When I watched Bill Maher – with whom I agree about many other issues – talk about Islam on his show “Real Time” last Friday night, I felt as though my father’s life story was being erased.
According to Maher, no one in Muslim majority countries openly denounces fundamentalism. “They are afraid to speak out.” Such claims deny heroic battles waged by many people of Muslim heritage against extremism. For example, Mahfoud Bennoune, my dad, was an Algerian anthropologist who risked his life throughout the 1990s jihadist violence in his country. He taught evolution despite a classroom visit from the head of the so-called Islamic Salvation Front (dad threw the guy out!).