Bill Maher slams ‘dangerous’ religious fundamentalism behind Salman Rushdie attack: ‘Don’t come at me with Islamophobes’

By Brent Furdyk.

15 hours ago

As Salman Rushdie fights for his life after being brutally stabbed on Friday while giving a talk on stage, Bill Maher has spoken out about the circumstances behind the attack on the author.

Rushdie, Maher’s friend and frequent guest on his politically charged HBO talk show “Real Time,” has lived under a fatwa since 1989, when Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini ordered Muslims to kill Rushdie in reason for the alleged profanity contained in his book. satanic verses.

READ MORE: Author Salman Rushdie attacked ahead of New York stage talk

“The news is not good,” Rushdie’s agent Andrew Wylie said. New York Times, revealing that doctors had placed Rushdie on a ventilator to breathe. “Salman will probably lose an eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” Wyle said.

Maher spoke about Rushdie’s attack on Friday’s edition of “Real Time,” telling viewers that “a friend of mine, a dear friend of mine, a good friend on this show, was stabbed today. today”.

Maher explained that “Sal had had enemies in the past,” referring to the Ayatollah’s fatwa, and detailed the circumstances of the attack.

“Sal was in Chautaugua, giving a talk — how’s that for the irony — about how the United States is a haven for writers and other artists at risk of persecution,” Maher said.

“And making that speech itself is unthinkable in most Muslim countries. Salman Rushdie living in most Muslim countries, without being stabbed every day, is unthinkable,” he added.

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“So don’t call me Islamophobic,” Maher said, challenging those who would view his criticism of Islamic fundamentalism as Islamophobia.

“Phobic means fear, doesn’t it? Well, Sal had a good reason to be scared. And when you say phobic, that’s just a way to cut the debate. You know, they use transphobes, Islamophobes, and we should have a debate about that,” he said.

“These things don’t go away,” the Maher concluded. “Islam is still a far more fundamentalist religion than any other religion in the world and that means they take what is in the holy book seriously and that has been dangerous for a long time. It’s always dangerous.

‘Real Time’ guest Piers Morgan pointed out that it’s not just Islam that’s problematic, but fundamentalism within every religion, especially when it impinges on someone’s ability to speak. freely.

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“Defending free speech starts with something you can’t stand,” Morgan said, explaining that you may disagree with someone else’s opinions, “but you should be able to tolerate their right to have a different opinion”.

Morgan said he saw a similar development from America, comparing the attack on Rushdie to comedian David Chappelle being attacked while performing on stage.

“It’s crazy,” Morgan said. “When you stray into violence, it ends with Salman.”

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