Bill Maher’s dangerous ‘critique’ of Islam

Bill Maher’s dangerous ‘critique’ of Islam

[Ed. – Critique?]

Last Friday, the cranky comedian, aided by atheist author Sam Harris, enraged actor Ben Affleck by calling Islam, in Harris’s words, “the mother lode of bad ideas.” Then on Monday, Maher condemned liberals for being so afraid of being called Islamophobes that they won’t denounce brutality committed in Islam’s name. “We’re liberals!” Maher declared about himself and Harris. “We’re liberals … we’re trying to stand up for the principles of liberalism! And so, y’know, I think we’re just saying we need to identify illiberalism wherever we find it in the world, and not forgive it because it comes from [a group that] people perceive as a minority.”

[Arthur] Schlesinger [Jr.] would have been able to relate. In his 1949 manifesto, The Vital Center, the Harvard historian and future Kennedy administration aide attacked what he called “doughface” liberals. Borrowing a term for pre-Civil War northerners who had refused to denounce slavery, Schlesinger deployed it against liberals who refused to denounce Soviet communism. “The infiltration of contemporary progressivism by Communism,” he wrote, “has led to the same self-flagellation [that prevented doughfaces from denouncing slavery], the same refusal to take precautions against tyranny.”

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