Bill Maher’s fear of Muslims

Upon learning that in the UK last year, Mohammed (including its variant spellings) was the most popular name for baby boys, this was the reaction of comedian Bill Maher:

Am I a racist to feel alarmed by that? Because I am. And it’s not because of the race, it’s because of the religion. I don’t have to apologize, do I, for not wanting the Western world to be taken over by Islam in 300 years?

Maybe Maher thinks that as an expression of cultural integration Muslim parents in Britain should be naming their boys after English football stars like Wayne Rooney or David Beckham (and I dare say some do) but he should hardly be surprised that the name of the Prophet remains a favorite. The racist thought that he dared not utter but surely thought was this: at the rate they’re reproducing, it’s just a matter of time before the Muslims take over.

But Bill Maher — like Pastor Terry Jones — thinks the way to avoid being branded a racist when it comes to expressing ones Islamophobia is to suggest that you have nothing against Muslims, you just don’t like their religion. Thus Maher doesn’t express concern about the size of Britain’s Muslim population — simply the way they are choosing to name their babies.

Maher’s parochiality is most evident however, not simply in the focus of his alarm but because of the context he places it in: the condition of the Western world 300 years from now.

If 300 years ago any of the leading figures of the Enlightenment could have been given a glimpse of the West as it is now, I doubt that any would have felt reassured that Western Civilization had been preserved — least of all when they saw the jokers who have assumed the role of its defenders.

If 300 years hence, civilization exists in any form, humanity will have advanced in ways hard to anticipate. On its current trajectory, the West and the rest of the world is heading in a direction where the names parents choose for their babies should be the least of our concerns.

As for how that parenting task is being engaged now in America, what is striking about the popular choices is not so much the cultural sources of the names as the difference between genders: Old Testament and/or grandiose names for boys and mostly secular names for girls — Jacob, Isabella, Ethan, Emma, Michael, Olivia, Alexander, Sophia, William, Ava, Joshua, Emily, Daniel, Madison, Jayden, Abigail, Noah, Chloe, Anthony, Mia.

I don’t imagine that Bill Maher will be too concerned that among these 2009 top ten names for boys and girls not one of them is a New Testament Christian name, but it’s certainly curious that in a country whose population so strongly identify themselves as Christian, the apostles, their disciples and other prominent figures from Christian scripture have apparently gone out of style. Don’t blame the Muslims.

But here’s what will come as the biggest shock to the Islamophobes: the most popular name for girls in Iran in 2009 turns out to be Maryam — the Arabic and Farsi equivalent of Mary, mother of Jesus. What do you make of that, Bill?

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10 thoughts on “Bill Maher’s fear of Muslims

  1. DE Teodoru

    In Israel it used to be said that only Jews can really be schizophrenic because only they are bright enough. In fact a U of Utah geneticist claims that Jewish mental “superiority” over Westerners is due to inbred genetic variants that repeat cerebral modules many more times. However, he warns, this makes them far more vulnerable to schizophrenia from excess modules in the brain (????). I attribute Jewish achievement to culture but I always saw Maher as a not so funny schizophrenic who is soooo liberal for anyone else but a RightZionist anti-Muslim….Oh well, I guess only in Hollywood can you be hot&cold, short&tall, fat&thin, liberal&fascist…etc!

  2. Penrose

    I have been a fan of Bill Maher and I must say I am disappointed in him in this instance. I wonder how Maher would react if someone says that he ” … not wanting the Western world to be taken over by Judaism in 300 years.”

  3. dickerson3870

    RE: “Bill Maher’s fear of Muslims” – Woodward
    MY SNARK: OMG! OMG! OMG! The Muslims want to drink the blood of our white, Judeo-Christian babies!

  4. weepingwillow

    Its so strange that people are overlooking the simple reason behind “Muhammad” (in all its variations) being the most popular name for baby boys last year in the UK. Since Muslims are still roughly only 5% of the UK population, they are far from “taking over”! The fact is that all the other names have changed, and popularity of them has risen and fallen according to celebrity choices, characters in books/TV, etc, while for Muslims the name “Muhammad” is timeless and constant, its not going to change from year to year.

  5. Andrew

    In the US, the variants of Mohamed are ranked 430 to 643 (out of 1000 most popular boys names), and all variants have decreased in popularity since 2000, so someone is pulling stuff out of their Equus assinus

  6. jade

    I am Bill Maher’s greatest fan but I think it was wrong for him to attack a minority. If he replaced the word muslim with all religions then it would fine but attacking a minority is hateful. It wasnt many years ago that there were lynchings of people who were considered lower than others. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT BILL, FIND FRIENDS WHO ARE MUSLIM NEW IMMIGRANTS AND SEE WHAT PERCENTAGE ARE CRAZY RELIGIOUS WITH PLANS TO TAKE OVER..ZERO! ALSO DONT GROUP US WITH THE 911 EVIL LOONEYS, WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE, CANT YOU TELL???

  7. diogenes

    Maher shows the problems in letting our media be so dominated by “god’s chosen people”. His tribal paranoia is supposed to be “interesting” to the rest of us? Perhaps we should be asking ourselves who has done more damage to the US – moslems or zionists?

  8. Michael

    I’m a big fan of War in Context and have agreed with virtually all of your postings for the year or so I’ve been reading them. But in this case, I think you have to cut Maher some slack. He is an outspoken atheist. His movie last last year, Religulous, was an assault on all organized religions, with Christianity leading the way. In his case, I think you need to take him at his word that it is the religion he objects to.

  9. jill

    Well the Zionist backlash has begun with sympathetic white people calling their baby boys Mohammed. Why not?

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