Note how he uses indignation to try to divert the questioner. From “Torkelson: Mosque adapting to its diversity,” in the Rocky Mountain News, with thanks to Twostellas:
A local landscaper, a Denver-born consultant, and a kid from Kansas – if you hung around Denver’s largest mosque at 2071 S. Parker Road, it’s likely you’d bump into them all. They reflect Islam’s changing profile from foreign-born faith to American presence.
On Sunday, I found myself in the company of the three – Mohammad Noorzai, Malik Taylor and Ammar Amonette – because I had heard big changes were coming to the mosque, whose formal name is the Colorado Muslim Society. It’s a major, influential Islamic center where thousands of Colorado’s estimated 15,000 Muslims worship, and where the demographics are changing.
Non-Arabs represent slightly more than half the mosque’s members. The fastest growing segments are African Americans, whites and Latinos.
“We’re a community that’s more diverse than any (American) parish,” says Amonette.
Three major firsts reflect the mosque’s efforts to adapt.
“¢ Amonette, 45, has been named the society’s first American-born imam, or spiritual leader. He’s believed to be the only American-born imam to run a major Islamic center in the U.S. His predecessor was the Egyptian-born Ahmed Nabhan, who left in December by “mutual decision.”…
Today, with the Mideast aflame, there was one question that I thought many Americans, rightly or wrongly, might want to ask: If America were attacked by terrorists who professed to do it in the name of Islam, whom would you support?
“I can’t believe that question – I’m shocked,” Amonette, open-mouthed, said. “You don’t ask that kind of question of other people.”
But Noorzai, the mediator, recognized the question as an opportunity to help Americans understand how Muslims express the values of their faith: “She just wants to shed light on it,” he said. “Muslim loyalty – where is it?”
The first loyalty is to Islam’s principle of not harming innocent people, ever. “We’re going to be on the side that’s just and fair,” he said.
Note that they didn’t give a straight answer.