Friday night on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” host Bill Maher and a panel made up of MSNBC’s Rev. Al Sharpton, author and professional skeptic Richard Dawkins, filmmaker Michael Moore and former U.S. CIA operative Valerie Plame discussed radical Islam and the corrosive effects of religious zealotry on science and culture.
Maher opined that Islam needs its own Pope Francis to ease the religion away from its radical, destructive tendencies. He asked Dawkins, who has had his own run-ins with Islam online due to a number of anti-Muslim tweets and other expressions of skepticism about the religion, what the author thinks about liberals who are hesitant to speak out against Islam for fear of being seen as racist.
“Which is stupid,” Maher said, “because Islam’s not a race.”
“Well of course it’s not a race,” Dawkins agreed.
“Well if I criticize Michael Vick, it’s not because he’s black, it’s because he electrocuted dogs,” continued Maher.
He went on to say that there are many values embraced by Muslims that are antithetical to our way of life and yet, he said, liberals are afraid to say anything “because they’re a minority and because they’re brown. It doesn’t matter. Pernicious beliefs are pernicious beliefs.”
Moore said that Christians are having their own damaging effects on the country.
“You’ve talked about this for years,” Moore said of Maher’s anti-Islamism, then suggested that perhaps the U.S. should work on “casting out the log in our own eye” before worrying about the speck in someone else’s.
“Since 1980,” Moore said, “the policies in this country have been driven by the Christian right. They took over and they turned this country into the dark ages and we’re so far behind now with science, education, health care, everything.”
Wrong, vono veritas. The people who led us out of the Dark Ages were Arab mathematicians and doctors. and Europeans who were burned at the stake or sentenced to lifetime house arrest for telling the populace what they say through observing the movement of the planets or by looking through telescopes. The church didn't come along till a couple hundred years later, and then only because people like Martin Luther showed people how society could be without the Holy Inquisition.