Ben Affleck went on Real Time with Bill Maher along with Michael Steele, Nicholas Kristol, and Sam Harris. The topic turned to Islam and whether or not liberals overall are doing enough to “condemn” behaviors associated with Islam that are against liberal beliefs. It got pretty heated, video below:
This is one of those times where I think there’s good points being made and a lot of gray area to wallow around in. Certainly it is possible to criticize cultural elements of Islam without condemning the entire religion or all who practice is, just like it is possible to criticize cultural elements of Christianity, or Judaism, or Mormonism without condemning the religion as a whole. All of these faiths have violence in their past, and all of them have violent fundamentalist factions that exist today, as well as some genuinely questionable doctrine in their holy books. My general feeling is that people can believe what they like, but as soon as they work to inflict that belief on others against their will or punish others for not believing what they do, a line has been crossed. At the same time, right now there is a tendency for any balanced criticism of Islam to devolve into bigoted name-calling, and we aren’t paying enough attention to the Muslims who are raising their voices against the extremism of groups like ISIS and the Taliban because that doesn’t fit the current media narrative.
So, like I said, a lot of gray area, but Affleck is fairly articulate (when he gets the chance to be) and aside from Maher everyone in the discussion provides some very good points and have clearly done their research on the issue.