You may get a hundred different answers from a hundred American Muslims about what it means to be an American Muslim. The controversial Islamic center near ground zero, while pouring salt in a yet widely open national wound, did begin to awaken us to the yet unfought war of ideas within the "House of Islam." Many of us reform-minded Muslims have been waging that war of ideas for most of our adult life, long before 9/11. But time has shown that we cannot wage this battle alone.
It may not seem to matter much for a faith community that is barely 1 percent of the population, but American Muslims carry an invaluable ability to influence the ideologies of over 1.5 billion Muslims - over a fifth of the world's population. Until middle America realizes how our national security hangs in the balance of that intellectual war within Islam, our security will never improve.