A couple of weeks ago I wrote here about a recent piece in the Nation, "Fear and Loathing of Islam," in which one Moustafa Bayoumi argued that the overwhelming majority of American Muslims are just ordinary people who want to live ordinary lives, and that any doubts about their loyalties, concerns about their potential radicalization, or official efforts to investigate the ideas spread in their mosques and other gathering places are nothing but manifestations of a poisonous and ignorant Islamophobia.  The key word throughout Bayoumi's article was "ordinary": out of all the Muslims in America, only a few dozen – those, that is, who have been talked into joining terrorist groups – are a legitimate cause for worry; the rest, in all the ways that matter, are more or less just like the rest of us, and – most important – share our love of American and our devotion to its constitutional values.

First of all, there is ample reason to question Bayoumi's very low estimate of the number of domestic Muslim terrorists and would-be terrorists in the U.S.  Reading recent news reports from Britain, about the arrest of six men (including a Muslim convert and a former police community support officer) who had been plotting a terror attack in that country, and from Norway, about a former member of the radical-left group Blitz who converted to Islam after marrying the daughter of a North African diplomat and has since been prepared by al-Qaeda to carry out a terrorist attack involving an American passenger plane, one cannot help suspecting that these men, and others like them who, over the years, happen to have been detected and arrested by the authorities in their respective countries, are only the tip of a very large and menacing iceberg.

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