Petitions & Protestors Didn’t Stop Maher From Speaking at Berkeley


This man keeps popping up in the news for all the things he’s said publicly…and unapologetically. He also flat-out ignored a petition against him rescinding his speaking invitation to Berkeley’s commencement ceremony on December 20.

Because of Bill Maher’s comments regarding Islam, about 6,000 people signed a petition asking that he not speak at the commencement. To which Chancellor Nicholas Dirks replied,

“Free speech is a basic right and is not only constitutionally protected but also a value that is encoded in the DNA of Berkeley.”

Protestors were upset about Maher’s comment that

“Islam is the only religion that acts like the Mafia – that will f****** kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book,”

and they were upset about his comments in an live TV argument with Ben Affleck.

A small group of students protested his appearance with signs both outside and inside the commencement ceremony.

Maher touched on a few points during his 15 minute speech that he felt graduates should remember. Points like

“never forget that we are lucky to live in a country that has a First Amendment.”

He also commented that he felt the University made the right decision to choose him for the speech, which happened to fall on the anniversary of the Free Speech Movement.

He left UC Berkeley students with a last parting comment that, though I do not agree with everything the man says, I think all Americans should remember:

“the last thing I’ll suggest to you – be a free thinker. One reason our politics is so screwed up is that it’s gotten so tribal.”