"There is something that I would like to name and that is 9/11 liberals," host of HBO's "Real Time" Maher said to his guest Salman Rushdie this week during a discussion on Islam. "Because, remember the 9/11 conservatives? These were people like, Dennis Miller was one, Ron Silver was on, Rudy Giuliani perhaps. These were people who were like changed by 9/11 but they became conservative, they wanted war."
"9/11 liberals are different," Maher said. "That's like you (Salman Rushdie), me, Chris Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who else? Sam Harris. These are people -- we are liberals, and we are liberals on almost every issue, but not the Muslim issue."
Maher went on to discuss the vitriol from his liberal audiences when he lays into Islam.
"Let's define where we are different than the mainstream liberals because I have routinely gotten booed here on the show sometimes, on my stand-up act, when I say, and liberals hate to hear this, that all religions are not alike. When you say that, they think that you're a bigot and we're not a bigot," Maher said.
Maher says there is something different about Islam, noting that "there is no other religion that is asking for the death" of people who dare to criticize it.
"You wrote an essay, I think it was an op-ed in the New York Times soon after 9/11, you said and I think it was entitled "Yes, This Is About Islam" because that's the mantra, is that it's not about one religion. And I think that what us 9/11 liberals say is, yes it is about this one religion because it is different. There is no other religion that is asking for the death of people, and Sam Harris say it this week, he said that 'We are free to burn the Koran or any other book. We are free to criticize Muhammad or any other human being. But without apology,'" Maher said on "Real Time."
"The point that Ayaan was making -- this is her Newsweek cover about a week ago and there a lot of people who reacted to this, 'How dare you do this?' Well, you know that the problem is that liberals see this picture and they go 'this is not all Muslims.' And that is very true. Most Muslims don't go in the street like this. The point that she is making, that I've tried to make, is yeah, but most Muslims, at least half of them, I think, around the world think it is okay to kill somebody if they insult the prophet. And that is a big problem," he said.
"That is a clash of civilizations," Maher declared. (...)