Atheist Comedian Patton Oswalt Compares Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins to Westboro Baptist Church Clan

Bill Maher
Comedian Bill Maher speaks during ceremonies unveiling his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California, September 14, 2010. |

Atheist comedian Patton Oswalt of "King of Queens" fame has denounced Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins for their repeated criticisms of Islam by comparing the controversial figures to the Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church clan.

Oswalt, who's also known for his role on the TV comedy series "Two and a Half Men," told Salon: "I feel, as an atheist, about people like Richard Dawkins and Bill Maher the way that Christians must feel about Fred Phelps."

Adding to his comments about Maher's outspoken observations on Islam, Oswalt said: "If you look at Christianity and Judaism when they were young, they were violent. … But right now I would say there's a bigger percentage of that in Islam, but still that percentage is still small. Again, he [Maher] is discounting all of the moderate, progressive, intelligent, horrified Muslims."

Patton Oswalt
Comedian Patton Oswalt attends the 16th annual Webby Awards in New York, May 21, 2012. |

"There's always going to be Christians, always going to be Jews, Hindus, Muslims, so let's find a way to make all that progress."

In recent months, both Maher and Dawkins have garnered headlines for their criticisms of Islam, asserting that terrorist organizations, such as the Islamic State, accurately represent the entirety of the religion.

For example, in January following the Islamic terrorist shooting of the Paris-based satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, both Maher and Dawkins blamed Islam for the massacre.

"No, all religions are NOT equally violent. Some have never been violent, some gave it up centuries ago. One religion conspicuously didn't," posted Dawkins on Twitter. "Of COURSE most Muslims are peaceful. But if someone's killed for what they drew or said or wrote, you KNOW the religion of the killers."

In an interview with ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live back in January, Maher argued that "hundreds of millions" of Muslims supported the Hebdo shooters.

"I know most Muslim people would not have carried out an attack like this. … But here's the important point: Hundreds of millions of them support an attack like this," said Maher.

"They applaud an attack like this. What they say is: 'We don't approve of violence, but you know what? When you make fun of the prophet, all bets are off.'"

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