Well, I don’t answer for the article in general, but John Feffer raises some disturbing points concerning the rise of anti-Muslim feeling in Europe, with some mentions of the United States. As for the crusades, he’s partly right, as by the later Middle Ages the movement had generally shifted from a fight over Jerusalem (still the ultimate goal of most expeditions) to a broader feeling against the Ottoman Turks (who did pose a serious threat to the political and cultural structures of Europe). On the whole, I wouldn’t say that the only way to perceive modern Islam as a threat is to “adopt the crusader mentality.” That’s a gross oversimplification which plays directly into our current political demagoguery, whether from left or right. I get frustrated with any attempt to simplify such a massive movement in order to make political capital–which is why I’ll never appear on Crossfire…Foreign Policy in Focus has a similar article by Jeanne Kay–very well-written.
And on a slightly different note, The New York Times had an article last week reviewing the revival of Rossini’s crusade/orientalist-themed opera “Armida.” Interesting stuff…not sure I could sit through four hours of it.