Events in the Times Square attempted bombing are unfolding in predictable fashion. The chief suspect is an educated, middle-class Muslim who reportedly confessed to being trained in Pakistan, and possible accomplices are being rounded up there.
There is, however, one big difference that separates this case from others. A major Islamic group is denouncing terrorism and calling on Muslims to show loyalty to America, or get out.
"Islam condemns terrorism unreservedly and totally," Naseem Mahdi said yesterday, adding it is "the duty and responsibility of all Muslims living in the US to be loyal to the flag and to be law-abiding citizens."
Mahdi is national vice president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which says it has tens of millions of followers around the world. Its mosques in the U.S. include several in the New York area, and it claims its 1921 start makes it the first American-Muslim organization.
It is certainly the first to say so clearly what many Americans have been waiting to hear. While it is true that terrorists are a small minority of Muslims, the majority has been too silent about this deadly scourge and too reluctant to help law enforcement.
Mahdi, who spoke at a press conference in Washington, told me he not only understands that view, he shares it. His pet peeve is that the common Muslim complaint about the media misses the big picture.
"Look, if these people are doing suicide bombings and they are doing it in the name of Islam, there is no reason to complain about the media," he said.
A Pakistani who lived in Europe and Canada, Mahdi also has choice words for Muslim immigrants who don't appreciate American freedom and opportunity. "My advice to them is to be bold and go live in the lands where their loyalties belong," he told me. "I know what I'm saying here, I can't say in Pakistan."
More power to him, and may many more echo his words.
Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. Click here to continue reading his column.
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Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.