The high-profile arrests of American Muslims in a suspected terror plot in the New York area once again highlights the post-9/11 vulnerabilities of the Muslim community in the West. It spotlights the dubious practice of law enforcement agencies of planting informants in mosques and community centers who then through their phoney preaching of violent action lure and entrap the gullible into loose talk and conduct. It is, in effect, planting the seeds of crime and, thus, tantamount to initiating and creating crime. These episodes only help in unnecessarily scaring more Americans who have witnessed their government expend a near trillion dollars in its post-9/11 conflicts, during which 2 million Americans have served in the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan. A new movie, "Taking Chance", highlights the community-wide impact of the war dead brought home for burial in the American hinterland. While President Obama prepares to make a landmark address to the broader Muslim community at Cairo on June 4, the American Muslim community's aspirations to come together as a cohesive political entity continue to be hobbled by its usual share of ethno-nationalistic and sectarian divisions and the lack of a coherent strategic vision. Obama's Presidency represents new challenges and openings. Nineteen years ago, according to the 1990 World Almanac, there were 6 million Muslims in the United States. In the foreseeable future, there will be over 10 million Muslims in the United States, creating a voting bloc which could influence American policies in the Middle East. That could occur - provided that Muslims come to perceive the United States as a land of political opportunity and not merely as a safe economic haven. The fact that the Muslim community in the United States is larger than the Presbyterian, Episcopal, Mormon, Hindu, and perhaps, even the Jewish community, underlines the need to develop a coherent Muslim voice in the political conversation of America. Yet, anti-Islam postures continue to remain intellectually respectable here. For years, Muslims have been content to ride as mere passengers in a train hurtling towards an uncertain destination. Enroute, their passivity has let others frame their image and set their agenda. Muslims, therefore, are reduced to begging for fairness from those who stand to benefit the most from disparagement of Islam. Also, the US academia, intelligentsia, and think-tankers woo approved Muslims who follow the script. A major stumbling block has been an incapacity to come under the umbrella of a team with a common aim to win. There are two main responses by Muslims in America: (1) Assimilate. Become so Americanized that it even melts the melting pot; and (2) Rejection. View mainstream American society as a sinful abode and, in effect, confine and define interaction with it in economic terms. Both approaches mean confusion and isolation, especially, so, for the youth and, in essence, boils down to a similar outcome: dysfunctionality in US society. This well suits those forces with a vested interest in putting the Muslim community on the back foot. Instead of an emphasis on learning and outreach to the broader society, which can serve as a rallying point for political action and participation, there is over-emphasis on externals such as attire, appearance, and rigid rituals. The feeling that things occur automatically without the incurring of effort, expense, and sacrifice is almost culturally entrenched. The huge US stakes in Pakistan and its regional neighbourhood presents unique challenges and opportunities for those of Pakistani origin in the West. To a great extent, the avenues available to make an impact have not been adequately availed by the Muslim community. Many Muslim families do not have tradition of reading newspapers, so even bright children grow up without a well-rounded personality in that they may be skilled in texting but not in testing themselves beyond their comfort zone. The spark of Muslim re-awakening has to be lit. The relevance of teamwork shall be driven home when a Muslim scientist will flourish if a Muslim journalist makes him visible to the public eye; when a Muslim victim of injustice is protected if legal services are furnished by a Muslim-run law firm; and Muslim talent gets its due if there is community-backed Muslim media to give wider exposure. It is not by accident that certain minority groups in America enjoy a strength far beyond their size. 9/11 and its aftermath illustrates that Muslims in America, whether they like it or not, will be held hostage to the vagaries and politics of US-Muslim world connections and tensions. Not meeting these challenges is not an acceptable policy option.