Criminy, this Park51 "debate" is happening everywhere, isn't it? I think the protests against the mosque are doing a pretty good job at proving Osama bin Laden right. He always claimed (as several of our more radical, fundamentalists Christians do) that this is a holy war of Islam vs. the West. The counter argument has always been that the US is a country of freedom where all, including Muslims, are free to practice their religion.
Except, apparently no.
In the end, building the building (whether called a mosque or otherwise) or not building the building won't change what crazy, radical terrorists say. Sure, build it and they will spin it as a "win." Don't build it, and they will spin it as, "see, told ya." Either way, they will use it to recruit. So maybe we shouldn't be quite so worried about what crazy people will say.
Maybe we should be a little more self-reflexive about the ways we in the US are crazy. Is this really who we want to be? Shouting in the streets about the atrocities of others while ignoring or explaining away our bloody actions as always justified, or at least excusable? Do we really think we can suspend the First Amendment just this once out of "sensitivity" that we somehow forget when we yell indiscriminately at fellow citizens, "Go back to your country, towelhead!"?
And how do we conveniently not recognize the timing of this -- an issue that nearly a year ago had no real opposition and even the support of local religious leaders (Jews and Christians!), but now in the rundown to the midterm elections the masses are whipped into a lathering, street thug frenzy? Ring a bell, froth at the mouth. Now get your treat. Snausage or thorazine?
It's crazy vs. crazy, but at least in all this madness the folks on the extremes are finding some common ground. Too bad it is a psychotic delusion.