Ben Affleck and Bill Maher just couldn’t see eye to eye on the issue of islam during Friday night’s Real Time With Bill Maher. Affleck appeared alongside other panelists, including author Sam Harris. The actor/director/producer quickly got into a heated debate with Maher, over the host’s negative portrayal of islam and those, who practice it.

Ben Affleck
In his speech, Affleck defended tolerance and diversity.

Harris expressed his stance on the issue: "We can criticize Christians…but when you want to talk about the treatment of women, homosexuals and free thinkers in the Muslim world, liberals have failed us. The crucial point of confusion is we have been sold this meme of Islamaphobia –where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry towards Muslims as people, which is intellectually ridiculous."

At that point, Affleck stepped in, countering with his own great point: "[Your characterization] is gross. It's racist," he shared. "It's like saying, ‘Oh, you shifty Jew!'"

It’s a fair point, but Harris had his own, rather extreme, counter arguments. The author referred to Islam as “the motherload of bad ideas.”

Affleck responded saying, "It's just an ugly thing to say."

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As the argument got heated, it was Maher’s comment that stuck out as more severe than anything said thus far.

"It's the only religion that acts like the mafia," he explained. "That will f--king kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book."

Apparently conceding that extremism is an issue, Affleck asked: "What is your solution? That we condemn Islam?"

The panel eventually agreed to disagree.

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Bill Maher
Bill Maher maintained his usual, anti-Islam stance.

While Affleck’s main area of expertise is film, the A-lister has been increasingly politically active recently, to the point where he was being pegged for a Senate run in 2012. More recently, his speech in front of the Senate made waves, when he testified, supporting the Democratic Republic of Congo.