"Why do they hate us?"
Following the news of Friday's deadly attacks in Paris, which the Islamic State claims responsibility for, Bill Maher posed this question to his "Real Time" panel of fellow TV hosts and analysts, Dylan Ratigan, Michael Steele and Jay Leno. No one immediately answered.
After Maher joked that he had stumped the panel, they went on to discuss how America's influence in the Middle East may be what's causing terrorist attacks.
Maher has a history of making controversial comments about Islam, agreeing with author Sam Harris that the religion is a "mother lode of bad ideas" in October 2014. Shortly after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January, Maher said, “What we’ve said all along, and have been called bigots for it, is when there’s this many bad apples, there’s something wrong with the orchard.”
But this panel focused mostly on problems with U.S. foreign policy, which Leno compared to Captain Kirk's attempt to bring democracy to different planets on "Star Trek." "They don't want it," he said.
"Bombing them over there is what is causing the Paris thing to happen," said Maher. "That connection needs to be made. We don't have to be bombing them there."
"We don't have to be bombing them," Ratigan agreed.
Maher addressed the tragedy in Paris at the beginning of the show, saying, "We are with you." The comedian also issued a call over Twitter to make terrorism socially unacceptable:
"Real Time with Bill Maher" airs Friday at 10:00 p.m. ET on HBO.
Update: This post has been updated to include more of Bill Maher's past comments on Islam.
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