Batman, of all people, should know you can’t judge a person by what you see on the outside. New Batman–and current Gone Girl star–Ben Affleck went on Bill Maher’s HBO show and accused the host of racism. (He accused Maher and neuroscientist Sam Harris both, saying of their Islam bashing, “it’s gross, it’s racist.”) Affleck thinks there’s nothing wrong with Islam. As with anything else (nuclear power, Internet access, etc.) some people, ISIS terrorists for example, will always misuse and abuse it. Harris argued that he retains the right, as liberals like Affleck do, to say what he thinks. And Harris, like Maher, thinks Islam sucks. “Islam is the motherload of bad ideas,” Harris said. Maher chimed in: “That’s just a fact.” “Jesus,” Affleck replied–probably a poor word choice to express his frustration.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof–who spends most of his ink trying to win equality for women and others among the world’s disenfranchised–was on Affleck’s side. This, despite the fact that few religions are as misogynistic in practice as 21st century Islam. Given his usual causes, Kristof might seem a target likely to be swayed over by Maher, but instead he went and reasonably brought up the billion Muslims “who aren’t fanatical, who don’t punish women.” Maher, for his part, doesn’t have far to go to criticize Islam. It’s a religion, for starters–and Maher doesn’t respect any of them.