Ben Affleck slams Bill Maher over 'racist' comments against Islam

Published: October 4, 2014
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Hollywood actor Ben Affleck. PHOTO: AFP

Hollywood actor Ben Affleck. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Hollywood actor Ben Affleck slammed comedian and television host Bill Maher on Friday over his controversial comments on Islam, where he stated that “radical Islamists” are essentially a “mafia” that would kill you if you say or draw the wrong thing.

In response, Affleck argued that condemning a whole religion based on “jihadists” that make up a small fraction of Islam isn’t fair.

Affleck was on Maher’s show Real Time to promote his new film Gone Girl when the argument began.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who was also present on the show, said that criticising Islam is similar to “a tinge of how white racists talk about African-American and define blacks.”

The argument came after Maher made similar comments during last week’s episode of his show.

He said: “If we’re giving no quarter to intolerance, shouldn’t we be starting the mutilators and the honour killers?’

“What is your solution? To condemn Islam? To do what? We’ve killed more Muslims than they’ve killed us by an awful lot,” Affleck added, as the argument heated up.

Moreover, Affleck condemned Maher’s comments by saying, “It’s gross, it’s racist.” He also compared Maher’s comments to calling someone “a shifty Jew”.

A video of the argument can be viewed here.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Ahsan
    Oct 4, 2014 - 5:10PM

    I accept you as new Batman :”’)Recommend

  • Ammar
    Oct 4, 2014 - 5:12PM

    Ok, fine. You can be Batman.

    Recommend

  • Mujtaba
    Oct 4, 2014 - 6:53PM

    People like ben can make this world a better place …….Recommend

  • umair
    Oct 4, 2014 - 6:55PM

    Great work Ben Affleck. However we are a hypocrite nation, rejoicing when some one defends Islam where as say all type of things against the Jews. Tolerance is the need of the hour by everyone regardless of race and religion.

    Recommend

  • K
    Oct 4, 2014 - 7:37PM

    While I appreciate his comments, Islam is not.a race. You cant call someone racist for hating a religion. Religion has no race.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Oct 4, 2014 - 8:27PM

    How many Pakistanis would stand up for minorities or other religions?

    I think Ben Afleck needs to be commended (especially as Islamophobia is quite fashionable in some quaters in the US).

    Also we need to see this as an example and consider how we can better protect our minorities and be more tolerant to other religions.

    I still like Bill Murray though (ghost busters, ground hog day, classics)

    Recommend

  • AN
    Oct 4, 2014 - 10:26PM

    Thankyou Ben for standing up against religious discrimination. I hope all of Hollywood’s Heroes will stand up too for muslims in USA and all over the world.

    Recommend

  • Freeman
    Oct 4, 2014 - 10:45PM

    I watch the show every Friday (it will be off next Friday). The guests – all public figures – who were disagreeing with Bill Maher and his last guest and fellow atheist Sam Harris were all being politically incorrect in the worst way as the host and Harris made factual statements about the ideology of “extremist” Muslims, and NOT all Muslims. Ben Affleck, a Democrat, is also a movie star and director of the 1913 Oscar winning Iran hostage crisis movie. He cannot be seen as agreeing with public statements that appear to be Islamophobic. Maher is not a lover of any religion, including his father’s (Christianity/Catholicism). I wish Maher had invited Reza Aslam or a Muslim scholar as guest, too. If we cannot have an open debate about any subject, including religion, even on cable TV in America then we have voluntarily given up part of our freedom (speech). That’s a pity!

    Recommend

  • Pakistani123
    Oct 5, 2014 - 12:06AM

    @Pakistani:
    Bill Murray and Bill Maher are two very very different people. Get yo facts straight ma man.

    Recommend

  • Freeman
    Oct 5, 2014 - 1:16AM

    @Freeman: Sorry, I meant “politically correct” (not sharing their real opinions).Recommend

  • sabrina
    Oct 5, 2014 - 5:01AM

    its very sad what people like Bill Baher think of islam ,judging from a few(ISIS) and the few who are killing their own people which are mostly muslims ,this shows how dangerous a man(Bill Maher) can prove to be if he doesn’t do his research properly,Mr Maher if you are reading these comments please watch the video or read about what the grand Mufti said in his hajj sermon about this group(ISIS,terrorists) from whom you are judging us all your views might change.

    Recommend

  • Rani
    Oct 5, 2014 - 8:35AM

    @K:
    well, duh! this is an evolution of the term race, and anyway a simplification, pigeonholing of a religious group by Westerners and like, fine with that! they pretty well know themeselves it’s composed of ‘bhant bhant’ ke log’ you know. So that’s not much of a lightbulb

    Recommend

  • Jangoo
    Oct 5, 2014 - 11:54AM

    I think whatever Bill Maher said about Islam was wrong but he was right to think like that. This is because everybody judges a religion based on its people and I am saying this without a doubt that we muslims are giving a very wrong image of Islam to everybody. We cannot stand anyone who says something against Islam or who questions it. We are not giving people freedom to question a belief. The biggest example is Salman Taseer’s incident. When he was murdered whole Pakistan supported it. Judging Pakistanis I am saying that today’s muslims are nothing like Islam. Islam is not about praying 5 times a day, learning all the surahs and growing a beard, if you don’t treat people as instructed by Islam. Islam tells us to be modest but these so called religious mullahs are arrogant. They treat christians, hindus and jews like they are not people. I have seen this. It is with abashment that I say this that I have a relative who is molvi and I think he is absolute disgrace to Islam. Even though I don’t pray all prayers but I think I am a better muslim than him and that is because I treat people nicely and give a positive image as being a muslim.
    I want all muslims who agree with me to raise their voices and save Islam from these illiterate molvis. Please educate people. And use your brain and don’t support people like mumtaz qadri (killer of Salman Taseer), they should be punished.

    Recommend

  • Jangoo
    Oct 5, 2014 - 11:57AM

    we muslims are the reason Bill Maher holds these misconception about Islam. Only Us

    Recommend

  • Hareem
    Oct 5, 2014 - 1:24PM

    Its sad how Maher has zoomed in on one aspect of Islam, and based all his judgements about Islam and Muslims on that one factor. He refuses to see the religion holistically and yet he calls himself a liberal..

    Recommend

  • tamjeed
    Oct 5, 2014 - 7:23PM

    Now you are pass for new batman Recommend

  • Sean
    Oct 6, 2014 - 6:22AM

    Tolerance is a two-way street. Let Muslims learn to tolerate other religions first and then we’ll talk about prejudice.

    Recommend

  • Usman from Toronto
    Oct 6, 2014 - 7:06PM

    @Sean:
    Tell me where you live and what community you belong to, so that next time someone from your community does something reprehinsible I can come and extract punishment from you. Democratic egalatarian societies don’t ascribe to mob rule, they adhere to the rule of law where you punish the offender, not people associated with the offender through race,religion,nationality,ethnicity,language,etc.

    Recommend

  • Nobody
    Oct 7, 2014 - 12:07PM

    @Pakistani123:
    I didn’t know Pakistan had African Americans. Welcome.

    Recommend

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