Author’s note: I’ve edited the title of this post to reflect more accurately the point I wanted to make.
Reza Aslan is responding here to this rant by Bill Maher:
It’s important to point out that Maher is right: Muslims who engage in offensive practices—whether they are individuals, governments, or groups like ISIS—should not get a pass just because they are Muslim and people are afraid to criticize them for fear of being called racist. Nonetheless, Maher’s critique of Islam is narrow and bigoted in exactly the way Aslan describes. And, frankly, the CNN news anchors are not much different.