We don’t have to be paranoid about Arab males; we just have to avoid the opposite: Being fearful of coming across as Islamophobic, and thereby failing to look straight at a situation.

This is part of a larger–and too-hot-to-touch–American problem, which is the privileging of religion, and its frequent exemption from rules of normal discourse. Muslims may be more extreme because their religion is founded on bellicose conquest, a contempt for infidels and an obligation for piety that is more extensive than in other schemes. President Obama was as craven as a community college diversity vice-president when he said that no one should jump to conclusions. Everyone did, and he lost credibility with people who cannot stand civic piety in the face of the murderous kind.