STUDENTS
03/11/2014 07:25 GMT | Updated 03/11/2014 07:59 GMT

Bill Maher Defends Berkley University Talk As Islam Comments Furore Continues

As the fallout from his controversial comments on Islam continues, US TV show host, Bill Maher, has responded to a petition to ban him from talking at a university.

And he's not pulling any punches.

Maher had a less-than-subtle dig at students from the University of California-Berkeley, noting that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Free Speech Movement on their campus.

He said: "I guess they don’t teach irony in college anymore."

Maher has faced criticism for comments he made about Islam while interviewing Ben Affleck last month.

He said on the program that Islam was “the only religion that acts like the Mafia, that will [f***ing] kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book."

The petition against Maher states: " Bill Maher's public statements on various religions and cultures are offensive and his dangerous rhetoric has found its way into our campus communities.

"Too many students are marginalised by his remarks and if the University were to bring this individual as a commencement speaker they would not be supporting these historically marginalised communities.

"It is the responsibility of the University of California to protect all students and uphold a standard of civility."

The university have already stood by their decision to host the 'Real Time' presenter.

A statement read: "It should be noted that this decision does not constitute an endorsement of any of Mr. Maher’s prior statements: indeed, the administration’s position on Mr. Maher’s opinions and perspectives is irrelevant in this context, since we fully respect and support his right to express them. More broadly, this university has not in the past and will not in the future shy away from hosting speakers who some deem provocative."