Open Letter to Bill Maher

Hey Bill,

I wanted to raise an issue about your discourse on the subject of Muslims. You said something on your last show, in response to one of your guests saying, ‘what does it say about a group of people who riot over a stupid film?’, you said, ‘Exactly. Why do we always have to be responsible because they’re fucking nuts?’

I’ve noticed this in the media at home (Sydney) and abroad, and in some friends too; there’s this complaint, this entitled, white middle-class whining that essentially boils down to ‘why can’t they be more like us? We laugh at religion!’ Which ignores the importance of Christianity in politics, in the Right, in informing the likes of Fox News; ignores the actions of groups like the KKK not 50 years ago, or the likes of Andrew Breivik who counted himself a Christian warrior and murdered 70-odd kids, yet somehow wasn’t branded by the media as a terrorist, just a lone white guy.

Yeah, all religions have their crazies but that’s not even the point that I want to make. It’s the ‘why can’t they be more like us’ line that underscores the conversation which irritates me – it’s a fine aspiration and I wish they were, in some respects but it irritates me because it ignores the plethora of reasons that they AREN’T like the West. Near constant warfare, bloodshed, violence and poverty are not conducive to education, to the expansion and diversification of culture or art.

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