During a heated argument about Islam, Ben Affleck clashed with Bill Maher, who claimed being a member of the religion is like being in the Mafia.
The Academy award winner was left in shock when author and guest on the talk show Sam Harris said the Muslim faith was the ‘motherload of bad ideas’.
The trio, who appeared on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday, collided as they debated whether large numbers of the Muslim population share the beliefs of extremists.
A disgusted Ben Affleck said: ‘It’s just an ugly thing to say. It’s gross, it’s racist. It’s like saying: “Oh you shifty Jew”.’
The argument started with Harris, who was promoting his book Waking Up, said: ‘Liberals have failed on the topic of theocracy. They’ll criticize white theocracy, they’ll criticize Christianity. They still get agitated over the abortion clinic bombing that happened in 1984.’
‘The crucial point of confusion is we have been sold this meme of Islamaphobia – where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam is conflated with bigatory towards Muslims as people. Which is intellectually ridiculous.’
Affleck responds by saying: ‘Are you the person who understands the officially codified doctrine of Islam.
Harris then replies by saying ‘I am actually well educated in this subject’ before Affleck says: ‘You are saying that Islamaphobia is not a real thing?’
Maher weighs in on the conversation and says: ‘That’s not what we are saying’ before Harris hastily said: ‘We have to be able to criticize bad ideas and Islam is the motherload of bad ideas.’
Jennifer Garner’s husband couldn’t his ears as he sat back in shock and said: ‘It’s an ugly thing to say.’
Maher continues the argument which was heating up: ‘Lets get down to who has the right answer. A billion people you say, all these people don’t hold these pernicious beliefs. That’s just not true Ben, that’s just not true.’
‘You say its down to these few bad apples, but the idea that someone should be killed if they leave the Islamic religion is just a few bad apples…’
Ben Affleck then adds: ‘The people who actually believe that you should murder someone if you dishonor the Islamic faith is not with the majority of Muslims at all.’
Giving his own understanding, Harris says: ‘At the center of the circle you have jihadists who wake up ion the morning wanting to kill apostates, wanting to die trying, they believe in paradise, they believe in martyrdom.’
‘Outside of this you have Islamists. People who are just convinced of martyrdom and paradise and wanting to force their religion on the rest of humanity.’
‘But they want to work with in the system and they are not willing to blow themselves up on a bus. They want to change governments, they want to use democracy against itself.’
‘Those two circles are arguably 20 per cent of the Muslim world. Based on a bunch of polls that we can talk about.
‘To give you one point of contact, 78 per cent of British Muslims said the Danish cartoonist who was accused of depicting the prophet Mohammad in an animation should have been prosecuted.’
‘But outside of that we have conservative Muslims who say that ISIS does not represent us, that we are horrified by that. But they hold views about human rights and about women and about homosexuals are deeply troubling.’
‘These are not Islamists, these are not jihadists. They also keep women and homosexuals immiserated in those cultures.’
‘And we have to empower the true Muslim reformers in the world to change it. This behaviour is not going to do that.’
Ben interjects by saying:‘Or how about the more than a billion people who aren’t fanatical, who don’t punish women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches, and don’t do any of the things you say all Muslims do?’
Maher responded by saying: ‘One reason their views don’t get exposed is because they are afraid to speak out. Because it’s the only religion that acts like the Mafia. That will f***ing kill if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book.’
Seeking a conclusion, the Hollywood star asks the panelists: ‘What is you answer? Is it just to condemn Islam? We’ve killed more Muslims than they have killed us by an awful lot.‘Yet somehow we are exempt from these things. Because they are not really a reflection of what we believe in.
With mockery, Affleck then said: ‘It was by accident, that’s how we invaded Iraq. I explicitly tell you that I disagree with what you think.
Have a look at the video below: