Bill Maher Defends Islam Comments
Host won't 'apologize for being a proud Westerner'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2010 5:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Bill Maher isn't backing down from his controversial remarks on Islam and Muslims. The HBO host told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he doesn't feel the need to "apologize for being a proud Westerner," Mediaite reports. By Westerner, Maher explained, "I mean someone who believes in the values that Western people believe in that a lot of the Muslim world does not. Like separation of church and state. Like equality of the sexes. Like respect for minorities, free elections, free speech, freedom to gather."

Maher and Blitzer agreed that he would probably have been fired if he had made the same remarks—which stemmed from reports that Mohammed is now Britain's most popular baby name—on NPR. Maher also told Blitzer that actor Zach Galifianakis hadn't really smoked a joint on his show during a discussion of California's Proposition 19. "If it was a real joint, Wolf, I would have smoked it. I think it was cloves or something," Maher said. "Zach's crazy, he's not that crazy." (More here.)