The “Ground Zero” [sic] mosque controversy…

I’m guessing that some folks who bother to read my blog think to themselves, “Gee, this guy is boring as heck.  Random bits of info, but nothing substantive on big issues of the day.”  Well, I have some drafts on bigger things than comic strips–the Medieval Academy’s decision to keep the annual meeting in Arizona, for example–but I like to research and reflect before I put stuff like that out there, since serious issues should require deeper thought.

I will post this, however; thanks to my friend Matt (I have several friends named Matt…) for posting this first on the book of face.  All the controversy over the proposed mosque near Ground Zero (not AT G.Z., as many people claim) is apparently stoking the fires of younger Islamic extremists, or those who are interested in Islamic extremism.  NPR has a disturbing article about these developments.  Add to that a companion article by Reza Aslan concerning European anti-Islamic sentiment and its adoption by the US (I refuse to say “Islamophobia,” as I strongly believe that to do so is to dangerously misconstrue the situation, and render it some kind of treatable mental disease.).

For my part, I agree with, I think it was Rainn Wilson from The Office, who tweeted the other week that Ground Zero currently has a MacDonald’s and a strip club in it…Soooo, what’s the problem here?  Not to mention the fact that this has apparently been planned for a long time, etc. etc.

What really gets my goat, though, and I’ll stop after this, as I have actual work to do, is that the medieval crusades ALWAYS get dragged into this type of conversation, in ways which just make me angry–either as justified incursions of noble western Christendom against aggressive Islamic forces (I have the greatest respect for Tom Madden, but there’s a lot wrong with this picture), or as savage and unprovoked attacks against a peaceful and culturally advanced Muslim society (there’s an AWFUL lot wrong with this picture, much more than the former).  And when you try to explain that to someone, it quickly turns into a disaster.  Grrrr.

Ok, I’m done.