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Bill Maher slams Islam again in response to 'Charlie Hebdo' attacks

This week’s Real Time with Bill Maher featured a group discussion on the Jan. 7 terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which resulted in the death of 12 people. While a large number of comedians from Jon Stewart to Louis C.K. have responded to the attack by condemning the terrorists and voicing support for Charlie Hebdo, Bill Maher took it as a chance to launch into one of his hobbies: bashing religion in general, and Islam in particular.

Joined by author Salman Rushdie, Carly Fiorina of the American Conservative Union Foundation, and CNN correspondent Paul Begala, Maher criticized the idea of religious extremists being a minority within Islam, bringing up a number of other terrorist attacks that have occurred since Sept. 11, 2001.

“When there are that many bad apples, there’s something wrong with the orchard,” Maher said. “Obviously the vast majority of Muslims would never do anything like this, but they share bad ideas … revenging the Prophet? A bad idea. Martyrdom? A bad idea. Women as second-class citizens? Bad idea. And unfortunately, the terrorists and the mainstream [believers] share a lot of these bad ideas.”

While none of the panelists opposed him as vehemently as Ben Affleck did last fall, the panel did seem to have a more nuanced take than Maher. Rushdie, in particular, was interested in discussing what he believed was a more calculated “deadly mutation” within the religion.

“A whole generation is being educated in extremism,” said Rushdie. “This is a project to seize power in the Islamic world.” READ FULL STORY

Salman Rushdie on 'Innocence of Muslims': 'Outrageous and unpleasant and disgusting' -- VIDEO

Twenty-three years ago, Booker Prize-winning writer Salman Rushdie was forced into hiding when his novel, The Satanic Verses, provoked fervent protests, death threats, and a fatwa from Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran. Now the author is telling the story of his life underground in a new memoir called Joseph Anton – the release of which just happens to come on the heels of Middle Eastern violence inspired by an inflammatory video called Innocence of Muslims.

But Rushdie doesn’t have much sympathy for Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the filmmaker apparently behind Innocence. “He’s done something malicious, and that’s a very different thing from writing a serious novel,” the writer told Today‘s Matt Lauer this morning. “He’s clearly set out to provoke, and he’s obviously unleashed a much bigger reaction than he hoped for. I mean, one of the problems with defending free speech is you often have to defend people that you find to be outrageous and unpleasant and disgusting.”

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