Stories about Bill Maher

It isn’t hate speech for Yiannopoulos to say “feminism is cancer”, it’s just how he feels

In May of 2016, Ben Shapiro resigned from Breitbart News because it was a “propaganda outlet for Donald Trump”. That same month Shapiro posted a joyous announcement on social media, saying that his wife had given birth to their second child. With infinite gratitude to God, we're overjoyed to welcome to the world our new baby boy, who arrived at 10:30 this morning! — Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) May 8, 2016 In response, Milo Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart mainstay Tweeted: “Prayers to Ben who had to see his kid come out half-black. And already taller than he is!” The Tweet included a photo of a black infant. ...

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The ugly truth about Muslims in New York

Recently, when I took the subway in New York my heart skipped a beat when I saw a poster that showed the Empire State Building on one side and on the other it said, in bold print, “The ugly truth about Muslims”. Below this, in fine print it continued, “Muslims have great frittata recipes.” My expression changed from shock to a wide smile. Photo: AP New York’s subway stations are flooded with “The Muslims Are Coming” advertisements designed to shock and thereby catch the attention of millions of commuters. Other posters indicate that Muslim-invented coffee, algebra and ...

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Taliban and al Qaeda were creations of the United States, what about ISIS?

After chasing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) out of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown just about 100 miles from Baghdad, ISIS was supposed to be on its way out. The Iraqi forces held their own, as their prime minister famously claimed having won the ‘psychological battle’ against the jihadist group. But if events over the past few weeks have indicated something, it is that the ISIS is no ordinary foe. For its sheer, brutal efficiency and an unnerving desire for the creation of the caliphate, it is scarier and more strategically organised than any terrorist group that has ever come before it. It ...

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Why progressive Muslims and atheists should work together

Can progressive Muslims and atheists actually find ways to work together? Some of my atheist comrades may disagree with me, but I think so. Of course we may diverge on whether a God exists, or if there is an afterlife, but when it comes to this world and the problems humans face, our tribes have much we agree on. Our agreements are not petty or tangential. They are sources of energy that can be harnessed for a much needed change. So what do we agree on? Well besides opposing theocracy, blasphemy laws, and Bronze-age ethics, we promote human rights, freedom of conscience, separation of mosque and state, education, and compassion. You could imagine how ...

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Reza Aslan versus Bill Maher: Learning the crucial difference between culture and religion

Responsible schooling, governance, international diplomacy, accountability and conscientious citizens are the demands of modern society. However, popular media despite its presence in every home, remains the most ignorant, irresponsible and manipulative aspect of modern life. With its capacity to communicate instantly, the world with its current atmosphere of extremism, global stress and social and political upheavals is more open to suggestions in a way it was never before. Therefore, manipulation by entities with access to an audience has wider influence than before. Labels are among the pithiest vehicles of language. They appeal most strongly to unthinking individuals, starting with those of all faiths in the pulpit ...

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Aamir Khan sometimes cries – Get over it

In a rational universe, no man would ever be turned into an internet meme for doing what psychologically healthy humans are naturally predisposed to do – cry. Aamir Khan was widely forgiven for his first weeping offense after watching Bajrangi Bhaijan in July. The episode was popularly attributed to the film’s earnest portrayal of a man’s conquest of inter-religious strife, capable of making even grown men cry. A second tear-sighting within a month, was ostensibly too much for the public to shrug at. In an interview with NDTV, director Nikhil Advani revealed that Khan cried profusely during the screening of ‘Katti Batti’. Photo: Express Tribune  “The last 22 minutes and ...

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It’s not funny to maliciously demean someone, Pakistan! Don’t be Aamir Liaquat!

I cracked up after watching ‘Eye to Eye’ the first million times. I did not stop laughing till Taher Shah appeared on Aamir Liaquat’s show. Watching him being maliciously demeaned and bullied on live television left me feeling disgusted. It is extremely difficult to tell when a joke goes too far. As a comedian, I struggle with it every day. Most of the comedy I see on television or social media is racist, sexist, or hateful. Any effort to point the potential harmful effects of these jokes is met with the usual dismissive response, “It’s just a joke!” I have been performing at clubs all over ...

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Interfaith gestures: Moral placebos or progress?

On November 14, 2014, Muslims prayed at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. South Africa’s US Ambassador, Ebrahim Rasool, gave a sermon and declared that, “never again must there be intolerance towards Christians or any other faith,” and media observers heralded this breakthrough in interfaith relations, though not all cheered. The prayers were interrupted by a heckler screaming that America was “founded on Christian principles”. Reverend Franklin Graham described the event as “sad”. Dr Sebastian Gorka at Breitbart.com accused the Muslim Brotherhood of taking over the cathedral, inexplicably bringing in the Armenian genocide during the Ottoman Empire; all this in the ...

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Muslim is the new black

This past Monday I watched CNN’s Don Lemon question Sam Harris sympathetically, almost apologetically, about Ben Affleck’s defence of the Muslims of the world. Lemon asked Harris loaded questions, encouraging him to spew his ignorant half-true rhetoric about Islam. And this claim I do not make condescendingly, rather Harris’ knowledge appeared lacking because of its biased subjectivity rather than studied objectivity on the subject of Islam, his simplistic rambling sounded amateurish and very myopic. A discussion on religion within the same religion is fundamentally complicated, let alone in comparison to other religions, hence to make the dialogue intellectual and fair, the media must play a responsible role and have ...

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I disagree with Sam Harris and Bill Maher

I read a fellow blogger’s post on why she agrees with Sam Harris and Bill Maher. I am sure the writer has her heart in the right place and I completely agree with her principal argument – that the Muslim world needs serious introspection and reform. Except this is not the argument Maher and Harris put forth. They believe that the Islamic faith, not just extremist Muslims, needs reform. Academically speaking, Islam is defined by the Quran and the Sunnah, the practice of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It is not defined by what the ISIS or some ‘Muslim government’ endorses. Nor is it defined by what 64% of Egyptian Muslims ...

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