DeNile must be not only a river in Egypt, but the mindset of much of the Muslim community.

The story in the Dec. 23 Record about the conviction of five Muslims in a plot to kill soldiers at Fort Dix brought a response from respected members of the Muslim community.

“I don’t think they actually meant to do anything,” according to Mohammed Younis, president of the American Muslim Union.

And from Jim Sues, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations: “Many people in the Muslim community will see this as a case of entrapment.”

Had these people been accused of similar crimes in Saudi Arabia or Iran, they would have had a one-day show trial and then found themselves either on their knees in a public square with a swordsman over their necks or against a wall with a squad of riflemen, fingers on the trigger, facing them.

These men were given a fair and public trial. They had competent defense counsel and a jury selected in part by their advocates. These jurors listened to both prosecution and defense and then after deliberation determined that the men were guilty as charged.

It should be noted that the most serious charge, “attempted murder,” was dismissed because the prosecution was unable to prove that any actual attempt had been carried out beyond the planning stages. How would an Islamic court have reached a determination under these circumstances?

After 9/11 we heard from Arab sources that the attack was a Mossad plot, a CIA act to discredit Muslims, and more pap than could be digested – anything but an act of terror by a group of misguided militants using their religion as an excuse for a horrendous deed.

The only way peace will ever be achieved is for the greater majority of Muslims, who I have no doubt want peace as much as anyone else, stop making excuses for these two-bit punks, killers, and terrorists. Let’s see some outrage from that community when American journalists are beheaded, when schools are bombed, and marketplaces blown up.

Until the terrorists learn they have no succor from any group anywhere in the world, they will continue their cowardly killing and continue to hatch plots such as the one to kill troops at Fort Dix.