Bill Maher and Sam Harris insist that what they're criticizing are the IDEAS — the ideas in Islamic doctrine, and the people who uphold and express those ideas.
And, of course, Ben Affleck says it's racist. It's like criticizing all black people.
I thought Maher missed an opportunity. He could have said, "Are black people an IDEA? No. Do they all hold the same IDEOLOGY? No. You're talking about people and we're talking about ideas. We're criticizing an ideology, and that is a perfectly legitimate (and even necessary) thing to do in a free society."
We'd love to hear what YOU would say to Affleck. Please leave it as a comment below.
During this conversation when Michael Steele makes the point that there are, in fact, some very brave Muslims opposing the fundamentalists, I wanted to pipe up and say, "You're making my point FOR me! The reason you call them 'very brave' is that they risk their LIVES opposing the fundamentalist Muslims. A Buddhist who criticizes Buddhist fundamentalists does not risk his life in the same way. Why? Because the Islamic IDEOLOGY is dangerous to everyone except an Islamic fundamentalist."
How would YOU respond? Please leave your comment below. Let's help each other respond well in our conversations with friends and family when the same objections come up.
Read what Raymond Ibrahim has to say about this conversation: Ben Affleck: Portrait of Islam’s Clueless Apologetics. He had a great response to Affleck's comment, “We’ve killed more Muslims than they’ve killed us by an awful lot. We’ve invaded more countries than they’ve invaded us by an awful lot.”
Here's Ibrahim's reply:
Aside from essentially suggesting that “two wrongs make a right,” his assertions reflect an appalling acquaintance with true history — thanks of course to the ingrained lies emanating from academia, followed by Hollywood and the media.
Reality records a much different story. From its inception, Islam has been a religion hostile to all others. Jihad was its primary tool of expansion.
Consider: A mere decade after the birth of Islam in the seventh century, the jihad burst out of Arabia. Leaving aside all the thousands of miles of ancient lands and civilizations that were permanently conquered, today casually called the “Islamic world” — including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and parts of India and China — much of Europe was also, at one time or another, conquered by the sword of Islam.
Among other nations and territories that were attacked and/or came under Muslim domination are (to give them their modern names in no particular order): Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Sicily, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Lithuania, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, Crete, Cyprus, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Belarus, Malta, Sardinia, Moldova, Slovakia, and Montenegro.
In 846 Rome was sacked and the Vatican defiled by Muslim Arab raiders; some 600 years later, in 1453, Christendom’s other great basilica, Holy Wisdom (or Hagia Sophia) was conquered by Muslim Turks.
The few European regions that escaped direct Islamic occupation due to their northwest remoteness include Great Britain, Scandinavia, and Germany. That, of course, does not mean that they were not attacked by Islam. Indeed, in the furthest northwest of Europe, in Iceland, Christians used to pray that God save them from the “terror of the Turk.” These fears were not unfounded since as late as 1627 Muslim corsairs raided the Christian island seizing four hundred captives, selling them in the slave markets of Algiers.
Nor did America escape. A few years after the formation of the United States, in 1800, American trading ships in the Mediterranean were plundered and their sailors enslaved by Muslim corsairs. The ambassador of Tripoli explained to Thomas Jefferson that it was a Muslim’s right and duty to make war upon non-Muslims wherever they could be found, and to enslave as many as they could take as prisoners.
In short, for roughly one millennium — punctuated by a Crusader-rebuttal that people like Affleck are obsessed with demonizing — Islam daily posed an existential threat to Christian Europe and by extension Western civilization.
Here's an article published in Pakistan: An open letter to Ben Affleck from a woman born and raised in Islam.