Yesterday's police raid on the Finsbury Park mosque in north London and last week's killing of DC Stephen Oake in Manchester have again turned the media spotlight on to Britain's 1.8 million-strong Muslim community.
While the raid on the mosque was not a huge surprise, and the officers were careful not to enter the prayer hall itself, it is crucial that the authorities either produce their evidence against the seven arrested men before a court of law or release them.
To detain them indefinitely - as is already the case with several suspect terrorists in Belmarsh prison - will only undermine the trust of Muslims in our judicial system and the rule of law.
British Muslims have repeatedly distanced themselves from the actions of fringe groups with minuscule support in the Muslim community, only to see the media give their publicity-hungry leaders almost superstar status.
Then there is the continuing refrain from many in the media and in politics - people who should know better - that British Muslims should speak out more loudly against terrorism. Does anyone recall the Catholic community being asked to speak out after the Omagh atrocity?
The constant effect of negative publicity has led some British Muslims to the gloomy conclusion that Islam will never be accepted as part of the British landscape.
To summon the courage to speak out against young hotheads is also to risk abuse from them. They tolerate no opinion other than their own. It is a form of intellectual terrorism. Not surprisingly, many Muslims prefer to keep their heads down, just hoping that the situation improves. What should be done?
First, it should be acknowledged that recent events have shown that there is a genuine and widespread concern that some violent individuals have arrived in this country, ostensibly as asylum seekers. Recent arrests have created an impression that Britain's asylum policies are failing and that it is only a matter of time before there is a mass terrorist strike on our country. The fear is quite palpable.
Many British Muslims share this concern and there can be no doubt that we will be under just as much threat from an indiscriminate attack as non-Muslims. It is in all our interests that the police can pre-empt those who may be plotting violent outrages here. The Koran says that if one saves an innocent life it is as if one has saved all of humanity.
Second, there is a myth that Muslims are prone to extremism and are unwilling to integrate into British society. This fear is fed by repeated television images of snarling young men with clenched fists shouting angry slogans.
The Koran rejects extremism and enjoins Muslims to become "a justly balanced [Muslim] community". The Prophet Mohammed himself cautioned Muslims against ghuluw (excessiveness) and tashaddud (bigotry). In the authentic Bukhari collection of narrations, the Prophet is reported to have warned: "Verily this religion is easy, and none shall be severe in religion but it will overcome him."
Almost all British Muslims accept the need to integrate and do well in education so that they are able fully to participate in mainstream professions and take their place in society. To do otherwise would be only to defeat ourselves. Every year, the picture is improving, with more Muslims in various sectors of society, including politics and the media.
Integration must not be misunderstood, though, to mean assimilation - and need not entail the abandoning of one's identity and faith. The fundamental Islamic teaching about the One God and the inevitable Day of Accounting requires that Muslims maintain a careful balance between the needs of the body and the needs of the soul, between devoting time to worldly affairs and paying due attention to what we are storing up for the Hereafter.
Just as Mohammed's early followers did not hesitate to learn from whatever was good and beneficial in the neighbouring Persian and Byzantine empires, so today's Muslims must learn from the West. In its supreme encounter with Greek philosophy in the 10th and 11th centuries, Islam emerged victorious and Muslim thought was suitably enriched.
There is no reason why Islam should not thrive in the West. It is not an approach of uncritical acceptance but neither does it constitute blind rejection either.
Still, radicalism is often given impetus when participation in the mainstream is blocked. Many Algerians were radicalised in the 1990s when their elected party of choice, the FIS (Islamic Salvation Front), was denied its 1992 election victory and were banned by the military junta, its leaders imprisoned and followers driven underground.
More than 100,000 Algerians have perished in the civil war that followed the cancellation of elections. All this was done with the silent but sure support of leading European nations.
In addition, prior to 1991, even under the murderous rule of Saddam Hussein, Iraq was a net importer of labour, as workers from poorer Arab countries such as the Sudan and Egypt poured into the country to seek a living. Today, after more than a decade of economic embargoes, Iraq is now among the most common countries from which people flee.
Our role in creating the mass phenomenon of asylum seekers is not often explored by commentators. The seemingly inexorable slide to war with Iraq is inflaming Muslim opinion worldwide. This is despite Saddam's sickening human rights record. Muslims generally believe that the real American objective behind an invasion is to change the political map of the Middle East, appropriate its oil wealth and consolidate Israel as the regional superpower, exercising hegemony over the entire region.
There is also considerable worry about what a war might lead to in terms of relations between Britain and the Muslim world. Britain, with its close ties with the United States, could serve as a bridge for understanding between the Muslim world and America. A war with Iraq will almost certainly prevent that bridge from being built for a long time.