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Illustration by Ronald David Jackson.
Bill Maher and Geert Wilders: Ideological Bedfellow
By Eoin Higgins
Bill Maher on Friday, March 27, decided that his statements tacitly endorsing putting Palestinians in concentration camps and denying Israeli Arabs the right to vote needed a good follow up.
On the youtube only segment, Overtime Overseas, in which Maher and his panelists attempted to tackle issues of a more international (read: European) flavor, SE Cupp and Barney Frank debated the culpability of the global Muslim population in the extreme acts of ISIS and Al Qaeda. Maher then joined in with, well, watch for yourself (Maher comes in about 45 seconds into the segment).
RELATED STORY: Bill Maher Justifies the Racism of Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu by Exploiting US Racism Against BlacksSomething that needs to be addressed before we get to Maher: Cupp is conflating two very different things. The Catholic Church is an organized religion with a hierarchy and differing levels of responsibility in said hierarchy. Therefore, when priests molest children, the responsibility ultimately lies in the top of the hierarchical system the priests belong to, in other words, the Pope. Islam, however, has no such power structure and therefore no such levels of responsibility. Admittedly, this kind of a distinction is probably too abstract of a concept for Cupp, but it’s worth noting for the rest of us if we want to understand the central failings of this debate in general.
Wilders views include: banning the Koran, mass deportation of Muslim immigrants, taxing the hijab, and a general terror of the Islamification, as he sees it, of Europe. These inflammatory views are what Maher is suggesting need to be brought to a wider audience by a less controversial figure. Note that Maher is not decrying any of the statements or positions of Wilders, nor is he calling for them to be curtailed or pulled back in any way. No, what Maher is suggesting is that these views are completely acceptable and simply need to be delivered to the Europeans in a more palatable manner.