Ben Affleck, Bill Maher Debate Over Islam on Real Time: Watch the Intense Argument

Fighting words! Ben Affleck and Bill Maher faced off on live television on Friday, Oct. 3, clashing on Maher's Real Time talk show.

The actor, 42, was part of a segment on Real Time with Bill Maher, which included the host, as well as former RNC chairman Michael Steele, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof, and author Sam Harris.

Affleck found himself in a verbal spat with Maher, 58, and Harris, 47, over the group's differing views on Islam. 

"Liberals need to stand up for liberal principles," Maher began, going on to name the "liberal principles" of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and equality for women and minorities. "When you say, 'In the Muslim world, this is what's lacking,' then [liberals] get upset."

ben affleck vs bill maher
Paul Morigi/; Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Harris sided with Maher, asserting that he believes liberals fail when it comes to discussing Islam. "We have been sold this meme of Islamophobia, where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry toward Muslims as people. That is intellectually ridiculous."

Affleck took immediate issue with Harris, questioning his logic and highlighting Harris' dismissal of Islamophobia. The Gone Girl star continued, criticizing what he saw as generalizations on Harris' and Maher's parts, saying, "It's gross… it's racist." 

When Harris took it a step further, saying, "Islam, at this moment, is the mother lode of bad ideas," Affleck looked shocked, exclaiming, "Jesus Christ," and telling Harris that his statement was "an ugly thing to say." 

The heated conversation continued as Affleck found common ground with Kristof, and Steele chimed in with his two cents. Watch Affleck speak out in the video above. 

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