Fareed Zakaria tees off on Bill Maher: "You're not persuading people. You're getting applause lines in the West"

"That's insulting," replies Maher in heated "Real Time" debate about Muslims, Islam and reform

Published April 11, 2015 11:11AM (EDT)

Fareed Zakaria and Bill Maher hotly debated Islam and the Muslim world on Friday's "Real Time."

Perhaps the most interesting moment was when Zakaria went straight at Maher's critique of Islam as an intolerant religion, which the host has developed more aggressively in recent months.

"My problem with the way you approach it," Zakaria said, "is I don't think you're going to reform a religion by telling 1.6 billion people -- most of whom are just devout people who get some inspiration from that religion and go about their daily lives -- I don't think you're going to change religion by saying your religion is the motherlode of bad ideas, it's a terrible thing."

He continued: "Frankly, you're going to make a lot of news for yourself and you're going to get a lot of applause lines and joke lines."  But, he added, "push for reform with some sense of respect for the spiritual values."

"You're not persuading people with what you're doing. You're getting applause lines in the West," Zakaria said.

"That's insulting, that I'm doing this for applause lines," Maher said.

For more of his response and the rest of the discussion, which included New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, watch the entire clip below.




By Salon Staff

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Bill Maher Fareed Zakaria Muslims Real Time With Bill Maher Religion Ross Douthat Video