing with us, would they really open a lesbian art gallery in Ramallah? [Laughs] Or Karachi? Or Cairo? I don’t know if they would back up what they’re saying with actions,” he said on Salon.com.

SEE ALSO: ‘Gone Girl’ star Affleck gets visibly shaken when Maher likens Islam to mafia

• Kellan Howell contributed to this report.

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