Bill Maher puts Islamist apologists in their place
Host Bill Maher of "Real Time" on HBO upset some members of his panel when the discussion turned to the terrorist attack in London last week.
Some panel members tried to dismiss the Muslim angle to the attack, insisting it had nothing to do with Islam. But Maher offered a classic put down of that idea that bears repeating.
"This is another example where we take one group of people and we demonize them," said Louise Mensch, a Heat Street columnist and former Conservative member of the U.K. Parliament.
"The guy was British-born. His name was Adrian before his converted. And partisans of Russia were out in the streets saying it was an illegal immigrant who did it, trying to turn the London people against our Muslim friends and neighbors. And you're not going to do that."
Maher, who often clashes with guests on his program regarding radical Islamic terrorism, disagreed with Mensch’s take.
"Let's not pretend this has nothing to do with Islam, the religion," he said.
"It doesn't," Mensch responded. "It has nothing to do with Islam the same way Timothy McVeigh had nothing to do with Roman Catholicism."
McVeigh carried out the 1995 bombing of a government building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people.
"Every time some bomb goes off, before it goes off, somebody yells ‘Allahu Akbar!’” said Maher. "I never hear anybody go ‘Merry Christmas! This one’s for the flying nun!’ ”
"When Christians do anything like this, do we ever say, 'Christian terrorism’?” asked Yale professor and author Timothy Snyder.
"No. But is Christian terrorism as big a problem?" asked Maher in response.
If you lived in Oklahoma City in the 90s," injected MSNBC host Chris Hayes. "We're talking about London here."
"That's a false equivalency," Maher shot back. "Are there Christian terrorist armies like ISIS?"
"The IRA that blew up London for 15 years!" Hayes exclaimed.
"Yes. But that's the past! We're living in the now. There was also the Inquisition," retorted Maher.
"Are there Christian terrorist armies now. .. like ISIS, Al Qaeda, al-Shaabab, Boko Haram? Are there armies like that in the world that aren't Muslim?" he asked. "Let's not f--k around anymore! Can we get real?"
"I literally don't agree with you," Mensch said. "Russia is sending Chechen militants into ISIS trying to leverage this against a billion people."
I have a very difficult time trying to follow the reasoning of people who try to equate Timothy McVeigh's act of terrorism against the US government with ISIS attacks against Christians and those nations they perceive as Christian nations.
McVeigh never invoked his religion to justify his attack. Instead, he invoked Ruby Ridge and Waco - two incidents that also had nothing to do with Christianity (The Waco raid was justified by the ATF as a legal act going after illegal weapons stored at the compound).
How is that in any way, shape, or form similar to or even suggestive of what ISIS has proclaimed to the world whenever they sponsor or claim credit for an attack?
It's not only a false analogy. It's a deluded analogy. You have to deliberately - desperately - minimize the Islamic aspect of ISIS terror and blow all out of proportion the motivation of domestic terrorists like McVeigh.
Maher's put down was perfect and captures the essence of the delusional arguments of Islamist apologists.