Fifty years ago this month, the school became the vanguard of the free speech movement when left leaning Mario Savio led a movement to challenge campus restrictions on free expression. This week's attempted revocation of HBO Real Time host Bill Maher's invitation to deliver the fall commencement threatened the institution's proud legacy.
Let us put this to rest once and for all. This is not a struggle between radical Islam and the West. It is between radical Islam and the rest of us, Muslims and non-Muslims. Freedom is not a Western value. It is a universal value.
If the answer to this question is "no," a case can still be made that the cable news network is on track to rival Fox News in promoting the worst Islamophobic stereotypes. The latest controversy involving an interview with Reza Aslan raises serious concerns about CNN's willingness to tap into and reinforce widespread prejudices against Islam in order to generate ratings.
Ben is talking about Muslims who aspire to the same things that all people of genuine good will aspire to, aspirations widely shared by most Americans. Hard work. Raising a family. Giving to charity. Practicing our faith. And the opportunity to do so free of judgment -- certainly free of fear or violence.
As Election Day approaches, the backers on both sides of the ballot initiative for legalizing Medical Marijuana in Florida, otherwise known as Amendment 2 are really getting fired up. It's a battle of wits, money, compassion, money, politics and money and of course, the people who are donating the money.
As the fight against ISIS/ISIL continues, and so do our campaigns to fight terrorism around the world, we are bound to be reminded that we are not in a war against Islam. But why is it that when I turn on the news, listen to people discuss Islam or look at images of Muslims in popular culture, it damn sure feels like we are.
It feels good for many people to look at Islam without looking at the bigger picture of geopolitics and foreign policy, but doing so allows us to repeat the same mistakes, while focusing intently on only part of the problem.
What Bill Maher, Sam Harris and many others like them fail to realize is that religion as it is practiced is a product of a wide array of factors, the official texts being only one of them. People of any faith are more shaped by the norms of their cultural context, interpreting their religious texts to comport with those norms rather than the other way around.
While Maher's points were vastly generalized and his analysis incomplete, there was still some validity to them. In modern America, we are so wed to the ideas of fairness and sensitivity that we can sometimes become blind to the obvious.
There are indeed a myriad of unique problems within the Muslim world, which is in a deep crisis. Yet, there are also countless Muslim leaders, intellectuals, clerics, philanthropists, and others, facing these problems, and trying to stand-up to illiberal phenomena in their communities and societies.
Liberals by and large tolerate if not applaud Bill Maher's broadsides at the institution of religion itself, but parsing out which is better than the other destroys his credibility on what was considered to be a well-rounded condemnation on the concept itself.
Bill Maher's been busy telling the world about the poor treatment of women by Muslims, bringing up female genital mutilation or FGM as evidence. And Reza Aslan did an admirable job correcting his many misconceptions.
I am a big fan of Nicholas Kristof so I was disappointed by his argument with Sam Harris and Bill Maher and his defense of his position in his New York Times column today. Kristof thinks he's defending the moderate; in fact, he's empowering the fanatic.
Up here in the clouds, on a plane from Denver (well, Fort Collins) to New York, there is no change in political atmosphere as of yet, although I did p...
For all of the great work Bill Maher does by adding an unapologetically liberal voice to sensitive topics, his recent heated debate with actor Ben Affleck and author Sam Harris has put Bill at odds with many liberals. The biggest problem with Bill's stance is that he seems content to shout into the wind.
I detest religious extremism, but what I detest equally is funding this plague and pretending the billions in weapons we give to Islamic fundamentalists isn't the primary reason that ISIS and other terrorist groups exist.