In essence, the question would be asked, if violence is to be divorced from entertainment, then why not also the presentation of drugs (for the children's sake)? Or sex (let's stop STDs)? Or religion (we can't risk inflaming violence)?
Since when did the argument, "This should be banned because it's offensive and hurts our feelings!" start earning a place in any kind of rational discourse? Is sensitivity a prerequisite for freedom of expression?
Where Maher should be expressing solidarity with progressive Muslims who would stand with him in opposition to violent extremism, he instead alienates them by making a fictitious cultural simplification.
Why not make a comic book series of a group of superheroes inspired by Islam, write into it some age-old Islamic archetypes like the ninety-nine names of God, and give it a fully twenty-first-century form? Hence The 99.
Draw Muhammad Day has largely been discussed in the frame of free speech vs. fundamentalist Islam. But shouldn't universities be boldly advancing the narrative of actions that build inclusiveness vs. actions that marginalize a community?
It seems to me that there's a dangerous sleight of hand going on here, a pretense that by drawing Muhammad you are bravely taking on the Dragon Threatening Civilization when in fact you are just hurting your Muslim neighbors.