I am an atheist myself so I suppose I should be sympathetic to Maher and Harris here, but I’m not because because it’s an irrational intellectually nonsensical point of view. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in this world. And a few thousand of them —- hell it could be a few hundred thousand of them —- are members of the extremist fringe that wreaking havoc in the middle east and causing everyone else to pee their pants. Nobody disputes that these particular Muslims are assholes. But you can’t blame the religion itself when there are more than a billion adherents who aren’t killing anybody and don’t want to kill anybody. As Affleck says, they’re just going about their lives, trying to do their best for their kids, working, praying, screwing —- everything everyone does. If Islam is an inherently violent religion, then more than a billion of its believers don’t seem to be getting the word.
It’s infuriating. Do we condemn all of Christianity because of Operation Rescue? Is it ok to condemn all of Judaism because of the violent right wing settlers? Is Buddhism inherently violent because some Buddhist monks in Myanmar and killing people left and right? It’s not as if we haven’t seen exactly the same behavior among humans forever for entirely secular, avaricious, tribal, egomaniacal, nationalistic reasons. This is what we do! That this particular group of human assholes has seized upon religion for their justification for it is meaningless. It’s always something.