Maher appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to talk about various current events and the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack — which resulted in the deaths of 12 people, including a French policeman and cartoonists who worked at the satirical magazine.
Maher started the convo with a terrible joke about the beheadings of kidnapping victims held by the terrorist group ISIS.
"This happens way too frequently," he said. "It's like Groundhog Day, except if the groundhog kept getting his head cut off."
The French terror attack is thought to have been undertaken by al-Qaida, but to Maher, they are all part of the same problem: The Muslim religion in general.
"I'm the liberal in this debate. I'm for free speech. To be a liberal, you have to stand up for liberal principles," he ranted. "It's not my fault that the part of the world that is most against liberal principles is the Muslim part of the world."
"There have been studies. We have facts on this. Treatment of women. They studied 130 different countries. Seventeen of the bottom 20 were Muslim countries. In 10 Muslim countries, you can get the death penalty just for being gay. They chop heads off in the square in Mecca. Well, Mecca is their Vatican City. If they were chopping the heads off of Catholic gay people, wouldn't there be a bigger outcry among liberals? I'd ask you."
"I know most Muslim people would not have carried out an attack like this," Maher clarified. "But here's the important point. Hundreds of millions of them support an attack like this. They applaud an attack like this. What they say is, we don't approve of violence, but you know what, when you make fun of the prophet, all bets are off."
A shocked Kimmel sputtered, "You really think hundreds of millions of Muslims support this?"
"Absolutely," Maher answered. "That is mainstream in the Muslim world that when you make fun of the prophet, all bets are off. You get what's coming to you. It's also mainstream that if you leave the religion, you get what's coming to you, which is death. Not in every Muslim country in majority numbers, but this is a problem in the world that we have to stand up to."
The day before his Kimmel appearance, Maher posted the following message on Twitter, which many felt was needlessly inflammatory:
Condemning attack is not enuf: unless U strongly endorse the right of anyone to make fun of any religion/prophet, U r not a moderate Muslim— Bill Maher (@billmaher) January 7, 2015
Responses ranged from incredulous to downright angry.
@billmaher I respect your right to say stupid shit....— IBackStanleyCohen (@truth4ever87) January 7, 2015
@billmaher Enjoy your death threats from Muslims and anonymous online attacks from atheists. Meanwhile "evil" right wingers agree with you.— Don Carpenter (@MrDonCarpenter) January 7, 2015
"Wahh I should be allowed to desecrate ur god or religion for my own comfort! Who cares if an image is sacred to u? Comedy!" - @billmaher— feminazi △⃒⃘ (@alexualhealing) January 7, 2015
"If you don't do and say exactly what I want you to, you are anti-Free Speech and are a killer in waiting and must be killed" - @billmaher— Slimy (@nifkin_juice) January 7, 2015
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