Guardian: ‘Rightwing media attack “Imam Ben Affleck” for defence of Islam’

7b812faf-502f-48b6-92ad-7e17c495cd6f-460x276Ben Affleck. Photograph: NBC NewsWire/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

US conservative groups target actor after a recent TV appearance in which he described depictions of Islam by TV host Bill Maher and author Sam Harris as ‘gross’ and ‘racist’

Rightwing commentators have lined up to criticise Ben Affleck for his defence of moderate Islam on a US talk show.

Affleck accused TV host Bill Maher and author Sam Harris of “gross” and “racist” depictions of the religion during a televised debate on HBO talk show Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday night. He reacted furiously to claims by Maher that Islam manifested as “the only religion that acts like the mafia” and which would “fucking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book”.

The actor’s comments won him praise on Twitter, but a slew of commentators on conservative US radio and television have since made Affleck a target, according to progressive press watchdog Media Matters for America.

Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review magazine, laid into the actor for an alleged refusal to accept “frank truths about the Muslim world” in an article published on 7 October…