04.25.2013 09:54 AM

“We have our idiots like any community”

And that wonderful quote corresponds exactly with my long-running view about religions (or any human institution, frankly): there are idiots in every organization. The Muslims have them, but so do Christians, Jews, you name it.  There is no monopoly on virtue, just as extremism is no exclusive club.

That doesn’t in any way exclude the criminal acts of idiots, of course.  Investigate and prosecute, to the fullest extent possible under law.  But don’t – as white supremacists and/or bigots like Kathy Shaidle, Arnie Lemaire and Kate McMillan and their ilk regularly do – suggest that Muslims alone are evil.

Every group has its fair share of evil people.  And idiots, too.


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    Michael Clifton says:


    So to speak.

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    Ted H says:

    According to Juan Cole if we tally up deaths in the 20th century caused by war and political violence, Christians of European heritage are responsible for 100 million deaths, Muslims are responsible for 2 million, most of them in the Iran/Iraq war 1980-88.

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    Michael Bussiere says:

    I’ve started drawing up a Ban-and-Deport list after reading what Conservative Party supporters and donors have to say on the Sun website. We might as well make a clean sweep of things while we’re at it, so here goes:

    1. Italians. The Mafia is hell-bent on violence and corruption in Montreal, effectively undermining a duly-elected government. You know, that nice Italian lady up the street with the kerchief on her head may have a stash of weapons in her garden shed.
    2. Irish Catholics. God knows they hate our nice English Monarch and must resent Harper’s efforts to stuff the Monarchy in our faces in a show of ethnic and denominational superiority. Don’t let the fact that Irish washerwomen don’t cover their heads like Moooslem and Italian women fool you.
    3. Boomer-aged Americans. Draft-dodging Nixon-era traitors who frequently wear long beards, smoke pot, and listen to funny Indian-sounding music. They hate the flag and all it represents.
    4. Indians. Never liked Canada from the time they crossed the Bering Strait. Tom Flanagan is right when he says they have not special claim to the territory. Send them back over the Strait before the ice bridge melts and they completely drain the welfare system.
    5. Other Indians. They revolted against our nice WASP Monarch too. It will also clear the air of all that smelly cooking.
    6. Germans. Neo-Nazis lurking among them, probably a few hundred here and there, so we’d better not take any chances even though our WASP Monarch’s ancestors intermarried with the lot of them.
    7. Chinese. Maoist Marxists, and have you seen the way they drive? If that’s not terrorist behaviour, I don’t know what is!
    8. French. God, don’t get me started. That one’s a no-brainer. Damn Trudeaus and their F*cking Charter! I said don’t get me started!!

    Anyway am I overlooking anyone? We might as well be thorough while we’re at it.

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      dave says:

      I especially like your #2. Those people slip inot Canada, and, like sleeper cells, even to the next generations, they sneak into our institutions, wangle a way into professions, like law, and, under the guise of championing civil rights and tolerance, they undermine our Canadian-ness.

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      Michael Bussiere says:

      You think the nutcase bigots who trash the Trudeaus and multiculturalism in comments on the Sun webpage vote Liberal ? I doubt they vote NDP or Green. If not, what’s left?

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        Michael Bussiere says:

        Never said the Tories do have a patent on that, but when it comes to racism I suspect they have a lock on that vote. And, by the way, I wouldn’t equate the oil industry with vulnerable minorities or criticizing the oil industry with racism.

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        Michael Bussiere says:

        Justin Trudeau and Dalton McGuinty are nutcase bigots? I knew McGuinty Sr. who was a prince of a guy. I can’t imagine he raised a nutcase bigot for a son. Did he, Mr. Kinsella?

        And as far as Trudeau goes, he actually commented on Alberta politicians, not Albertans, which was an unfortunate choice of words for which he apologized. Maybe he was just referring to Harper, Kenney and Flanagan. He has also criticized Quebec politicians. I don’t want to commit sociology for fear of being arrested without evidence, but that does not put him in the same category with those online commentators who want to deport all “towelheads”, right?

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        dave says:

        What you are doing is equating an increasingly foreign owned (and increasingly foreign staffed) industry with all of Alberta. That’s what sleazoid politicians do, so don’t do it anymore.

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        dave says:

        Les,Les,Les,…you are doing it again, you claim I want to kill an industry, but I said nothing about doing anything to an industry…you say that I posed unrealistic solutions, but I posed no solutions at all…
        What I said is that the increasingly foreign owned oil extraction and export industry is not all of Alberta. It’s big bucks Alberta, that’s for sure. People who question industries that extract raw resources and export the same abroad, and take all profits, and jobs for outsiders, are not attacking Albertans, they are supporting them.

        By the by, Les, what is your undertanding of a couple of slang terms in economics, ‘dutch disease?’ and ‘petro state?’

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    GPAlta says:

    Thank you Warren for this, it is good to know that there are still a few sane people left, even though they are hard to find on the internet.

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    wsam says:

    To be frank: the Irish are our traditional enemy.

    While: Canadians of Scottish Heritage are perfect and everything every single one of the them has ever or will ever do is nothing but beneficial to humankind and marks the stready advance of global civilization. The only thing better than being Scottish is being Scottish Canadian. Those that fail to live up to these exacting standards are not true Scotsmen.

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      Michael Bussiere says:

      Great Scott, you’re right! Although I’ve always thought that skirt-wearing business is a bit iffy.

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      deb s says:

      lol…exactly:) Everything scottish( well excepting golf and haggis) is awesome!

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        dave says:

        I think that what gives Scots a leg up is their proximity to Pict-ness.

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    Ed Frink says:

    Islam is not incompatible with progressive values. In fact, we need more Muslim immigrants so that we can have more progressive voters to vote out the racist conservatives.

    Muslims are our natural allies.

    And when was the last time a Muslim committed violence against pro-choice clinics?

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      Kaspar Juul says:

      What about honour killings?

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      Wayne says:

      Assuming this isn’t satire, congratulations on the stupidest comment of the week.

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    partrick says:


    But it has to be repeated over and over and over and over and over………

    I guess explaining the “Duh”!

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    Scotian says:

    Since my childhood almost 40 years ago now I have always seen that extremism/fanaticism is inherently dangerous no matter what its focus, although the religious varients tends to be the most so because not only does it have all the problems inherent with such but it carries the added baggage/weight of somehow being what God wants in their minds which makes anything that would otherwise be seen as bad/evil become acceptable as a positive or even as a ticket into God’s good graces. So I always distrust *ANY* group/leader that shows any form of extremist/fanatical tendencies whether it is religious or secular in nature, and one of what used to be Canada’s best features was how extremism did not thrive here especially at the federal level, well not until the Harper CPC came into existence that is (yes Reform and CA had some of these problems too, but they never managed to become credible choices for government in the end, it took the betrayal of the PCPC and its murder to create the Reform/CA cored CPC in its place combined with a revisionist approach to their core messaging that created the ability of the extremist Harper CPC to become a governing option). Moderation, centrism, and compromise is the best way to fight the evils of extremism from taking root in a society, and it is one of the main reasons why modern conservativism in NA is in my eyes so incredibly dangerous, not because it is conservative so much as it is intolerant of any POV not its own, its unwillingness to see those that disagree with them as fellow citizens that disagree but still want the best for all and instead see them as traitorous enemies to be destroyed at any and all costs. So I find it more than a little ironic that we have what for this nation is clearly an extremist government and many of its vocal supporters sharing said extremism calling out other groups to fight against another form of extremism within their midst without seeing their own and how damaging it is in its own right.

    For me, I see extremism and fanaticism as inherently a human problem first, not one inherent to a religion, to a political movement, or a social movement/cause (although there are those that help encourage/foster such, but it still originates within the human heart before all else IMHO) and something to be distrusted wherever it rear its ugly head regardless of what it is in service to. I am one for example that finds the notion of “extremism in the service of liberty being no vice” not only wrong but inherently counter-productive in the end. I do not know why this is something so many people have a hard time recognizing, they can be good at seeing extremism in things they dislike/oppose but not so much in what they agree with, not realizing that it is extremism itself that needs to be watched out for even more than what it is in the service of. I think at heart most Canadians tend towards this pov whether they think about it or not, and it is why extremist political movements/parties have not done so well here federally, especially when they have been open about it (which is why Harper started to hide his after 2004, and why the NDP once Layton took over onwards are trying to suddenly act as if they are no more than just another mainstream middle of the road centrist party by most recently dropping socialism from their image). I think it is why religious terrorism has had such a hard time succeeding here for the most part, and it is why I think multiculturalism is one of the most powerful weapons against such terrorism from ever succeeding in the end in its goals, because extremists need to feel like they are persecuted outsiders and somehow the only righteous crusaders saving whatever their focus is, without that extremism/fanaticism just doesn’t thrive.

    I want to make something very clear here, when I am talking about extremist Conservativism I mean the new variant in NA that shares the underlying neoconservativism and Straussian underpinnings, not the more traditional, saner, and sensible conservativism that used to be in both the US and more recently (and I still believe is out there in the public, just without a federal voice with the assassination of the PCPC) Canada. I respect and share many values with old school conservatives, and even when I disagreed with them could understand where they were coming from as they could I, and we both still saw each other as proud Canadians wanting the best for our country first. This trend into seeing oneself as some sort of persecuted minority in a war or elimination approach that has been fostered by the hard right wing modern Conservatives and championed by Harper as its standard bearer is something that not only betrays the wider Canadian reality but also the respectable heritage of traditional Conservativism in NA, and especially in Canada’s case, the Harper CPC shares nothing more than a name to traditional Canadian Conservativism, which is why I still to this day will not call them Tories, I respect Tories and understand them and will not dishonour them and their legacy/heritage by so misusing their name. So critique this as you might, but any attack claiming I am branding all conservatives this way is dishonest and only underscores just how unable to deal with reality as opposed to the imagined world extremists live in, and utterly ironic given how many Conservative voices have no problem branding all Muslims for the actions of their extremists.

    Deal with extremism/fanaticism and its roots wherever you see it and I believe you will do far more to cripple terrorism as a viable weapon than most any other way short of genocide (and I would argue not even that would work unless you wipe out our entire species, there will always be points of difference between humans that can be turned into factions and extremism, as I said at the beginning it is alas part of human nature). All groups have some that trend this way, it is how well they monitor their own and are willing to deal with them before they go too far that is how one should judge them by, not that they have the extremists but whether they embrace or reject them, their message, and their actions. Why so many seem to have a problem seeing it this way I have never understood, I’ve always thought it was utterly obvious myself.

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      Bob Thomas says:

      man, don’t be afraid to hit the return key from time to time …

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        Scotian says:

        Man don’t be afraid to handle reading above a twitter level…I mean seriously, critiquing style instead of content/substance is so juvenile. It is not like anyone is putting a gun to your head to force you to read it now is it? Either people will chose to read it or not, I have no control over that, I can only control what I say and how I say it in the manner I find most comfortable to me, and I have done so. So kindly keep your editorial comments to yourself. I might take seriously such a complaint from a blog owner, but no one else, not for that.

        What is it these days with people, is reading complex thoughts and sentences just too much effort, or does it just show that this dumbing down effect many have complained about over the past few decades regarding mass media may finally have proven out in the internet age?

        BTW, I obviously did use the return key or it would have been an unbroken wall of text, I guess I am used to paragraphs actually having some meat to them, sorry if that is too much for you to cope with but blame your educators, not me.

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          dave says:

          Me too, Scotian…the golden mean in all things is better.

          Small question, tho, are the people and institutions who are causing the climate to change such that life on this planet is threatened extremists?

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    Pipes says:

    Ya man, of course, to think otherwise is either stupidity or ignorance or a combo.

    The photo, alone, of Heft however, makes him look like he is a crazed fanatic. But that’s the media for ya and its not particularly helpful to use a photo like that during these times. You’d think they would have used a better pic.

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    ok says:

    Kathy Shaidle, Arnie Lemaire and Kate McMillan humiliate ALL Muslim every day and this is offence becausse it misdirect justice system that is different between good people and bad people instead encourage wrong wording and culture to see All muslim as criminal in country. This is danager position they are directed by their wrong blogs. They targed ALL muslim not the bad people, this is same mentality that some criminal target innocent people for their own envy and hate and do crime against them on street. Nobody has right to target any innocent people for their mental hate words.

    It caused Mental pain, confusion and embarrassment to prevent success of ALL Mulim in Canada.

    Part of Speech: noun

    Definition: embarrassment

    Synonym: abasement, affront, chagrin, comedown, comeuppance, condescension, confusion, degradation, discomfiture, disgrace, dishonor, ignominy, indignity, loss of face, mental pain, mortification, put-down, resignation, self-abasement, shame, submission, submissiveness, touché

    Antonyms: elevation, flattery, glorification, praise, success, triumph

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