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Maher Reflects on Affleck Fight over Islam: We’re Liberals, Not ‘Bigoted People’

Bill Maher got into an intense debate last Friday with Ben Affleck over Islam, and in an interview with Salon, Maher followed up by insisting he’s not acting like a bigot or “crazed tea-baggers,” he just wants liberals to stand up for liberal beliefs.

He said that the people he’s arguing with on Islam “are not listening.” Maher and Sam Harris fought with Affleck over the brutality of Islamic terrorists. Maher likened Islam to a mafia that will “fucking kill you” if you say the wrong thing.

Maher told Salon liberals shouldn’t be piling on him for going after Islam or calling individuals like him “bigoted people” just because conservatives happen to do the same:

We’re liberals! We’re liberals. We’re not crazy tea-baggers, y’know, and so it’s kind of hard to be making this case — based on facts, based on polling, I think based on what everybody really knows… 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 did add that whereas his studio audience used to sit in silence or boo when he went after Islam, he’s noticed a shift in reactions.

Maher also opened up in the interview about his Flip a DIstrict campaign, as well as a recent meeting he had with Rand Paul. And Maher says that when Paul asked why anyone’s talking about climate change when ISIS is out there, he told Paul, “Senator, y’know, you sounded just like Dick Cheney.”

You can read the full Salon interview here.

And you can watch Maher and Affleck debate here, via HBO:

[image via Randy Miramontez/Shutterstock]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac