I first thought that something was wrong when comedian Bill Maher was invited to give the keynote address at the University of California Berkeley commencement in December, 2014. A small group of Muslim students there didn't like it, and several articles in Daily Kos took up the "islamophobia" cudgel.
One question you could ask is, if you're not a student, a member of the faculty or staff of UC Berkeley, or even root for their athletic teams, why is their choice of a commencement speaker even any of your business? Another valid question is, what exactly is this "islamophobia" that is a common insult hurled at Daily Kos?
If you were to ask Salman Rushdie about it, he would tell you that the religion of Islam is something to be afraid of. So would the employees of the Charlie Hebdo magazine. And the friends and relatives of people killed in the September 11, 2001 attack. And women forced to wear burqas and put up with all sorts of other restrictions on personal freedom.
Further, Maher has had several Muslim guests on the show in recent years; Maajid Nawaz, Nayyera Haq, Asra Nomani, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Keith Ellison.
This doesn't matter to the Haters. And although the stated objective of Daily Kos is to "elect more and better Democrats", it doesn't matter that Maher contributed a million dollars to the Democrats in 2012, and has committed another million to the Democrats for 2018. I wrote this article in response to the UC Berkeley dustup: Maher spoke at UC Berkeley commencement, world still turning