At a time when the actions of the Islamic State have shocked the world and possibly increased the prevalent Islamophobia across the world, it was Gone Girl star Ben Affleck who stood up for Muslims and said one cannot paint everyone with the same brush.
During a debate on Real Time with Bill Maher Affleck called the shows hosts comments on Muslims "gross, racist and disgusting."
While Maher argued that Islamist were the "mafia that will fucking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book", Affleck was quick to point out that you cannot define a whole race of people based on a few of them who are fanatic.
He said, "How about more than a billion people who aren't fanatical, who don't punch women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches, pray 5 times a day, and don't do any of the things you're saying of all Muslims. It's stereotyping."
Muslims across the world are looked at with much suspicion and Affleck standing up for them deserves applause. The debate over Islamic culture is almost always one sided and biased. He also pointed out, referring to the US invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan, that "we've killed more Muslims than they've killed us by an awful lot... And somehow we're exempt from these things because they're not really a reflection of what we believe in. We did it by accident, that's why we invaded Iraq."
A blog by HA Goodman The Huffington Post points out "When Ben Affleck differentiates the extremists from the overwhelming majority of peaceful Muslims, and when Harris and Maher claim that polls indicate the extreme are a larger part of the overall pie than we think, Affleck's argument is not only stronger, but correlates to the raison d'etre for both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars."
We hardly see celebrities speaking up on the issue and what Affleck did was commendable. We need more celebrity voices to speak out on the issue and show that there is indeed another side to Islam and that all Muslims are not terrorists.
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Updated Date: Oct 07, 2014 08:33:05 IST