’Unthinkable’: Bill Maher Blasts Attack On ‘Dear Friend’ Salman Rushdie

"Real Time" host Bill Maher wants to know why we can't ask questions about the explosion of transgenderism among children
(Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO Films)

Talk show host Bill Maher took time out on his show to speak about Salman Rushdie after the famed author was attacked on Friday just before he was about to take the stage in New York and give a speech.

During his show on Friday, the host of HBOs “Real Time with Bill Maher” told his audience that he wanted to take a moment to talk about his “dear friend,” Rushdie, who “got stabbed” by someone before he was to speak to a group at the at the Chautauqua Institution. The clip can be seen here.

“We don’t know the motivation yet,” Maher told the panel “But Sal did have some enemies in the past. As I recall.  …Sal was in Chautauqua, he was giving a lecture, how about this for irony, about how the U.S. is a safe haven for exiled writers and other artists under threat of persecution.”

“And making that speech itself is unthinkable in most Muslim countries,” he added. “Salman Rushdie living in most Muslim countries without getting stabbed every day is unthinkable. So, don’t come at me with islamophobic. Phobic means fear.”


“Well, Sal had a good reason to be fearful,” the HBO host continued. “And when you say phobic, it’s just a way to shut off debate. You know they use transphobic, islamophobic, and we should have a debate about this. Sorry, but, you know, these things don’t go away. Islam is still a much more fundamentalist religion than any of the other religions in the world and that means they take what’s in the holy book seriously.”

The podcast host said that by doing so, that has “been dangerous” for a long time and “it’s still dangerous.”

Maher noted that it was back in 1989 that Rushdie was “first threatened” by Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini over the author’s groundbreaking book “The Satanic Verses,” as The Daily Wire reported.

One of the guests on the show, Piers Morgan, then shared a Rushdie quote that read, “Defense of free speech begins at the point when people say something you can’t stand. You often have to defend people you find outrageous, unpleasant and disgusting.”

The host of “Piers Morgan Uncensored” noted that Rushdie’s comments are what people “have forgotten” about free speech. “It’s about your ability to listen to people whose opinions you might staunchly disagree with, you might hate their opinions … but you should be able to tolerate their right to have a different opinion.”

RELATED: Iranian State Media After Rushdie Stabbing: ‘It Is Now The Turn Of Trump And Pompeo’

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