Remember those harsh comments Bill Maher made about Islam on his TV show?
The ones claiming that Islam promotes violence?
Yeah, well I never got to mention that Ben Affleck was also there and very aggravated that Maher summed up the religion as a whole. After being thoroughly annoyed by the show’s host, Affleck responded to Maher with anger and disbelief that he could be so one-sided.

Ben: What the $#*%, Bill? Bill: I regret nothing.

Ben: What the #!*%, Bill?
Bill: I regret nothing.

However, after the interview aired and everyone had put their two cents in, one response to the “debate” (more like squabble) really caught my attention. And it was an open letter posted on the internet by a Muslim women in response to not Maher’s, but Affleck’s remarks.

The letter began thanking Ben for his good intentions, but the message quickly changed to one of caution. Eiynah, the author of the letter, warns of how many liberal thinkers who aim to protect Muslims from being stereotyped actually end up suppressing the discussion of Islamic practices in general. She states that she truly appreciates that many do not believe in painting all members of Islam as barbaric or extremist, but that because those individuals still do exist -and enforce this on others- that the conversation about the harms of the religion should be examined instead of worrying about politically correctness.
Eiynah goes on to point out the many violations of human rights that exist even in a modern world because of Sharia Law and ancient beliefs: homophobia, sexism, enforced modesty, and the lack of individual liberty.
Specifically (and I’m grateful for this), she calls attention to the lack of religious freedom in Muslim nations. While in America bigots are having trouble letting Muslim people practice their faith, in Saudi Arabia Muslim bigots forbid the practicing of other faiths -including Christianity, Judaism, etc. This lack of autonomy that citizens in some Muslim nations have should surely be addressed in order to create any sort of change.
Overall, Eiynah expresses the need for reformation. And notes that while many Muslim people over the world don’t have the power to do so or are too afraid to stand up to these practices, that the discussion still needs to take place.

Read the full letter here.

1 Comment so far

  1.    nthees on December 3, 2014 5:33 pm      Reply

    I totally watched this episode and it was really awkward. But it’s important to note that bill maher is an atheist who thinks all religion promotes backward ideals, he doesn’t just single out Islam. But it is unfair to lump all in to one group. I liked the counter arguments in the cnn video about monks in Myanmar and how the media singles out Islam for violence as opposed to other groups.

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