Ann asked the following in a comment on this post about the Malian conflict. I decided to reprint my response in full, not because the prose is so scintillating but because it provides a general outline of why I blog ;)
Ann wrote: I am a concerned parent from Ontario. I am against the liberal agenda and I admire your actions against the Toronto School Board's poster Love Has No Gender. That is how I found out about you.
Now, I do however hesitate on the subject of religion. I don't condone violent acts in the name of religion and I do believe the problem lies not with Islam, but with extremist religious movements with hidden political agendas. Its a dirty game of politics and innocent civilians fall victims to it.
What are your thoughts on the Bosnian genocide. Do you condone what happened there. Many may not know this, but Bosnia held the 1984 Olympics.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
On the contrary Ann I do believe the problem lies with Islam, it is at heart an intolerant creed that is desperately in need of reformation, however that is currently structurally impossible as the Koran is considered immutable and Islam lacks centralized governance. As it stands the illiterate and ignorant are exploited by extremist clerics the world over. This is easily done as most Muslims don't read or understand Arabic, the true, in fact it is claimed, the exclusive language of the Koran. Beyond the Koran 97% of Hadith references to jihad refer explicitly to killing infidels - that's you and me. I do believe however that we are witnessing the collapse of Islam, it is convulsing as the modern world encroaches ever more into its darkest recesses. This process unfortunately has and will continue to be violent. I don't suggest that Islam will be erased from the earth only that it will ultimately defeat itself. Perhaps we can take solace from the growing opposition in Iran, that nation's trajectory under the Mullah's reign may at least in part herald the future of Muslim nations currently under or about to be consumed by Islamic rule.
The Mosque remains the focal point of social, political, economic & religious life for most Muslims. Funding for mosques often comes from off-shore sources. Saudi Arabia and Iran are two such sources, of both money and extremist ideology. When not providing funding outright from the start a favourite tactic in the past has been to find a local mosque in financial trouble, rescue it, and then install politically reliable Imams and board members to ensure its continued "prosperity". Look no further than the Maulanas of Toronto's Shia community and their agents who are charged with spreading the propaganda of the Khomeinist revolution and infiltrating the wider community.
Khaled Mouammar, Ali Mallah and James Clark listed as speakers at Zafar Bangash's celebrations of the anniversary of Iran's Islamofascist regime.
The centrality of the mosque poses a further dilemma, the risk of being declared apostate carries a heavy toll for anyone who speaks out against extremism. Canada's own Salim Mansur is a case in point, he has been denounced as an apostate and received death threats from his moderate muslim brethren for daring to raise the alarm about Islam's inherent intolerance. Put yourself in the place of a recent Muslim immigrant to Canada, would you risk losing all social connections, for yourself and your family, by daring to speak out? Add that prospect to the usual hurdles many immigrants face in adjusting to a new country i.e. the language barrier and realize how potentially daunting a task lays ahead for "reformers", when even Canadian based clerics teach death to apostates. Unfortunately we have allowed immigration to Canada by Muslims who hold these extremist views to begin with. Apostasy remains the source of much bloodshed in the Muslim world, witness the sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni sects, violence that our own local Shia community has attempted to blame on the Jews. Please see this link for details on this latest exhibition of Islamic tolerance.
As the Muslim community has grown in Canada so has this same sectarian hatred between Muslim sects. Read through the links in this post I did on the venomous hatred between leaders of Canada's Sunni and Ahmadi community, if not careful our society will find itself the collateral damage of such enmity.
When we see Muslims rioting and even murdering over such trivialities as a caricature of their alleged prophet we must realize that to them these are acts of religious piety. It is imperative we understand that these outrages to civil society are perfectly normal in their world view. When the local muslim community in the GTA arranged a protest against the film "Innocence of Muslims" who do you think they blamed? The Jews of course - here's a link detailing the MSM's horribly misleading coverage of that event, I was there with others to capture it on film - please see this post.
The organizers of the Innocence of Muslim protest, men of influence and alleged "good standing" in their community exploited Women and Children by busing them in as the cannon fodder of hate for this event just as they did for the Travesty of Al Quds day at Queen's Park.
In short, Islam is a cult of victimization that entraps its followers and encourages hatred and violent jihad against apostates and the alleged oppressors of Muslims - even if they have to make it up. One thing I should add, recently the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, published an illustrated history of Muhammad, no violence occurred in response to this latest blasphemy. Measure that against the politically motivated response to the Danish cartoons or even Hebdo's own previous caricature of Muhammad which resulted in the firebombing of their offices in Paris. Muslims are exploited, by extremists certainly, when the occasion is deemed politically advantageous, but remember also that they are exploited by their unforgiving faith.
The facts of the Bosnian Genocide remain in dispute to this day. I am not expert on the matter. There is plenty of guilt for misdeeds by all sides to go around however.
Lewis MacKenzie, formerly of the Canadian Armed Forces was there, I suggest you read this article which was originally published in the Globe & Mail. There is growing opinion that we effectively "Bombed" the wrong side.
This is another decent article on the subject of Bosnia/Srebrenica
Srebrenica: Prolonging the wounds of war