Liberal TV host Bill Maher and conservative author Dinesh D'Souza made an unlikely team Friday as they put pressure on the left-leaning guests on Maher's HBO show Friday for refusing to condemn Islam.
"All religions are the problem, but especially this one." said the "Real Time with Bill Maher" host, who is a vocal nonbeliever with provocative views on faith,
The panel was discussing Boko Haram
, the Islamic group in Nigeria
that carried out a mass abduction of 276 schoolgirls, and the sultanate of Brunei, where gays and adulterers will now face death by stoning
according to an Islamist code known as Sharia law.
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The clash over Islam pitted Maher and D'Souza — "not an alliance anyone could have ever predicted," wrote The Blaz
e — against online news publisher Arianna Huffington and author-comedian Baratunde Thurston.
Maher called Islam "the elephant in the room" for sanctioning regressive policies toward women, gays, and non-Muslims.
D'Souza told Thurston and Huffington, "if it was the Catholic church, you'd be all on it." But because liberals believe in multiculturalism, "we don't want to make the Muslims feel bad."
Huffington argued that associating Islam with its extremes is "like saying that all Muslims are guilty."
"We're not saying that," Maher replied. "You're hearing that."
"What you're saying is that Islam is the problem," said Thurston.
"Islam is the problem, correct," replied Maher.
At one point, Maher cited a poll of Egyptian Muslims that showed overwhelming support for the execution of people who renounce Islam.
"If 84 percent of Brazilians thought that death was the proper penalty for leaving Catholicism, wouldn't that be a bigger story?" he asked.
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