Howard Dean Surrenders to Bill Maher in Debate over Islamic Terror

In insisting Islamic terrorists should not be identified as Islamic, Dean said ‘This is not about political correctness’

Maher Trumps Howard Dean in Argument Over Radical Islam: "You're Just Denying The Facts" (RealClearPolitics)

BILL MAHER, HBO'S "REAL TIME" HOST: [Saudi] King Abdullah died. He was praised by everyone from Obama to McCain as a "moderate." Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, said he was a strong advocate of women. In the kingdom, women can't drive, leave the house without a man, hold a lot of jobs. There's summary beheading of female criminals. This is what I call the soft bigotry of low expectations when it comes to Muslims. 

And Howard I know we disagree on this. I head you say that "ISIS is as Islamic as I am."

HOWARD DEAN: I'm thrilled you brought it up because the right-wing jumped all over me after the usual suspects distorted what I said. Here's why I say that. Here's why I don't call ISIS Islamic terrorists: it empowers them to do it. What they are, are a group of thugs who are murderers and subhuman. I mean, they do horrible things.

They want us to call them Islamic terrorists because it connects them with a billion people. They are not.

MAHER: But they are connected.

BRET STEPHENS, WALL STREET JOURNAL: But they are Islamic terrorists.

MAHER: And they are connected.

DEAN: They are thugs and murderers.

MAHER: Howard --

DEAN: And for us to -- we empower them --

MAHER: Of course they are. And we're not saying that all Muslims are thugs and murders, but this idea that they are not connected to the religion... Tom Friedman wrote about it this week. He said in an article "Say It Like It Is." He said:

When you don’t call things by their real name, you always get in trouble... We’ve entered the theater of the absurd... But it is not good for us or the Muslim world to pretend that this spreading jihadist violence isn’t coming out of their faith community.

Do you disagree with that?

DEAN: This is not about political correctness. This is about depriving --

MAHER: Oh, come on.

DEAN: This is about depriving them of a propaganda victory which seek. Every time we use the word Islamic in conjunction with their behavior we are making it easier for them to recruit, and that is a mistake.

STEPHENS: These are people steeped in Islamic or Islamist theology, people who trained in madrassas, people who went to Yemen, people who identify as Muslims. I don't think, presumably a Christian, have any right to excommunicate them from the religion to which they belong, they were reared and whose name they carried out attacks in.

DEAN: This is like people who shoot up abortion clinics are Christian jihadists.

MAHER: But, Howard, I mean --

DEAN: Come on, give me a break here.

MAHER: Poll after poll -- just to take one example, I'll leave violence in the Muslim world out of this -- poll after poll shows almost, most Muslims in the world, world over, say the wife is always obligated to obey her husband. Is that how you would describe your marriage? Because if not, I don't think your statement, "I'm about as Islamic as they are" is true.

DEAN: But they're crazy, these people. They are not rational --

MAHER: But most Muslims say the wife is always obliged to obey her husband.

DEAN: I actually don't believe that's true.

MAHER: But that's a fact. They've done polling. You're just denying the facts.

DEAN: You can read stuff that's in the old testament. An eye for an eye and all that stuff.

MAHER: But this isn't the Old Testament. This is modern polling.

DEAN: Alright, I'm going to get in trouble here because I definitely don't want to be on Bret's side about modern polling.

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