Angie Matarozzi

A few weeks ago on the political HBO talk show, “Real Time” host Bill Maher made the provocative statement that Islam is “the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book.” Following Maher’s remarks, a look of what could only be described as pure disgust and revulsion appeared on the face of guest panelist and Academy Award winning actor Ben Affleck. 

Affleck, known in Hollywood for his progressive left wing political views, asserted that Maher’s statement was “gross” and “racist.” 

Like Maher, some Americans have grown accustomed to speaking about Islam using extremist terms including “militant Islam,”“Islamic terrorism,” “radical Islam” and “jihadists.”Conflating all Muslims using these radical terms erases the distinction between peaceful followers of the Islamic religion and the sect of violent factions within the religion of Islam. And yes, there is a distinction between the two. So, Bill Maher spoke rashly when he screamed that Islam represents a destructive worldwide force. Yes, there are destructive and dangerous people who align themselves with the Islamic faith, yet there are also many peaceful followers of the religion.

Not all Muslims act upon a dangerous collection of beliefs. 

Rather, Muslims individually choose to interpret the Quran as they personally see fit. Thus, to identify an entire people by a minority of crazy extremists within the religion is short sided. 

However, filmmaker and political activist Michael Moore recently stated the opposing side of the argument. Moore said that since 9/11, Arabs and Muslims suffered immense amounts of prejudice and bigotry.  

Therefore, Moore states that American Liberals are careful to launch any attacks against Muslims, even when there is valid criticism to be made. 

It is true that American leftists are hesitant  to  criticize Muslims because they are a minority in this country—a  minority who suffered a lot of unwarranted racist attacks from the American people in the decade following 9/11.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t criticize Muslims that are dangerous extremists. doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to blanket Islam as one singular, evil religion.

So, all of this comes to head during the celebration of Veteran’s Day. 

On a day when we attempt to be patriotic and supportive of America, the idea that all Muslims are evil disrespects the American Muslim population—the third largest faith in the United States.