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Reza Aslan: Anti-Muslim Sentiment at ‘Unprecedented Levels’ in America

Religious scholar Reza Aslan has been a major part of the weeks-long media discussion on the nature of Islam, and he spoke with Fusion today about Islamophobia in the United States and, of course, that now-infamous Bill Maher battle over how violent Islam is. And what concerned Aslan the most is that “anti-Muslim sentiment in this country is at unprecedented levels.”

Aslan has been very critical of Maher’s arguments that Islam is uniquely violent in its approach, and while he’s previously clarified that Maher is not a bigot, Aslan said this was a “jump-the-shark moment” for Maher and smart people who understand what Islam is about “are just not putting up with it any longer.”

And as for this violence that Maher speaks of, Aslan doesn’t believe it’s “exclusively or necessarily a result of Islam.” To understand that part of the world, he said, you have to understand the history of colonialism in these nations and how religion fills a certain vacuum in people’s lives in this unstable region.

(Oh, and he also briefly mentioned “jihadist butt plugs.” No amount of context is going to make that phrase sound better.)

Watch the full interview here, via Fusion:

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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