Ben Affleck Converts to Islam after Maher Debate According to Reports
By Taaraz ‘TJ’ Zakhif
Boston (MA)—Reports actor and director Ben Affleck has converted to Islam generated uncanny social media applause and rave throughout the Muslim community despite no confirmation from a credible source.
Affleck, who last week went head to head on the topic of Islam and extremism with comedian, critic and all-around Islam hater Bill Maher on his HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher, never acknowledged himself as a Muslim. But by sporting a scruffy beard and using frequent hand gestures to make a point as is common in many Middle Eastern countries, rumors quickly swirled the 42 year-old celebrity had taken a new leap of faith. Muslims organizations took little time in proclaiming the exciting but unsubstantiated news.
“We are so thrilled Ben has decided to become a Muslim!” said ISNA public relations manager Talha Badwani. “Bill thought he was going to pull a fast one on our brother, but Hadrat Affleck kept them in check. How you like me now?!”
The Affleck-Maher debate has become the latest trend streaming through the Internet. Intense coverage complimented with thousands of comments have been posted on a myriad of media outlets reacting to Maher’s fiery negative rhetoric on Islam which did not subscribe to his liberal platform . Affleck refuted passionately and sharply towards Maher’s remarks as well as other guest and critic Sam Harris, who called Islam “the motherlode of bad ideas.”
“What is your solution? To condemn Islam?” Affleck later questioned Maher and Harris, atheists known for ridiculing religion, but particular fondness of verbally abusing a religion of over 1 billion followers. For many Muslims, Affleck echoed a voice of reason which somehow snowballed into gossip of his conversion ad swiftly made its ways from community centers to mosques throughout the country.
“We’re pretty sure he became a Muslim as of last week,” said Imam Feisal Ataullah of the Islamic Center of North Texas in Richardson, TX. “70% of the non-Muslims who speak with such emotion are always a Muslim.” While that made no sense, Affleck, who starred in such movies as The Town, Argo and Good Will Hunting for which he won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay had also studied Middle Eastern affairs at Occidental College. To Ataullah the trivial knowledge of his education was just the cherry on top in his assumption Affleck had turned to Islam. “Yeah I know he hasn’t taken the shahada (Islamic creed declaring the belief in one God), but come on, he’s so damn close!”
At least one news service wasted no time in declaring Affleck a Muslim. On the October 7th edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy and guest Dr. Zuhdi Jasser accused Affleck for “for arguing against charges that Islam is uniquely prone to violence and extremism,” referring to him as “Imam Ben Affleck.” As Jasser, a cardiologist, founder of the American Islamic forum for Democracy and a terrific asshole despised by the Muslim community wanted to denigrate Affleck, he ironically added more gasoline to the Affleck conversion suspicions which to some made it official.
“Never in a thousand years would I ever believe Fox,” said Maher Siyaf, Director of Outreach Development for Orange County Islamic Foundation. “But this is too juicy to not believe. We love you Ben!”
Affleck’s publicist Ken Sunshine has denied any truth to the rumors of him becoming a Muslim, calling it yet another stunt by social media to rile society into more controversy. But he also didn’t deny another report which claims Affleck will be opening for Cat Stevens on his Winter tour later this year. Sunshine stated Affleck hasn’t made a decision.