Bill Maher on HBO's Real Time Friday made a statement that will make the Right cheer as the left predictably cringes.
After his guest Brian Levin - the director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino - said of the Boston bombings and how it relates to radical Islam, "We have hypocrites across faiths, Jewish, Christian who say they're out for God and end up doing not so nice things," Maher marvelously responded, "That’s liberal bulls--t right there" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BILL MAHER, HOST: So you're obviously the perfect person to have here today. You study this all the time, the mind of crazy people who do horrible things. I'm always interested to know how people like the people we caught today up in Boston can have two minds going at the same time. I mean, if you read what the older brother wrote on his, on the internet, he said his world view: Islam. Personal priorities: career and money. And we see this a lot. I mean, the 9/11 hijackers went to strip clubs the night before they got on the plane.
BRIAN LEVIN, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF HATE AND EXTREMISM AT CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SAN BERNADINO: Could I just interject? Look, it's not like people who are Muslim who do wacky things have a monopoly on it. We have hypocrites across faiths, Jewish, Christian who say they're out for God and end up doing not so nice things.
MAHER: You know what? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You know what? That's, that’s liberal bullshit right there. I mean, yes, all faiths…
LEVIN: There are no Christian hypocrites?
MAHER: No, there are.
LEVIN: You make a career on that.
MAHER: They just, they're not as dangerous. I mean, there's only one faith, for example, that kills you or wants to kill you if you draw a bad cartoon of the prophet. There’s only one faith that kills you or wants to kill you if you renounce the faith. An ex-Muslim is a very dangerous thing. Talk to Salman Rushdie after the show about Christian versus Islam. So, you know, I’m just saying, let's keep it real.
LEVIN: Well, I guess I have a girl for you, Pam Geller you could maybe meet. No, I really disagree with you.
MAHER: I don't know what that means.
LEVIN: Well, she’s an Islamaphobe. But, no I…
MAHER: I’m not an Islamaphobe. That’s wrong. I am a truth lover. All religions are not alike. As many people have pointed out, “The Book of Mormon.” Did you see the show?
LEVIN: No, it's hard to get tickets.
MAHER: Okay, can you imagine if they did "The Book of Islam?" Could they do that? There’s only one religion that threatens violence and carries it out for things like that. Could they do “The Book of Islam” on Broadway?
LEVIN: Possibly so.
MAHER: Possibly so? Tell me what color the sky is in your world.
LEVIN: Here's my difficulty with your premise here, Bill, and that is look at how religions over history have had things done in their name that have been terrible.
MAHER: Absolutely. But we're not in history. We're in 2013.
LEVIN: But what I would tell you…
MAHER: You're right, during the Middle Ages, I would say Christianity was the bigger problem.
LEVIN: If I may, though. You are making an error in that Islam has over 1.4 billion adherents. There’s a heterogeneity to it. Are there extremists who are horrible people who would slit your throats? Yes. But there are also folks that are fine, upstanding people.
MAHER: Of course.
LEVIN: And I'm very worried you have a national audience where we're promoting Islamic hatred.
MAHER: No, you're wrong about that and you're wrong about your facts. Now, obviously, most Muslim people are not terrorists, but ask most Muslim people in the world, if you insult the prophet, do you have what's coming to you. It's more than just a fringe element.
Folks that are surprised by this shouldn't be, as this isn't the first time Maher has come out strongly against radical Islam.
In 2011, he told Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) that the Koran is a "hate-filled book" and that "the threat potentially from radicalized Muslims is a unique and greater threat" than from "right-wing militias and Timothy McVeigh types."
As for going after the hypocrisy of the Left, Maher last month said in regard to the high taxes he's now paying, "Liberals - you could actually lose me."
Is there hope for Bill Maher?
Is it possible the far more reasonable person that existed in the '90s with a program on Comedy Central called Politically Incorrect is starting to reemerge after more than a decade of hibernation?