Actor and director Ben Affleck slammed atheist HBO host Bill Maher’s continued criticism of Islam during an appearance on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” calling his views on the religion “gross, racist, disgusting.”
The heated debate occurred during a panel on the show that touched on topics including Islamic extremism, and also featured atheist author Sam Harris; Michael Steele, the former chair of the Republican National Committee; and Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof.
“Freedom of speech, freedom to practice any religion you want without fear of violence, freedom to leave a religion, equality for women, equality for minorities, including homosexuals, these are liberal principles that liberals applaud for, but then when you say in the Muslim world this is what’s lacking, then they get upset,” Maher pointed out.
Harris, who has been critical of attempts to distance terror group ISIS from the Islamic religion, added that “liberals have failed us.”
Affleck took offense at the notion of criticizing the entire religion based on the actions of ISIS and other terror groups.
“Because it’s gross, it’s racist, it’s disgusting,” Affleck said.
When Harris said that Islam is a “motherload of bad ideas,” Affleck said that that is “an ugly thing to say.”
“How about the more than a billion people, who aren’t fanatical, who don’t punish women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches, pray five times a day, and don’t do any of the things that you’re saying all Muslims do,” Affleck continued.