(CBS 3) VORHEES, N.J. Muslims in the region are bracing themselves for a possible backlash in response to the terror plot arrests.
Why? Have they received threats? None are reported in this story. Has there been a backlash against Muslims after any other jihadists were arrested? No -- Americans are decent, fair-minded people who don't persecute the innocent, to the extent that CAIR's Nihad Awad has to exhort Muslims to play the victim game more effectively, and CAIR has to trump up hate crimes.
And for many Muslims, news of the arrests comes as a surprise.
"It shocks me, it shocks me," Rahman said.
Zia Rahman, a Voorhees Mosque trustee and head of the Muslim-American community association fears Muslims could encounter bias or backlash following arrests in the alleged terror plot, but says the actions of six men are not representative of 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide.
"I hope they are innocent. I'd like to hear that. But if they are not and were really involved in this conspiracy yes, they should be punished," Rahman said.
Rahman often saw brothers Shain, Dritan and Eljvir Duka during prayer services at the Palmyra mosque. But said seeing their faces on TV, under arrest for allegedly plotting to kill soldiers at Fort Dix caught him off entirely off guard.
"This is the last. It would not even come in my imagination, pleasant, polite, very humble," Rahman said.
Rahman stressed the behavior the suspects must be separated from the religion of Islam itself. The word Islam means 'Peace'.
In reality, no. It means "submission." Is Rahman ignorant, or is he just playing Cydney Long for a patsy? Unclear.
"Religion itself is full of peace. It teaches peace and these people are doing quite the opposite of that. It's totally condemned," Rahman said.
Of course, in this Rahman does nothing to explain how these jihadists could have gotten the idea that what they were doing was religiously mandated, and what he and his peaceful cohorts were doing to make sure this sort of thing didn't happen again.
Rahman read from his Qur'an in Arabic and again in English reciting what Muslims pray for five times each day.
"For guidance, for guidance. Yes, all the time," Rahman said.
Rahman also reminds the public to truly understand Islam.
"We can not blame the religion. If we do, we blame the people who practice the religion," Rahman said.
That doesn't follow at all. If some people commit violence and justify it by reference to Islamic texts and teachings, it becomes a simple question of fact as to whether those teachings actually exist, and whether or not the violent people were interpreting them properly or not. But if they were, it doesn't say anything at all about other Muslims, who may not know, or not care, or in some cases actively reject, those same teachings.